| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 120, 3 October 2005
Welcome to this year's 40th issue of DistroWatch Weekly. We are at the start of an exciting week, with Mandriva Linux 2006, SUSE Linux 10.0 and Ubuntu Linux 5.10 RC all expected within the next few days. Fans of certain other distributions might not be so lucky, though, as last week's announcement about Libranet's "restructuring" leaves many wondering about the future of this once popular Debian-based project. Our featured distribution of the week is Puppy Linux, but we also introduce amaroK Live, a PCLinuxOS-based live CD that combines the power of the amaroK media player with Free Music. Enjoy!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in mp3 (9.98MB) format (courtesy of Shawn Milo).
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
New releases from Mandriva, SUSE, Ubuntu
This is one of those exciting weeks when everything happens at about the same time and great new releases are about to be announced by several major distributions.
The ISO images of Mandriva Linux 2006 were released to "early seeders" late last Friday. Mandriva Club members with fast Internet connections and the ability to "seed" large files for sharing them via BitTorrent were invited to apply for the "early seeder" status and many of them have now downloaded the ISOs. All the other Club members will be able to download the images later this week, possibly as early as today. Disappointingly, Mandriva continues in its attitude of extreme secrecy by refusing to provide anybody, including their paying Club members, with any advanced information regarding the availability of ISOs. As such, the only thing we can do is to guess - and our guess is that the Club members will get access today and the rest of us one week from now. Update: The latest news is that Club members will get access to the ISO images on October 6 and general public on October 26.
The Mandriva attitude contrasts sharply with those of openSUSE and Ubuntu. Both projects have been remarkably timely during their respective development activities and we expect things to continue this way. Barring some last-minute complications, both SUSE Linux 10.0 and Ubuntu Linux 5.10 RC will be released on Thursday, with the final release of Ubuntu 5.10 following a week later.
* * * * *
Future of Libranet in doubt
Subscribers of the irregularly published Libranet Newsletter received a rather worrying issue late last week. In it, Libranet's developer Tal Danzig talks about a "period of restructuring" awaiting the company, after the recent death of Libranet's founder and Tal's father, Jon Danzig:
"As many of our customers know, Libranet is a small company pioneered by the vision of Jon Danzig. The recent passing of Jon Danzig has necessitated changes to the way Libranet runs and does business. Libranet will be undergoing a period of restructuring during which we will not be be taking new orders."
Tal elaborates on the issue in a longer post on his web log:
"I hope that the strong Libranet community will be patient while the process of moving Libranet onwards takes place. I do not at this time know how long it will take or exactly what the outcome will be, but I will endeavor to keep the Libranet community informed."
Many Libranet fans have expressed disappointment on the Libranet forums. It is hard to blame them - users of Linux distributions often expect exciting announcements about new features, upcoming releases and development efforts, rather than talk about major unspecified changes. From closing the shop, it is often just a small step to abandoning a distribution completely. And that would be a very sad outcome, especially when considering that Libranet GNU/Linux has been around since 1999 and, although it remains a proprietary operating system with a relatively high price tag, it has attracted many enthusiastic followers gathering on its lively forums and helpful mailing lists.
The best thing that the developers of Libranet can do right now is to open up the project for public participation. This has been a trend among other distributions and operating systems, with projects such as Fedora, Ubuntu, openSUSE and even OpenSolaris obviously benefitting from increased exposure and developers' interest. We believe that the coming years will further solidify the positions of those projects that have invited the interested public to join them, while those that still insist on developing behind closed doors with many proprietary components (such as Linspire or Xandros - irrespective of how user-friendly and innovative they will get), will continue to exist as second-tier distributions with only limited interest among users and developers. If Libranet wants to avoid this path, it should take a hint from some of the successful open projects and follow the suit.
* * * * *
OpenBSD 3.8 song available
Less than a month separates us from OpenBSD 3.8, a new release of one of the most security-oriented operating systems available today. As has become tradition, each OpenBSD release is accompanied by a "theme song" and version 3.8 is no exception. The new song is called Hackers of the Lost RAID: "Many wonderful new things have made it into OpenBSD 3.8, but we wanted to focus on one particular thing -- our support for native free-software RAID management on at least one brand of RAID card, those made by AMI," explains Theo de Raadt, the founder and lead developer of OpenBSD. Hackers of the Lost RAID is available in both MP3 and OGG formats and can be downloaded from here.
