| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 118, 19 September 2005
Welcome to this year's 38th issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The major news of the past week was, of course, the release of Slackware Linux 10.2 - a distribution with a clear focus on simplicity, stability and reliability. Next on the release calendar: Mandriva Linux 2006 - with the second release candidate announced last week, we can't be too far off from the final release. Also in this issue: an explanation about the delay of KNOPPIX 4.0 CD edition, news about a live CD that uses Xen to boot a host operating system, and two free learning resources - one for OpenBSD and one for Linux. We also take a brief look at a new book for Xandros users - Linux Made Easy. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in ogg (9.22MB) or mp3 (6.82MB) formats (courtesy of Shawn Milo).
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
Slackware Linux 10.2 on the shelves
The biggest news of the past week was, of course, the release of a brand new Slackware Linux, version 10.2. If you've had a chance to read the release announcement and release notes, you've undoubtedly noticed that Slackware 10.2 continues in its time-honoured tradition of being a simple and clean system, perhaps slightly on the conservative side in terms of the default kernel and package selection, but certainly a very secure and easy-to-maintain distribution. The default kernel remains the tried and tested 2.4 series, but an optional 2.6.13 kernel is available in the testing directory (it can be selected during installation). As expected, the latest Slackware no longer includes the GNOME desktop; its developers suggest that the GNOME fans use one of the independently packaged GNOME for Slackware, such as GWARE and Freerock GNOME.
Overall, Slackware Linux 10.2 seems like a nice release, perhaps not brimming with many exciting new features, but those who value stability and reliability in a Linux distribution will find plenty of reasons to upgrade.
Slackware Linux 10.2 - the latest version of Slackware Linux focuses on stability and reliability, rather than new features
(full image size: 274kB)
* * * * *
Mandriva Linux 2006 nearing release
With the new Slackware release behind us, all eyes are now on the upcoming Mandriva Linux 2006. Slightly behind schedule, the second release candidate was finally announced last week, so it shouldn't be long before the code is frozen and the new release is out. There seem to be some changes (once again) with respect to the naming of the different editions - it appears that Mandriva is doing away with the name "Community" edition and replacing it with what is now called "Free" edition. It is likely that the initial release of the "Free" edition will only be made available to the Club members, with a general release following with a slight delay. The "Official" edition will probably still go through some post-release bug fixing, before it is packaged and sold in online and retails stores.
If you are interested to read a first-hand account of Mandriva's last-minute bug squashing efforts, here is an interesting report by one of Mandriva's contributors:
"We released RC2 on Wednesday morning, and already several important installer bugs and other vital infrastructure stuff has been fixed since. Final should be frozen very soon. Once it's frozen nothing moves for a while, at least in public, as final validation is done on the 'final' ISOs, and they're sent for duplication / printing and so forth. Once that's all done, the pre-ordered boxes are shipped and the ISOs made available to Club members, and the final FTP tree put on the public mirrors. You can, if you feel so inclined, jump the gun and upgrade to 'Cooker' during this period; since it's frozen, you effectively get the final release. Just remember to switch your urpmi media away from Cooker again when it gets unfrozen, or else you'll wind up with something horribly broken."
Based on early reviews and first impressions of the beta testers, Mandriva Linux 2006 is shaping out to be a well-tested and impressive release, with many new features and updated packages (no GNOME 2.12 though). As always, we'll keep a close eye on all sources of information coming out from Paris within the next week or two and let you know as soon as the new product is ready for public consumption. Stay tuned!
* * * * *
KNOPPIX 4 live CD delayed, Xenoppix launched
Those of you who are desperately waiting for the new KNOPPIX 4 live CD will be pleased to learn that the new version is still under development, but due to a major technical issue, the release has been put on a temporary hold. Klaus Knopper:
"Since both the 4.0.2 DVD and CD versions are basically finished, there won't be a 4.0.1 CD version, but the upcoming 4.0.2 release instead. The only thing I'm desperately waiting for is Unionfs to get into a more stable state. At the moment, there are unacceptable instabilities when overwriting existing files on a mounted Unionfs directory multiple times, resulting in kernel oopses after update-menus when a new Debian package is being installed, and CUPS frequently segfaulting because the configuration file can't be rewritten. I would like to fix that, which is a pure Unionfs problem, before the release goes online."
The message also calls on volunteers to help the Unionfs team to find and eliminate the bugs, which is something that Klaus has had no success with so far, despite trying for the past two weeks. You can find the full mailing list message on here.
And while on the subject of KNOPPIX, a novel idea to combine the power of a bootable live CD with the Xen virtualisation engine has surfaced in a product called Xenoppix:
"We customized KNOPPIX to include a virtual machine monitor Xen. We call it 'Xenoppix'. Xenoppix sets up device drives using autoconfig function of KNOPPIX and enables to boot a guest operating system on Xen. X window System is prepared by KNOPPIX and the graphical user interface of the guest operating system is mapped to X11 using VNC full-screen mode. The guest OS can work as a server because it gets the IP address from an external DHCP server. The current Xenoppix includes two guest operating systems: NetBSD and Plan9."
Xenoppix, developed by a group of Japanese developers, is still in early beta with some known problems, but it will be interesting to watch the project evolve. The latest version of Xenoppix is based on the LinuxTag edition of KNOPPIX 4.0 - a 4GB live DVD, which can be downloaded from the project's home page.