* * * * *
Auditor and WHAX merge, PHLAK announces USB edition
Finally, something for the fans of security-auditing and penetration-testing distributions. The web site of Auditor Security Linux carries a note announcing that the project will merge with WHAX (formerly WHOPPIX), a SLAX-based penetration-testing live CD. The newly merged distribution will be known as Backtrack. No release roadmap and feature list have been published as yet, but suggestions and ideas are welcome. See this forum thread for further details. Also on the security front, the developers of the Professional Hacker's Linux Assault Kit (or PHLAK) have announced a new addition to their product line. This new member of the PHLAK family will fit on a USB storage device and will listen to the name of "LittleBoy". Future releases of PHLAK's standard live CD editions will now be called "FatMan". More information can be found on the project's news page.
|Featured Distribution of the Week: Puppy Linux
It is amazing to see how fast Puppy Linux has matured over the last few months - from a little-known minimalist distribution for older computers to an incredibly useful and versatile product which now competes with Damn Small Linux in terms of features and user-friendliness. But unlike Damn Small Linux, which was originally derived from KNOPPIX, Puppy was built from scratch, with many unique ideas that have captured the interest of Linux users. Puppy is not just an ISO image containing millions of lines of code, it is also a project with a heart - just read through its news page to discover how much enthusiasm and sheer love goes into each and every release!
After booting into Puppy Linux, you will be immediately impressed by the neatly organised menus with applications and configuration tools listed in a logical order. Yes, this should be a standard feature of all Linux distributions, but if you've tried the latest KNOPPIX live DVD, you have undoubtedly noticed its haphazard menu structures, which makes you appreciate Puppy's neat menus all the more. Granted, you can't expect to find a huge number of applications on a 60MB CD, but what is available certainly gives an impression of a well-structured set, carefully selected to conform to size requirements.
Additional packages can be installed with relative ease. Puppy uses two graphical package managers - PupGet and DotPup - with the former designed for official Puppy packages, while the latter providing a long list of third-party software built by Puppy Linux enthusiasts. Both are intuitive, providing a large range of open source software packages for every taste and purpose. Since Puppy supports Unionfs (if you specify the option at boot prompt), software packages can also be installed while in "live CD" mode.
Many other graphical utilities are available in Puppy Linux. These range from tools to configure mouse, keyboard and monitor to more complex utilities for setting up networking (including wireless ones), printers, scanners and firewalls. Tools for creating a custom Puppy live CD, together with installing it on a USB, Zip or hard drive, are also provided. Backup utilities, virus scanners and partition resizing tools are all neatly lined up and ready to spring into action at a mouse click.
On the application side, we spotted several file managers (ROX-Filer, uXplor), graphics tools (Dia, Sodipodi), Office applications (AbiWord, Gnumeric), HTML editors (Bluefish, Mozilla Composer), a simple finance manager (Xfinans), Internet software (Mozilla, Sylpheed, gFTP), multimedia packages (Gxine, Snack, ripperX), and a handful of simple games. Once you go through the menus and see what is available you'll have to pinch yourself to believe that the Puppy live CD you downloaded was under 60MB in size!
The light-weight default desktop (JWM) combined with many low-resource applications make for one speedy desktop experience, even on an underpowered computer where most modern distributions would probably be unusable. Only Mozilla seems like an odd choice, especially since Dillo, Firefox and Opera are all lighter and faster, but this can be easily rectified with a quick trip to DotPup. Other than that, all applications launch with a speed of light, even when running them from the live CD. Puppy boots fast as well, but the process is slowed down somewhat by the need to answer some configuration questions.
Overall, Puppy Linux is a superb, light-weight, fast and versatile Linux distribution with a great selection of applications, graphical system administration utilities and all sorts of unique features not readily available elsewhere. A great choice not only for older computers, but also for those who dislike the bloat of most modern distributions.
For more information and downloads please visit the Puppy Linux web site.
Puppy Linux has rapidly become a mature and sophisticated distribution for (not only) older computers
(full image size: 375kB)
|Released Last Week
Featherweight Linux 1.3
Featherweight Linux is a live CD based on Feather Linux, but expanded to include a minimal KDE desktop. Version 1.3 has been released. What's new? "I've upgraded e2fsprogs and e2fslibs as well as some other critical core files. I updated the apt sources and added AbiWord and Acroread, as well as the Acroread Mozilla plugin, and I added kppp. I upgraded Samba and switched the quick start Konqueror and KDE help buttons with a Mozilla button and a Konsole button. I fixed the install script where some folks were getting a blank screen after installation and added a GRUB install script for easy installation of GRUB after the initial install. The total installed size is now about 800MB." Here is the full release announcement.
The first official release of Tilix, which is a Bulgarian Linux distribution based on KANOTIX, is now available. Tilix 1.0 (code name "Boris") includes: kernel 2.6.13 with many extra modules for improved hardware support, KDE 3.4.2, latest packages from Debian sid compiled with GCC 4.0.1, many new drivers for modems and wireless network cards, new look and feel, graphical boot, new control centre for system administration, new hard disk installer, many other improvements and applications. An experimental way of updating from a previous version of Tilix is also included. For more information please refer to the official release announcement (in Bulgarian).
Tilix 1.0 - a Bulgarian live and installation CD based on KANOTIX
(full image size: 121kB)
Puppy Linux 1.0.5
A brand new version of Puppy Linux is out: "Puppy version 1.0.5 is released. Although the version number has only changed from 1.0.4 to 1.0.5, the number and quality of new features are ...awesome! Many Puppy developers have created applications that are making their début, and those guys are justly proud of what has been created. Release notes, in no particular order: Mark Ulrich has developed DotPup Downloader, a brilliant GUI application for downloading and installing DotPup packages (for the uninitiated, Puppy has two package systems, DotPup and PupGet). Keenerd has developed WAG (Wireless Access Gadget), a superb GUI for configuring a wireless networks...." Find more details on the project's news page.
EnGarde Secure Linux 3.0
EnGarde Secure Linux 3.0 Community has been released: "Guardian Digital is pleased to announce the release of EnGarde Community v3.0. This release represents the most significant number of improvements since the first version released more than four years ago. Completely redesigned web interface, firewall functionality, integrated Security-Enhanced Linux protection, and completely free updates are just a few of the outstanding new benefits. With EnGarde, you can build a complete and secure Internet presence featuring all standard Internet functions (web, DNS, email, etc) within minutes using one of the available wizards." See the release announcement for further information.
tinysofa classic server 2.0 Update 2
An updated release of tinysofa classic server, a free server-oriented enterprise distribution originally based on Trustix Secure Linux, is out: "tinysofa classic server 2.0 Update 2 (Ceara) is now generally available. This is an update release which incorporates all bug and security fixes released to date, whilst updating most packages to the latest upstream releases. 'Ceara' features: The Linux 2.6.13 kernel, grsecurity support, APT and SmartPM for advanced package management, the PHP 5 environment (5.0.4), OpenSSH 4.2, high availability features such as DRBD (0.7.13) and UCARP (1.1), the latest development tools and languages (GCC 3.4.3, Python 2.4), and much more." See the release announcement of the project's home page.
A new version of pocketlinux, a minimalist Slackware-based distribution with KDE Light, has been released. New features in version 1.3 include: "upgraded KDE components to 3.4.2, arts to 1.4.2, Firefox to 1.0.7; added multilanguage support for Firefox; added French language support; fixed some translation mistakes and typos; removed unnecessary KDM session files; added the following development packages: autoconf, gcc, gcc-g++, binutils, make, m4, perl, pkgconfig; reworked fbpanel program description / converted fbpanel configuration to UTF-8; changed the default wallpaper; set pocket-linux.de as the default Firefox homepage and changed the proportional font settings to 'Sans Serif'." Here is the full release announcement.
amaroK Live 1.3
amaroK Live is a specialist Linux live CD, based on PCLinuxOS, with a fully functional amaroK music player and a selection of Free Music. A new version was released over the weekend: "The amaroK team would like to announce the immediate release of version 1.3 of the innovative amaroK Live CD. This complete operating system is a unique collaboration between Free Software and Free Music that runs entirely from a CD. Based upon the KDE-centric PCLinuxOS, amaroK Live is not a complete Live CD distribution as much as it is a demonstration of an extremely cool audio player. With this in mind, the live CD comes with a fully functional copy of the amaroK music player bundled with tracks from Magnatune.com, the German artists Paniq and Snooze and the Norwegian performer Ugress." Read the rest of the release announcement for details.