* * * * *
New learning resources for OpenBSD and Linux users
Finally, two excellent online learning resources for new users of OpenBSD and Linux. The first one is entitled OpenBSD 101, a nicely formatted set of tutorials for OpenBSD 3.7. The pages include installation, tips and tricks, kernel patching and building, security suggestions, and information about updating an OpenBSD system with 'cvsup'. The tutorials are obviously written for users who are just starting up with OpenBSD and are very easy to follow - well worth a bookmark if you intend to install and administer a system running this popular BSD flavour.
The second tutorial is called FTLinuxCourse, written by Giovanni Orlando from the Italy-based FTOSX distribution. The author has extensive experience writing Linux training courses - he has written some for the old Caldera Open Linux and also Red Hat Linux. Although FTLinuxCourse used to be a commercial product sold in Italy, USA and other countries, the author has decided to release the 2004 edition as a free resource for all interested parties. The cross-platform web-based course can be accessed online, or it can be downloaded to your computer and opened with any browser. Here is the download link to the English edition: FTLinuxCourse_Complete-2004.tgz (337MB). Happy learning!
|Book Review: Linux Made Easy
Book Review: Linux Made Easy
Up until fairly recently, most of the Linux books available in your local book store concentrated on system administration of Red Hat/Fedora systems, with perhaps one or two books covering some of the more "obscure" distributions (at least from the point of view of publishing houses), such as SUSE, Mandriva or Debian. It is only very recently that some publishers started paying attention to the lesser-known, beginner-friendly distributions, with the result that we now have new great books covering Linspire (Linspire 5.0 : The No Nonsense Guide by Eric Grebler) and MEPIS (Point & Click Linux! by Robin Miller). Joining the above two is a book specifically devoted to Xandros Desktop OS: Linux Made Easy by Rickford Grant.
First, let's make one thing clear right from the start - Linux Made Easy is not a book for geeks. Here, the command line is not touched until the final chapter starting on page 403; instead, users are taught to do everything from within the comfort of graphical applications. The early chapters provide a gentle introduction to the world of Linux, cover installation and introduce the Xandros desktop. This is followed by a very useful set of chapters introducing the reader to system configuration and administration (without actually calling it that), which includes setting up networking, file manipulation, and working with removable media. It also introduces the main custom applications of Xandros Desktop OS: Xandros File Manager, Xandros Control Center and Xandros Networks.
This is followed by extensive chapters on printing, scanning, digital imaging and working with PDA, before the book turns to major applications shipping with Xandros, including multimedia, office, games, and software for children. The book then concludes with the a brief section touching on the subject of most commonly-used command line tools, complemented by a number of projects making use of these commands. The book also includes a CD with the Open Circulation edition of Xandros Desktop 3, as well as coupons for 120 free SkypeOut minutes and a 20% discount on Xandros products.
But how does Linux Made Easy differ from the Xandros Desktop OS User Guide that ships with the Deluxe and Business editions of Xandros desktop? Firstly, the writing style is very different - while the Xandros User Guide is essentially a reference book, specialising in dry, step-by-step tutorials, Linux Made Easy has a friendly writing style, making the whole book much more enjoyable. Secondly, the content, although covering pretty much the same areas of the distribution, differs greatly. A good case in point is the scanner section. While the Xandros User Guide limits itself to a 7-step tutorial covering just one half of a page, Linux Made Easy devotes no less than 12 pages to scanning, guiding users through two complete projects as it touches on more advanced subjects of scanning resolutions and organising images.
Another case in point are the chapters dealing with DVD playback. While the Xandros User Guide simply states that encrypted DVDs cannot be played in Xandros Desktop, Linux Made Easy not only explains the concept of DVD encryption, it also provides a simple script that downloads and installs the required libraries for playing encrypted DVDs! Although the author states that he is not a lawyer, he also believes that there is nothing wrong with watching encrypted DVDs on a home computer - if one can do so legally on Windows or Mac OS, why not on Linux?
What makes Linux Made Easy an especially valuable book is the friendly writing style combined with a large number of useful tips and tricks, many of which can be used on any distribution, not just Xandros. Perhaps the only criticism of the book is the timing of its arrival on the market - some 9 months after the release of Xandros Desktop 3. Wouldn't it make more sense to publish such book while a Xandros release is still hot and exciting?
Apart from that, we believe that the book fills an important gap in the market and we highly recommend it to all users and fans of Xandros Desktop OS.
Title: Linux Made Easy
Author: Rickford Grant
Publisher: No Starch Press
|Released Last Week
Games Knoppix 4.0.2-0.3
Games Knoppix live DVD, based on the recently released Knoppix 4.0, is now ready for your enjoyment: "Games Knoppix 4.0.2-0.3 is out! The new DVD-size version of Games Knoppix has been finally finished. A list of included games can be viewed here. I have to apologize that it took so long to include the songs of the song contest, but I had some misunderstandings with GEMA. But as promised, the songs are included now. In addition, there are three bonus songs from RaidShelter. I hope everyone is having a lot of fun with the DVD." See the release announcement on the project's home page.