* * * * *
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Symphony OS Beta 1
The Symphony OS project has announced a slight delay of the distribution's first beta release: "The Symphony OS Beta 1 release date has been pushed back. While I hope to have updated packages for Orchestra and Mezzo on the servers and available via apt this week, Beta 1 PR 1 will now be released on October 15th. There are several items that are still on the to-do list before we will be ready to release our new DCC based Symphony. The initial Apt-Plus release (0.01) which will be very much alpha code, will be released to the repository and the apt-plus software store will officially launch this week. The initial version of apt-plus will only contain the initial code allowing for web-based software installation. The additional tools will be included in later releases." See this forum post for more information.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
September 2005 donation: The MPlayer project receives US$400|
Following a large number of requests to donate to MPlayer (and finally receiving information about how to donate from the project's developers), we are pleased to announce that the September 2005 donation of US$400.00 was awarded to the MPlayer project. One of the most popular and innovative multimedia players for Linux, MPlayer has provided support for more audio and video formats (including many proprietary ones) than any other Linux/UNIX media player. As such, the project has greatly contributed towards the growing acceptance of Linux, especially on home desktops and entertainment workstations.
Our donations programme was recently joined by LinuxISO.co.uk, a UK-based provider of low-cost Linux and BSD distributions on CDs and DVDs, which added US$50 to our donation pool. It is always nice to see a business that benefits from open source software willing to contribute towards continued success of our favourite applications. As such, we would like to encourage our readers based in the United Kingdom to get their Linux CDs and DVDs from LinuxISO.co.uk - they have great prices, a nicely designed web site, and they support open source software!
As always, our donations programme is a joint initiative between DistroWatch and LinuxCD.org, which contributes US$50 every month. LinuxCD.org is an online store selling low-cost Linux/BSD CDs - they have the largest selection, inclusive of all the latest releases, and they offer the lowest prices. Next time you need to order your favourite Linux or BSD CDs, get them from LinuxCD.org.
This is the PayPal receipt for our donation:
Your payment for $400.00 USD to poirierg at gmail dot com has been sent.
Amount: $400.00 USD
Transaction ID: 85798270KB290933H
Subject: MPlayer Donation
Note: This is a donation by DistroWatch.com to the MPlayer project. Keep up the good work!
MPlayer's Guillaume Poirier has emailed us after receiving the donation: "Thanks a million for this generous donation. I passed the message around. Guillaume."
Here is the list of projects that received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme:
Since the launch of the DistroWatch Donations Programme in March 2004, we have donated a total of US$5,305 to various Free Software projects.
* * * * *
New distribution additions
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
That's all for this week. We hope you've enjoyed this issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • No subject (by war on 2005-10-03 14:52:38 GMT from United States) |
Distrowatch released! Woohoo!
2 • first (by ray carter at 2005-10-03 14:58:35 GMT from United States)
Can this be right? I have a chance to post the first comment? I'm currently putting Knoppix (from the DVD) on a laptop for a tech demo at the state library association meeting.
3 • No subject (by Buggy_kernel on 2005-10-03 15:01:48 GMT from Algeria)
That's my first comment, it's good to see the good work here in the DistroWatch landscape; so that's a "Good work guys" from me.
Keep on moving ..
4 • I want mandriva! (by evilmegaman on 2005-10-03 15:02:20 GMT from United States)
Anyone have any idea when mandriva's going to be released? And would it be worth it to subscribe to mandriva club? thanks! :)
And nice distrowatch weekly once again! I love mondays!
5 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2005-10-03 15:04:19 GMT from United Kingdom)
Nice issue I hope Libranet pulls through...
and next time lets give to xine (you know the better of the two (mplayer and xine))
6 • No subject (by cheetahman on 2005-10-03 15:06:03 GMT from United States)
7 • Puppy review and Browser selection. (by LinuxHungry on 2005-10-03 15:10:34 GMT from United States)
Strangely enough the latest version of mozilla is faster than firefox because it has the newest version of geco as its core firefox 1.07 has the older version no version 1.5 is faster but does not have the popular extensions ported yet and opera is not suposed to be optimised for Linux tending to favor winbloz.
link to speed tests
By the way if you havn't tried the GPL game battle for wesnoth I'g recomend it! It's getting ready for the 1.0 release really cool rpg.
8 • New issue of Tux is out! (by LinuxHungry on 2005-10-03 15:21:47 GMT from United States)
It's a free Linux magazine in pdf format.
9 • Browser speed apology (by LinuxHungry on 2005-10-03 15:24:23 GMT from United States)
It seems that opera is still pretty fast on linux sorry.
10 • Libranet and Debian Pure (by John on 2005-10-03 15:31:39 GMT from United States)
I've already switched to Debian Pure (www.debianpure.com) as my main Debian distro since it's free and works with Debian repositories, but it's too bad that Libranet might not make it. It is a fine distro.
For people who are looking for a Debian-compatible distro, Debian Pure is a fine choice. The new 0.4 installs as easy and quicker than Ubuntu and gives you all the plugins to boot. I tried Ubuntu, but didn't like that it doesn't use the Debian repos and having to install the plugins. I'm lazy I guess. Kanotix is cool, but it wiped out KDE when I tried to install Gnome. I still like Kanotix as a rescue tool. It has bailed me out a few times.
11 • Puppy linux (by diegog on 2005-10-03 15:33:07 GMT from Argentina)
I hadn't tried it yet, but I'll definitely will. My almost forgotten old PC will surely thank Ladislav for the info :-)
12 • Libranet (by Anonymous on 2005-10-03 15:34:16 GMT from Canada)
well, openlibranet sounds nice. Maybe the adminmenu could make it into debian?
13 • Browser speed apology (by LinuxHungry on 2005-10-03 15:34:19 GMT from United States)
It seems that opera is still pretty fast on linux sorry.
14 • Libranet (by Anonymous on 2005-10-03 15:39:52 GMT from Canada)
well, openlibranet sounds nice. Maybe the adminmenu could make it into debian?
15 • Mondays (by William Roddy on 2005-10-03 15:41:52 GMT from United States)
Ladislav, you've made Monday more than just another days of the week. You've made it an institution. Thank you.
16 • Donations (by AnoBG on 2005-10-03 15:42:21 GMT from Bulgaria)
Joining the donation sponsor by LINUXISO.CO.UK this month was a very good surprise for me. However, I think it is good idea money to be donated every month to more than one project.
17 • puppy linux (by klhrevolutionist at 2005-10-03 15:44:49 GMT from United States)
Well, thanks a million. I was wondering if puppy was ever going to get some
recognition. I've been going on about it ever since I have discovered your
The peach theme can easily be changed, why Barry ever chose that color is
over my head. Also, icewm, fluxbox, evilwm, pwm, enlightenment
are all available as dotpups. And the applications just work! You don't have to configure anything unless you want to.
You can visit the forum http://www.murga.org/%7Epuppy/ <-here
You can install it to any kinda drive.
To much to tell, but this distro is very different from other's!!
18 • Puppy rocks! (by cygnus on 2005-10-03 15:50:11 GMT from United States)
I'm a big fan of Puppy. I have it on an old HP tower. There's a great version of Puppy that boots directly from Windows 98, which makes it a great option for those who don't want to muck around with the MBR. I use it on my computer, as I have to keep Win98 running smoothly and don't want to screw anything up. Try it out:
One word of caution about Puppy: I tried to boot it up on an old Compaq laptop and couldn't get X to work, so it may not work on all old laptops. But for only a 60MB download, it's worth a try.
19 • Merging of Auditor and WHAX (by d00m3d on 2005-10-03 15:52:38 GMT from Hong Kong)
Good move! It is very logical to combine efforts from both development teams. Indeed, I made a multi-boot DVD with the Auditor, WHAX together with the PHLAK ISOs for numerous test purposes. If PHLAK could join forces, it would certainly become a killer security distro.
BTW, "FatMan" and "LittleBoy" are very good names for the future PHLAK editions. Names not only imply storage media, but also lethal and very explosive!
20 • Linux on old Mac (by William Roddy on 2005-10-03 15:58:49 GMT from United States)
Being on a fix income, I'm not able to spend on computers. Someone gave me a old Power Macintosh G3, Model 510, 300 mhz, no operating system. Looks like an oversided pizza box.Is there a Linux distribution that will install easily on it? I've tried to understand bootloaders for Mac, but I don't. So it has to be an easy extremely easy install. Tried Ubuntu Live for Mac, but the machine's way to old. Any idea?