Slackware Linux 10.2
Slackware Linux 10.2 has been released: "Announcing Slackware Linux 10.2! The second Slackware release of 2005, Slackware Linux 10.2 continues the long Slackware tradition of simplicity, stability, and security. Among the many program updates and distribution enhancements, you'll find two of the most advanced desktop environments available today: XFce 4.2.2, a fast and lightweight but visually appealing and easy to use desktop environment, and KDE 3.4.2, the latest version of the award-winning K Desktop Environment. Slackware uses the 2.4.31 kernel bringing you advanced performance features such as the ReiserFS journaling filesystem...." Read the rest of the release announcement and release notes for more details.
Slamd64 Linux 10.2
Slamd64 Linux is an independently developed port of Slackware Linux for AMD64 processors. Following the release of Slackware 10.2 earlier today, Slamd64 Linux 10.2 is now also out: "Slamd64 10.2 is now available. Slamd64 10.2 is based on the 220.127.116.11 kernel, and glibc 2.3.5 with added NPTL support. It includes the latest KDE 3.4.2 desktop environments, and lots of updates, fixes, and improvements over the 10.1 release. Please see the ChangeLog.txt file for a full list." This is the full release announcement.
Vine Linux 3.2
Vine Linux is one of the oldest and most popular Japanese Linux distributions. The newly released version 3.2 is a revision release, focusing on errata and security rather than adding major new features. Some of the package upgrades include kernel 2.4.31 and X.Org 6.8.2, while the distribution's installer, hardware support, available kernel modules and artwork have also undergone some changes. Read the full release announcement on the distribution's home page (in Japanese). As always, an existing installation of Vine Linux can be upgraded with the help of apt-get, but a new installation ISO image is also available for download.
Vine Linux 3.2 - a new revision release of the popular Japanese distribution
(full image size: 378kB)
* * * * *
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Ubuntu Linux 6.04
Although it is still a month or so before the new Ubuntu Linux 5.10 is released, the developers are already making plans for the next release - version 6.04 and code name "Dapper Drake": "The 6.04 release will be the culmination of 2 years hard work, with Warty, Hoary and Breezy having set the style and the pace. We want it to represent the fruit of that labour - it brings to a close this first major cycle of development for Ubuntu. It will be a release that people can plan for, participate in and build solutions on top of. It will get even more polish than we put into Breezy, so we think it deserves a name that reflects that polish. And so, after much deliberation, it has been decided that 6.04 will be known during development as: The Dapper Drake." Read the rest of the announcement for more details.
SUSE Linux 10.1
Similarly, the developers of SUSE Linux have also started with a preliminary planning of version 10.1, even before SUSE 10.0 is formally released. That's according to the distribution's roadmap: "Sep 29, 2005 - SUSE Linux 10.1 OSS alpha1 release." No further details are given, but it seems that the new OpenSUSE project intends to continue with the 6-monthly release cycle that worked well for SUSE in the past.
The all new OpenBSD 3.8 will be released on November 1st. Greatly improved hardware support, several new tools, enhanced functionality of existing tools, OpenSSH 4.2, as well as over 3,200 ports - that's quite a bit to look forward to. The OpenBSD 3.8 page is now online with all the details. The product can be pre-ordered through the project's ordering system for US$45.00 + shipping.
Tilix, a highly successful Bulgarian implementation of KNOPPIX with full localisation into Bulgarian, will reach version 1.0 on 26 September. The desktop-oriented distribution promises great hardware support, a new Qt-based hard disk installer, many package updates and other enhancements. More details can be found in this announcement, as well as on the newly redesigned Tilix.org web site (both links in Bulgarian).
OpenLab GNU/Linux 4
Tectonic has published an article providing some information about the upcoming release of OpenLab GNU/Linux, a South African distribution with focus on education: "The main installation CD will be available for free download on the Web by September 26. Two additional disks containing add-ons, language packs and a games collection will also be available in the complete distribution pack sold by OpenLab International. Although OpenLab started as a niche system in the education arena, it has since developed into a more mainstream distribution." More details can be found in this report.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
New mirror in Groningen, Netherlands|
Thanks to Rogier van Gemert, a new DistroWatch mirror is now available in Groningen, Netherlands. It listens to the name of DistroWatch.nl and is updated in hourly intervals. Rogier has also been busy translating some of the distribution descriptions into Dutch - many thanks for this effort! And speaking about translations, we still haven't been able to complete work on a web-based infrastructure for translators, but this is now treated as a matter of high priority, so, hopefully, our international readers will notice some improvements in this respect in the not too distant future.
New distribution additions
New distributions on the waiting list
- Arco-debian. Arco-debian is a new Brazilian distribution, a single-CD edition of Debian with automatic hardware detection.
- X-DSL. X-DSL is a small but fully functional Linux distribution for the Xbox, based on Damn Small Linux.
DistroWatch database summary
That's all for this week. We hope you've enjoyed this issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
1 • No subject (by war on 2005-09-19 12:34:24 GMT from United States) |
Keep up the good work Ladislav!
2 • ubuntu... (by KiM on 2005-09-19 13:00:18 GMT from Egypt)
ubuntu are issuing their 6.04 developments soon... thats great..
i am looking forward to try slackware 10.2 i think it will be a new experience..