As always, thanks.
21 • comment numbers (by Juha on 2005-10-03 16:00:44 GMT from Finland)
Thanks for adding those comment numbers. Makes reading a lot easier.
22 • RE: Browser speed apology (by AC on 2005-10-03 16:09:28 GMT from Australia)
And as of the latest release there are not going to be anymore ad banners. Its all good
23 • Wish if you donated to Auditor! (by Bluegene on 2005-10-03 16:40:59 GMT from Lebanon)
Hello guys, after the inspection of the Auditor distro site i noticed they requested help after google pulled out there support. since this distro is famous upon security enthusiasts, i wish if you donate to them next time. Thanks for your support. bye.
24 • I want mandriva! (by evilmegaman) (by Leo on 2005-10-03 18:13:05 GMT from United States)
I am not sure when they'll release it, probably soon. Is it worth joining the club ? It will make your life easier, in the sense of installing commercial packages (some plugins, NVIDIA drivers, et al). It also helps keeping the distro alive (until they find more business from governments, corporations) - It is a bit expensive though IMHO
Again, IMHO, ethey should have a $20 basic membership with only access to free-as-in-beer commercial apps. Anyways.
I am running the latest Mandriva from cooker (but be carefull, cooker is now unfrozen and unstable again). It looks excellent, and runs pretty fast. Only issues:
* acpi: better turn it off until they fix X.org (see release notes)
* Kat: I had to uninstall it, it makes the desktop terribly slow for me
These two issues will hopefully be addressed soon. 2006.0 is a great, great release..
25 • disturbing news (by gnobian_ken00bie on 2005-10-03 19:28:25 GMT from United States)
After nominating a former Microsoft shill to be EU ambassador, The president has nominated a former Microsft attorney to the Supreme Court.
26 • i agree (by speel on 2005-10-03 20:43:09 GMT from United States)
I totally agree with you about opening up libranet. Because sriously right now its just stagnet just sitting there only being worked on by very few.
27 • RE: Linux on old Mac (by George on 2005-10-03 20:59:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
Slackware Linux, ported for Apple Macintosh's.
28 • Linux on old Mac's (by PastorEd on 2005-10-03 21:30:15 GMT from United States)
Hello, William! I hope you're feeling well...
I read your post about Linux on an old Mac... I was also given an older Mac, and found out that it was considered a "Oldworld PowerMac". I was able to install
on it without too much trouble. Took me a few tries with Google to make sure I had all the info I needed, but I was able to have kernel 2.6.11 running on it with no problems.
The ONLY problem I had was with the X server. It looked TERRIBLE, and I could only really get X to run at 640x480 with 8 bit color. So while it was technically possible to get an older Mac to run current software, it looked horrible.
I ended up installing System 9 for it. It's a bit slow... but it looks really great. I'm hoping to sell it.
Hmm... that brings to mind... I might very well have an extra System 8 disk lying around here. If you want it for your computer (I'm pretty sure your computer can run it), just email me at pastored at comcast.net with your mailing address. I'll send it to you if you think it will help.
29 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2005-10-03 22:37:01 GMT from United States)
i have been using ubuntu since the start and i would like to know if suse would be a easier/ friendler linux. Why is opensuse so good?
30 • evil (by klhrevolutionist on 2005-10-03 22:55:11 GMT from United States)
Well, as puppy starts going up, somebody brings it down.
Somebody redirected puppy's website to a nowhere link,
In the meantime you can go here http://188.8.131.52/puppy/
It is odd that when puppy is mentioned in TUX & is the featured distro of the weak here, that now out of all times now. The site gets tampered with.
I have a good idea whom it was I believe, and when I lay my havoc onto
their website they will regret they ever messed around.
Again if you are going to puppy go here http://184.108.40.206/puppy/
31 • Puppy's indeed great, but... (by eco2geek on 2005-10-04 05:21:14 GMT from United States)
...could Mr. Kauler please tone down the sales job on his home page? I'm not sure why he needs to take the hard-sell approach for something that's already pupular...er, popular, and free. It's off-putting.