Debian had announced a new revision for 3.1 a month ago and it didnt appear.. am i true..
again another good monday reading distro
3 • Lycoris contrib to Mandriva (by Leo on 2005-09-19 13:01:42 GMT from United States)
Thanks, once again, for a very informative DWW Ladislav! There is always more/better info here
I followed the link to the blog about next Mandriva release, VERY juicy :-)
I am intrigued by this statement:
"I’m also quite excited by the changes that Lycoris is going to bring to the Discovery edition - can’t talk about them yet, unfortunately, but it should really set Discovery apart as being an exciting product on its own and not just a cut-down version of Powerpack, and help attract even more new users."
Does this mean that the Lycoris guy, now working for Mandriva, will introduce (usability, I presume) improvements that will only go to the discovery edition boxed set ? These changes will not go to cooker / main tree ?
If anyone know, I'd appreciate some insight
PS: yeah, maybe I should ask in the blog
4 • More books (by debian-dynamite on 2005-09-19 13:38:06 GMT from Finland)
Here are two other books that have friendly writing style combined with a large number of useful tips and tricks. Please review them! : )
Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 Bible
The Debian System - Concepts and Techniques
5 • Knoppix, Kanotix and Unionfs (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-09-19 14:09:40 GMT from Italy)
Also Kano is not releasing because of Unionfs.
Well, at least it is good to know that many people are working at the problem., that it isn't something which is worrying only Kano.
6 • recent experiences (by ray carter at 2005-09-19 15:20:59 GMT from United States)
Having fully recovered from a hard disk crash a little over a week ago (that's a story in itself - but dd and reiser rescued me) - I had the opportunity to install some new distros on my desktop tower. I installed the Elive CD - this went swiftly and easily and I find this Enlightenment showplace to be a very nice product - though E17 seems a bit shaky yet. Second up was Mandriva 2005LE. I thought that rather than spend a lot of time downloading the DVD or several full CDs I would go with the mini-CD. This is about 400MB - it boots up, starts installing and waits for you to identify internet resources for the rest of the install. IMHO - they have some improvements to make before this is really viable. I think Mandriva would do best to pull this from the repositories since it is not a fully polished, useable product. When it paused for resource selection, none of the 'ftp' choices worked. I tried them in turn and all timed out. It took me about half an hour (on another machine) to locate a useable data repository at Penn State Univ. Continuing at, at the point of writing the boot loader, it entered an endless loop and the machine had to be reset to continue. After that, I had to finish setting up X in order to get a GUI, although the grub bootloader was all right. It made a halfhearted attempt to dual boot with Elive, making an entry in grub, but making me enter the actual boot data. Third shot was Ubuntu. I had tried the earlier version last year and was impressed, but had some difficulty when I attempted to install Panorama Tools. This install was clean, easy, fast and efficient. I still had a little difficulty with the Panorama Tools, but stuck with it, updated some system components, etc. and finally got it working. Ubuntu set up the full three distro multi-boot by itself - no user help needed. The only thing I've done is to change some of the names on the menu entries. I believe I'll probably stick with Ubuntu after this experience. I'm not sure I like the direction Mandriva is headed, and, at this point, Ubuntu seems like a more polished product.
Going back to the hard disk crash, I was able to recover all my data from a disk that had even lost the partition table. I used 'sfdisk' to recover the partition layout; used 'dd' with the 'conv=noerror' and 'conv=sync' options to make a copy of needed partitions to a file (noerror keeps it going past read errors and sync fills the holes with zeros). Loop mounted a copy of the file and reiserfscked it, then copied the data. Try that with an MS system!
7 • Discontinued Distributions (by PastorEd at 2005-09-19 15:24:45 GMT from United States)
Hello, Ladislav! Once again, a bright spot in my Monday morning!
A question: what does it take for a distribution to be counted as "discontinued" at Distrowatch? How long a period of "inactivity" is necessary to be considered dead?
Just curious - thanks again!
8 • SLACKWARE!!!! (by Benjamin Woods at 2005-09-19 15:36:03 GMT from Australia)
I have been waiting on slack 10.2 for some time!
i follow current on my laptop... but on my desktops at home i dont.
you said there are not that many new features. i both agree and disagree.
the main one which i enough in itself?
mozilla firefox and thunderbird are new additions!
and no more netscape.
and no more gnome.
and simlinks for jre plugin in firefox.
and the partial 2.6 kernel support in install.
gotta love it!
anyway... loved the read.
i am outtie.
9 • Good Read (by Cheetahman on 2005-09-19 15:57:19 GMT from United States)
Very Informative and something to look forward on Mondays
10 • Monday (by gstarr on 2005-09-19 17:55:13 GMT from Slovenia)
Distrowatch makes mondays so nice!
I look forward to opensuse 10 and Ubuntu.
But i think what lacks in ubuntu is the server side gui
in suse for instance you can manage all the server side settings
in ubuntu you can not.
my 2 cents
11 • SLACKWARE 10.2! (by anton on 2005-09-19 18:01:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
Since swapping from ms to linux in march, distrowatch has become a home for me, in this time, i have tried 20+ distributions in my search for the perfect linux os. i need to look no more, Slackware 10.2 is awesome. it is fast, stable, vanilla flavoured magic, the downloading of iso's is over for me, but i will return every monday to read the latest distrowatch weekly.
12 • FTLinuxCourse (by Anton on 2005-09-19 18:20:21 GMT from United Kingdom)
thanks for the link to the FTLinuxCourse, looks like it is a nice package, look forward to browsing through, sadly the download server is getting hammered at the moment, looks like it will take about 24 hours to download this!!!