Is Puppy a Linux distro, or a used car? :-)
32 • Re: Puppy's indeed great, but... (by wildpossum on 2005-10-04 06:26:36 GMT from Australia)
Mr. Kauler is just a very dogged individual. :-)
I wonder if the new release switched from OSS to ALSA drivers. I wanted to use Skype on puppy so you could just give someone a puppy CD and say Skype away, but only the ALSA drivers support the +20dB boost button needed with low-sensitivity mikes.
33 • puppy (by klh at 2005-10-04 12:27:24 GMT from United States)
Puppy is up and going.
On puppy's main page there is little about buying puppy.
On the download page, he does mention buying puppy.
Skype is available as a pupget pkg.
If you actually use it for a couple weeks & investigate puppy,
you will see you can do a lot with puppy.
There are many pkgs. available as dotpups also.
I mean you can't download it and use it for one day.
And write puppy sucks, because you have no idea what you
are talking aboot. Try it for a while, there is more to it
than meets the eye.
34 • Good job Distrowatch! A joyful reading every week. (by bertie on 2005-10-04 13:28:04 GMT from United States)
Ditto the feeling about Debian's X-Window support, which is probably one of the most important reason in selecting distros.
I am using a retired Dell server with old video-card. Only Unbuntu 5.04 could provide me the 1280x1024 resolution.
I have no intention to offend anyone here. IMHO, Fedora 4 is the best choice for the career oriented people; Unbuntu is the best for the hobby oriented ones.
35 • Excellent Donation (by izaac on 2005-10-04 14:08:08 GMT from Mexico)
Mplayer and Xine are the best media players out there in the net, they always are suffering legal issues with drivers and patents and this brings financial problems adding the cost for developing the app (hardware, hosting, etc.).
Congratulations Mplayer and many thanks to Distrowatch.
36 • Great work! (by Jeff F. on 2005-10-04 16:31:44 GMT from United States)
Thanks again for a fantastic site and weekly update. I appreciate the excellent podcast as well. Nice job Shawn!
37 • The Battle For Wesnoth 1.0 (by LinuxHungry on 2005-10-04 16:32:32 GMT from United States)
The battle for wesnoth 1.0 has been released. It's a great rpg. I think it's better than alot of comercial games.
38 • Wesnoth Debian Sarge backport (by LinuxHungry on 2005-10-04 16:35:47 GMT from United States)
39 • X-Window (by Ed on 2005-10-04 20:37:00 GMT from United States)
"Ditto the feeling about Debian's X-Window support, which is probably one of the most important reason in selecting distros.
I am using a retired Dell server with old video-card. Only Unbuntu 5.04 could provide me the 1280x1024 resolution"
Debian's X-Window will work fine if you give it the right refresh rates and resolutions. If you're lazy, Debian Pure will do it for you. Ubuntu will also do it for you. Here's what I see as the differences between these 2 distros:
1. Based on Debian Sarge, but upgradeable to testing or unstable if you like cutting edge.
2. Fully-compatible with Debian repositories. I found apt-get works much better on this distro.
3. This seems to be a big deal for people so I'll mention it, the default Debian themes are prettier than Ubuntu's : )
4. Rock solid. Nothing crashes on this thing.
5. Installs in 10-20 minutes.
1. Based on Debian Unstable, but it runs stable enough.
2. Apt-get works 90% of the time, but does cough ocassionally with dependency issues.
3. X-Windows is slightly easier than Debian Pure.
4. Can be buggy sometimes.
5. Slightly better hardware support.
6. Installs takes longer than it should.
40 • x-window (by LinuxHungry on 2005-10-05 00:06:18 GMT from United States)
But neither Debian Pure or Ubuntu support nvidia on install mepis does... I also don't like not being able to log in as root from KDM without modifing the kdm settings. Having to run from the command prompt was one reason I changed from dos to windoz 95 years ago... Surely linux can be more newbie friendly.
41 • No subject (by gnobian_ken00bie on 2005-10-05 00:41:29 GMT from United States)
WTF are you doing running a GUI as root?
42 • No subject (by gnobian_ken00bie on 2005-10-05 00:43:32 GMT from United States)
Pardon my language - even if the expletives are abbreviated. Migraine. Still, seriously, running a GUI as root is not a smart thing to do. Especially as a newbie.
43 • Suse, Fedora, Debian (by Scott Wilson on 2005-10-05 01:07:12 GMT from United States)
Well, it seems like Open Suse is a hit! I have not tried it yet. Which brings me to a point. When the "evil" Red Hat spun off Fedora, they got hteir own listing. Yes Suse and Open Suse each have their own web sites, should the two be seperated on the ranking page?