13 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2005-09-19 19:31:03 GMT from United States)
i though ubuntu would of been released by now........ good products take time
14 • Great News (by guhappy on 2005-09-19 19:35:25 GMT from United States)
I like reading DistroWatch News every monday. I hope I can now install OpenBSD on this old Compaq computer [500Mhz, 384MB PC133 RAM, P3, 20GB HDD] I have just collecting dust :-D. Slackware 10.2 looks great, so I might just give it a try. BTW, what's a good distro to install if I want to use the Compaq I mentioned above as a server? Reason, I just want to use it as a "Learning Linux or BSD" computer. Thanks.
15 • Debian Pure (by |TG| Mateo on 2005-09-19 19:39:03 GMT from United States)
Hey, I was surfing a bit (slow work day) and found that Debian Pure is now .3. Is that new?
Oh, it's still on the waiting list. My bad. :-)
16 • Is linux free or not/ (by Pinny on 2005-09-19 20:32:53 GMT from United States)
I asked this a while back and I didn't quite understand the answer I was given so I'm gonna try again. I just want to know whether or not Linux is free? Here's the source of my confusion: Slackware states on its website that it costs $40, but at the same time it offers the OS as a free download. Could someone please explain this to me?
Thanks and be well,
17 • Slackware 10.2: a lot more to offer (by Manfred on 2005-09-19 21:12:55 GMT from Canada)
In order to appreciate how new Slack 10.2 really is, one must at least check the announcements:
"Updated versions of the Slackware package management tools make it easy to add, remove, upgrade"
Now, instead of upgrading in ten steps, youi may upgrade in 10 steps. See for yourself:
Fortunately, Swaret was never adopted by Our Man, save for 9.1, I believe, when it was included in /extra. Talk about stable releases! This Man is driving Slackware in the same kind of stability YggDrasil is now in.
18 • RE:Is (Slackware) Linux Free? (by |TG| Mateo on 2005-09-19 21:18:13 GMT from United States)
You can download all 4 discs, or you can buy the discs and support Slackware. It's entirely your choice, or rather, entirely up to your conscious and checkbook.
Furthermore, Slackware is also free in the sense that you can add whatever you like, remaster it, turn it into a live cd, or use it as a frisbee, whether you pay for it or not.
It's a beautiful thing.
19 • • Is linux free or not (by seetru on 2005-09-19 21:23:46 GMT from United States)
Most linux distros are free for the download. including slackware.
they do however offer a package of the cd's with manuals and documents
to help you get started.
this helps people with slow internet connections to get the full cd's for an install, the documentation also let's you learn without having to search all over the web
and many people purchase the package for themselves/friends or both as a way to help support the efforts of the slackware team.
hope this helps...
20 • Re:Free (by somebody on 2005-09-19 21:41:37 GMT from Japan)
Exactly, the OS itself is free, the thing you pay for is mostly the manuals or support. If you don't need that, get the isos, else, buy the package
21 • Default desktop lags behind (by Ariszló on 2005-09-19 21:45:30 GMT from Hungary)
Vine 3.2 (released last week) and Momonga are two distributions whose default desktop is less up-to-date than their additional desktop. How is that? Are there others, too?
22 • Input for guhappy and Pinny (by David Johnson at 2005-09-19 21:48:55 GMT from United States)
Hi guhappy, you can make most any distro into a server. So for learning, any of the 'major' distros will be great. For specific types of servers, or for specific requirements due to differing environments, there can be advantages to certain distros. For example, for easy setup of a really secure server right "out of the box", I recommend OpenBSD and Trustix. Have fun learning by doing!
Hi Pinny, I'm not sure this applies in the Slackware case, but many distros offer boxed sets of CDs, sometimes with printed documentation, for sale, at the same time as offering free downloads of the OS by ftp, torrent, etc.
Thanks Ladislav for a great site, nice info and community.
23 • Price (by iMoron on 2005-09-19 22:11:56 GMT from Puerto Rico)
Well... Linux itself is free... since Linux is just the kernel, the GNU is also free as far as I understand....
But GPL alows you to sell with some restrictions, like providing the sourcecode of any and all opensource app/software included in the product....
Also, some distro sell there HardCopy CDs (as I calle them) wille alowing you to download it for free when ever they make it avaible to the public...
Of the few comercial Linuxes, some will not give for free the instalation CDs but rader the live CD (if any)... They usually add some tools that allow newbees or windows converts... they also may have drivers that are hard to come by... things that are worth the money to some (maybe more than we think since not every body has the patience to look around)...
If you ever intend to optain one of those, you should head to there main websites and not fall for "the ebay fiasco" (some people selling distros that is not theres, without consent)... buy direct from a reliabel source...
By the way there are some good sites that sell you the CDs of many distros... what they charge is not much, they have many distros that can be found for free, but what you pay for is for the actual CDs and the convienience of not having to download it yourself (ever wated to download you newest distro, to find that it is corub... then add that you could be one of the many 56k users!)...
It is complex... but don't bash a comercial distro because they sell Linux... I mean, I started with Lindows 3 (Linspire now) and then I got more in to linux, I curently use Mepis.... But lindows was the first I used... and they have there Click and Run wich is a servise for those that don't know how to install in apps linux... I ultimatly learn my way and only used there junior membership... I installed many apps the free way... That said, yes, Linux is free but not all distros are free... it is a technical thing...making and selling a comercial Linux it is not ilegal as long as they play by the rules!
24 • About DistroWatch... (by 1c3d0g on 2005-09-19 22:22:03 GMT from Aruba)
You don't have permission to access /images/screenshots/slackware-10.2.png on this server."
Unfortunately I get this same message every time I try to click on an image. It's been like this for about 3 weeks now...what's wrong? Is it my end...or is everyone having the same problems? :-/
25 • Nevermind... (by 1c3d0g on 2005-09-19 22:40:18 GMT from Aruba)
...it's my end. Firewall was too strict...now it's O.K. Sorry for the mess above.
26 • typo (by ben on 2005-09-19 22:48:53 GMT from Australia)
27 • Thanks David Johnson (by guhappy on 2005-09-19 23:03:31 GMT from United States)
I definitely going to try OpenBSD now. But, the Mepis Linux distro looks promising. :-D
28 • Are linux distros free? (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-09-20 00:19:13 GMT from Italy)
Most of them are.
Considering that Xandros gives you an OCE edition, only Linspire and Libranet qualify as "non free" (you must pay for them)
However Linspire offers its distro for free download on a regular basis.
Libranet gives you 2.8.1 for free, but it is so old that upgrading it is an almost impossible task for a newbie.
Therefore it seems to me that Libranet is the only, truly "non free" distro. And it is quite expensive as well.
29 • Tried STX Linux.... (by JS on 2005-09-20 01:00:04 GMT from United States)
Well, I downloaded STX Linux tonight and gave it a try. The Equinox desktop is interesting, and the distro really does perform well on my 500Mhz Celeron laptop with 256mb of ram. Unfortunately, I couldn't get my wireless card nor sound to work, and found several bugs/crashes with some of the apps and the Equinox window manager. Great proof of concept, but probably more of a late alpha release than beta IMHO. Worth trying and playing with if for nothing else than to play with a new window manager. I'm sure the developers would appreciate the bug reports.
30 • RE: Discontinued Distributions (by ladislav on 2005-09-20 01:57:12 GMT from Taiwan)
I consider a distribution "discontinued" if one of the following is true:
1. The developers of the distribution announced that it was no more.
2. The web site of the distribution no longer resolves.
3. There have been no updates on the distribution's web site, FTP servers, etc for two years or more.
If the distribution's web site is still around, but there has been no update for about a year or so, I classify it as "dormant" - maybe it revives again, maybe not. I don't have a good method set up for monitoring the status of some of the more obscure distros, so if you spot any that should be classified as "discontinued" or "dormant", please let me know.
31 • RE: Debian Pure (by ladislav on 2005-09-20 02:03:09 GMT from Taiwan)
The problem with Debian Pure is its name. The word "Debian" is a registered trademark and there is no doubt in my mind that, sooner or later, the developers will receive an email from the Debian Foundation asking them to name it something else. It happened before with "Trusted Debian" (now Adamantix) and other distros.
In other words, I won't list Debian Pure until it gets a new, trademark-compliant name.
32 • Book reviews and more (by Carlos Alberto P P B Santos on 2005-09-20 04:51:07 GMT from Cuba)
First I want to say that I don't miss a monday and it's really nice to read the DW News.
Second that every week that passes you are making a better work on it, making it more informative and delightful to read.
Third, the book reviews are very nice, since I don't encounter options of books to know about linux here so I need to save money and import only the ones which are really what I'm wanting, and certainly your reviews are being of big importance in the that decision. I hope you will continue doing that.
And forth, thanks for the link of learning linux.
Keep the good work Ladislav!
33 • Free Opera Browser! (by LinuxHungry on 2005-09-20 09:35:55 GMT from United States)
I just got off of the opera web site...they state that they have removed all banners, licensing fees, and opera no longer needs to be regestered.
34 • Re: Free Opera Browser! (by Christophe Grandsire on 2005-09-20 11:05:42 GMT from Netherlands)
That's great news! I was already using Opera, and now I have even less incentive to change to anything else! OK, Opera is still only "free as in beer" (and only on the desktop, mobile versions are still for a fee), but it's a great advance!
Now I wonder how long before Opera goes Open Source (my big dream, because I have long wondered how Opera can pack so much functionality in such small executables...)
35 • podcast (by Aus on 2005-09-20 11:38:03 GMT from United States)
DWW in a podcast!! fantastic just what I've been waiting for! Now I can listen to this on my drive to work (along the M25 - London, UK).
Ladislav, any plans to get this on itunes Music Store, so I can have automatic download to my ipod?
Keep up the fantastic work, I don't comment much but I read every week!
36 • DWW Podcast (by Shawn Milo at 2005-09-20 12:36:03 GMT from United States)
You can subscribe to the XML feed for now. I'll submit the feed to the iTunes music store today.
37 • Distro icons and screenshots (by Don B. on 2005-09-20 13:22:58 GMT from United States)
I have noticed over the last few weeks that some readers have been having trouble with the images not displaying and/or getting "permission denied" pages instead of the images, and I thought I would post my findings on the issue in hopes that it will help someone else out also...
I just realized why I have not been seeing the distro icons and screenshots for about a month now -- distrowatch.com now requires the referrer HTTP header for display of these images.
Since I run 99.9% of the time with referrers off, I no longer get the images by default. When I click on the link that is displayed in place of the image, I get a "permission denied" page instead.
Is this an intended enhancement of the site?
BTW: I have been a distrowatch.com reader for about 2 years, keep up the good work!
38 • RE: Distro icons and screenshots (by ladislav on 2005-09-20 14:37:45 GMT from Taiwan)
Yes, this is done on purpose. It is meant to discourage hotlinking of images and other such useless traffic. I implemented this after seeing a Chinese web page that attempted to load all 400+ distribution icons from the main DistroWatch server without ever giving credit and without even linking to DistroWatch.
As a result, you can only load PNG images if your browser's HTTP_REFERRER has a value of distrowatch.com. I understand that some might object to this rule due to privacy concerns - if this is the case, please bookmark and visit one of the mirrors (listed at the bottom of this page). Most of them are updated hourly so you won't miss much.
39 • #distrowatch on Freenode. (by mark_alec on 2005-09-20 15:42:06 GMT from Australia)
Just reminding people that the channel does exist. If you ever want support about choosing your distro or just general chat about distros in general feel free to join.
Hopefully soon it will be a lively channel :P
40 • Xenoppix sounds really interesting (by DaveW on 2005-09-20 15:47:48 GMT from United States)
Haven't had time to download it yet, and suspect I'm not geek enough to get it working when I do. But the concept could really put Linux on the cutting edge for a long time if it works out. I hope somebody knowledgeable can put Xenoppix through its paces and provide some opinions on whether the concept and approach are likely to work as everyday tools. If the verdict is positive, it seems like a perfect candidate for support by the DW contribution fund.
41 • OpenSolaris - Please Follow It Closely (by John on 2005-09-20 16:57:39 GMT from United States)
More stuff about opensolaris please.
It is worth following closely because it provides server stability that linux and even freebsd can't measure up to.
42 • Debian Pure (by LinuxHungry on 2005-09-20 17:38:36 GMT from United States)
I tried doing a install with debian pure 0.1 when it first came out but didn't have much luck. I had the debian sarge dvd set as well and added it to the repository list but appitude never worked right and it didn't install my geforce video card. Is the 0.3 release any better?
43 • Debian Pure (by Jeff on 2005-09-20 18:56:51 GMT from United States)
0.3 is much better. Installs on my system in 15 minutes without a hitch. 0.1 was, well, a 0.1. 0.3 seems to work fine on my system.
44 • Browser Compairon (by LinuxHungry on 2005-09-20 23:19:41 GMT from United States)
I found a site that compaired speeds of popular browsers across several platforms.
45 • Images (by anon on 2005-09-21 00:31:14 GMT from United States)
Thank you for explaining why we can no longer see any
images on the Distrowatch site. Wish you could find
another solution Ladislav, but I understand.
46 • DS Weekly (by Nix_User on 2005-09-21 07:11:38 GMT from United States)
Haven't posted in a while; but that doesn't mean that I haven't been checking out DSW. As always, great reviews. Something that I miss:
1) Tips and Tricks section
2) How about some upcoming trends within distrobutions? Like off the top of my head, which ones support wireless. No, I don't use wireless but for some its a hot topic. Basically, have you notice any trends that distro's are following? Are users still more inclined to go for user friendly vs not so user friendly. Yes, I can look at the counter. Do people prefer support with comercial distros rather than community distros? Are some distros (mainstream) going with the secure by default approach (is it increasing)? Can user submit their own tips and tricks?
3) How about weekly surveys? This could relate back to item two on this list.
Just tossing out a few ideas, they probably have ton's of holes. Hey, keep in mind that its 2am here in the states (central). If anything is useful, feel free to use it or not.
Once again, fantastic DSW.
PS: Who does the readings on the podcast? Just curious.
47 • podcast (by Aus on 2005-09-21 11:20:27 GMT from United States)
Please see last weeks DWW for details of the podcast readings (as I found out by listening to last weeks)
Shawn Milo is the chap who puts them together.
48 • Podcast update. (by Shawn Milo at 2005-09-21 15:32:35 GMT from United States)
The podcast is now listed in iTunes. Search for DistroWatch. :o)
So far, I have not received any feedback by voicemail or e-mail, and only a few comments on the DWW page. Anything? Anyone?
The DWW podcast has the potential to be anything we want it to be -- Ladislav has handed over complete control of it to me, so send your suggestions! Want the top 10 distros by hit-count read each podcast? Want something else? You have to ask for it!
49 • add me to your distribution list of weekly updates (by Jim Nagy on 2005-09-21 15:42:43 GMT from United States)
Love your website. Can I get on the distribution for a weekly or monthly newsletter? Will try and setup the RSS feeds. Thanks. Jim from PA.
50 • Re: Slackware 10.2: a lot more to offer (by Ariszló on 2005-09-21 19:19:06 GMT from Hungary)
Manfred wrote: This Man is driving Slackware in the same kind of stability YggDrasil is now in.
Very sarcastic. FYI. Slackware users prefer simplicity to deceptive convenience features regularly causing unnecessary complications. Automated upgrade, which you miss so much, requires dependency checking, which often results in what is known as 'dependency hell.' Try to install Balsa in Debian Sarge to see what I mean. With its stubborn insistence on simplicity, Slackware has never suffered from dependency hell. You just install whatever you want.
51 • Debian Pure & Slackware (by Raven on 2005-09-21 19:47:41 GMT from United States)
I'd just about decided to get Debian Pure; I've had some experience with Debian-based distros and I like it. But I've also tried Slack before and I like it as well. So now I'm torn between the two. Since I'm on dial-up it would be troublesome to get both. Aargghhhh.
Well, if anything, this says a lot for both distros. It's too bad that Debian Pure needs a new name to make it trademark-compliant or the developer can't just get with the Debian Foundation itself as an alternate installer. As I understand it, it's not a Debian-based distro, actually it is Debian (deifferent installers with minimum packages included), so it seems to me the latter course of action should be possible. Oh well.
52 • Mandriva Frozen ? (by Leo on 2005-09-21 20:27:31 GMT from United States)
take a look at this post:
is it true ? If so, cooker is already frozen ...
53 • Re: Debian Pure & Slackware (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-09-21 22:09:11 GMT from Italy)
"Since I'm on dial-up it would be troublesome to get both. Aargghhhh."
I suppose you know already that you can buy both Sarge DVDs or the 14 (I believe) CDs for a nominal fee...
54 • Re: Debian Pure & Slackware (by Raven on 2005-09-21 22:40:14 GMT from United States)
Most want paypal or a credit card and I don't have either at present. And as for paying by money order, well, it would take as long to get it that way as donload it. So it's a lot of time either way I go.
55 • Re: Debian Pure & Slackware (by Leo on 2005-09-22 00:47:12 GMT from United States)
Ubuntu were offering free CDs on the mail , although the webpage for this seems unresponsive as per this writting:
56 • Debian Pure (by John on 2005-09-22 14:08:01 GMT from United States)
Ladislav, I believe Debian allows the use of their name so long as the software is "Debian" and not "Debian-based." I doubt Debian will have a problem with this, but, it's your website and a fantastic one at that!
57 • Suggestion for Ladislav (by rob from Mt. Healthy on 2005-09-22 19:58:19 GMT from United States)
Every day I visit DW. Wouldn't miss it for anything. Love to read the comments.
My suggestion: I think it would be handy to have sequence numbers assigned to the comments as they are posted. After I've read all the current comments, I can see that there were xxx number of comments posted at that point in time. But the next day when I return, with no sequence#s, it's not easy to find where I left off.
And it would be easier to respond to a previous comment. You could put 'Re: 24' in the subject line to let everyony know that you are replying to comment 24.
Also, where's Mr. Roddy been?
58 • my typo (by Anonymous on 2005-09-22 20:01:13 GMT from United States)
I typed 'let anyony know', I meant 'let anyone know' . Long day...
59 • typo again! (by Anonymous on 2005-09-22 20:03:30 GMT from United States)
I typed 'let everyony know', I meant 'let everyone know' . Long day.. really long ....
somebody throw a tarp over me ...
60 • Re: Mandriva Frozen ? (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-09-22 21:09:15 GMT from Italy)
I hope they have done something about pppoe. I have tried every trick known to me, including of course compiling rp-pppoe: no go.
If they release Mandriva 2006 with that bug, it will be of no use to me (and almost to everybody I know here, because the vast majority use ADSL modems)
61 • sequence numbers (by Anonymous on 2005-09-23 10:03:03 GMT from Brazil)
> My suggestion: I think it would be handy to have sequence
> numbers assigned to the comments
62 • Re: Mandriva Frozen ? (by Leo on 2005-09-23 12:33:06 GMT from United States)
I hope they fixed the pppoe issue, maybe there is hope, since I read they made many improvements in the network stuff thanks to the Conectiva guys after the buy out. We'll see.
I use DSL but the modem gives you a DHCP signal, so for me installing DSL was trivial. A call to Verizon (this is in the US) to set up the modem using konqueror to access it and set a password. And then the network is just DHCP locally, sweet and easy.
Anyways, cooker seems frozen for what I lurked a bit in cooker's list. I'll probably upgrade my home machine this weekend with urpmi ...
A side note, it is very annoying in Mandriva to have to use urpmi from the command line to upgrade your system. If you do it from the software installer, it will try to do the job, but it will first download all the crap and then install. From the command line, urpmi downloads a bunch of file, installs, download a new bunch, installs, etc. It is much better ...
63 • Knoppix torrents very slow (by mikkh on 2005-09-25 08:26:01 GMT from United Kingdom)
Is Knoppix losing it's popularity? Or is there some other reason for extremely slow torrent downloads of it?
I've done quite a few torrent downloads of other distros, and on a 2 Mbit connection, it usually takes 45 mins - 2 hours (for a CD)
I'm trying to download the latest 4.0.2 version, but after leaving it on all night, I've got less than 200 MB of it and only connected to 15 seeds and no peers ! Recent Blag and Vlos torrent downloads came down in a few hours (different weeks - and yes I left it connected for at least a day to share them) Are people just grabbing it and running, or have M$ slipped in a 'security update' without me knowing?
64 • RE: Knoppix Torrents (by |TG|Mateo on 2005-09-25 12:22:01 GMT from United States)
28 Seeds, 223 connected: download time ~6 hours (Verizon DSL). Seems good to me!
65 • New Knoppix dvd (by LinuxHungry on 2005-09-25 19:47:43 GMT from United States)
Does this version have the nvidia drivers?
Number of Comments: 65
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