Spent the weekend trying to configure SUSE9.3 as a server for my home network what a pain in the (pick your body part). I wish SUSE and Fedora would upgrade with apt-get distr-upgrade like Debian. I wish Debian was more like Fedora or SUSE. It may be more popluar for a base which to build a new flavor on, but Red Hat seems to dominate the Non microsoft server world, or at least here in the Arizona its the only flavor *nix besides SCO or Solaris, I will run into. Thinking of Installing Fedora Tonight.
44 • Suse, Fedora, Debian (by Antonio on 2005-10-05 03:07:36 GMT from United States)
Apparently yes, OpenSuse is a hit. Will it catch the eyes of more people and pass Mandriva first and catch up to Ubuntu?
SUSE and Fedora probably both have the ability to use apt-get to download and install applications. Fedora uses yum and it works well most of the time, sometimes it is a pain because it fails somewhere.
Debian is the largest one which mostly others measure too. Its children, Ubuntu, Knoppix, Mepis, Kanotix, Damn Small Linux, Feather are excellent in their own way but owe most of their success to Debian.
The general Linux and BSD communities come together, KDE and Gnome, Xfce, blackbox, fluxbox, enlightment, etc., while competing bring out the best of all them. Salute to all vistors of this excellent webpage/website.
45 • Re: comment #42 (by Christophe Grandsire on 2005-10-05 06:20:50 GMT from Netherlands)
I completely agree with you. Running a GUI as root is not only dangerous (especially for a newbie), it's also unnecessary, especially on Debian. I don't know how other distros are configured (I've only ever used Debian), but on Debian any program that needs root rights will also run from a user GUI (like Synaptic). You'll just have to type in your password (keyring password mostly since most apps now seem to use gksu). Now that the GNOME graphical keyring manager has hit unstable, it's a breeze to administrate that too. And having to type the password will remind you that you're about to do something that could be dangerous if you don't pay attention.
My guess would be that LinuxHungry is still fresh from the Windows world and hasn't quite understood yet that on Linux on can change identity without having to log out and log in again. So one can do administrative tasks with graphical programs without having to log in as root.
46 • Christophe re #42 (by gnobian_ken00bie on 2005-10-05 06:48:50 GMT from United States)
Thank you for the support. Mepis, which I believe the poster runs, has a root login on KDM (bad idea) but by default the screen is all red when running as root (excellent idea - ameliorate the problem and probably educate new users that what they're doing is risky.)
I've known of users with greater experience than mine (which isn't difficult) who insist on running as root most or all of the time, reasoning they reinstall so often anyway, it's not a huge risk.
Perhaps not, but this sort of thing doesn't just put one's own system at risk. We don't need Linux boxen being turned into zombies for DDoS, spam relays, and other mischief. That sort of irresponsibility can hurt all of us.
47 • X-Window (by Ed on 2005-10-05 13:21:24 GMT from United States)
"But neither Debian Pure or Ubuntu support nvidia on install mepis does"
I have had success choosing the "nv" driver on the Debian Pure install to get Nvidia 3D going. However, I usually choose "vesa" and a make a quick trip to Nvidia to download the official drivers.
48 • X-Window (by LinuxHungry on 2005-10-05 17:20:33 GMT from United States)
Yes I admit my knowledge of linux is limited...I currently have 2 pc's I have been experementing with linux one usualy runs mepis the other changes frequently the other 3 computers in my house run XP so I guess you could say I have one foot in and one out. For the record I do not run in root I log in as root when I add programs and update the only other user in my house is a 5 year old and I don't think he's that much of a security risk as he has problems logging into his own account much less root. I don't mind entering a password before making changes seems very prudent however until I made changes to the kdm setup It would not accept my password. Now i'm not saying that what I did to correct the problem is correct but I couldn't find another solution. All I really wanted to do was add opera to debian(running on my 2nd pc) after a hour of thinking I had somehow misspelled the root password I discovered you couldn't login as root...
oh well.... I've had a good nights sleep and a cold ice tea guess i'll go back and tinker with it some more.
49 • LinuxHungry (by gnobian_ken00bie on 2005-10-05 20:21:40 GMT from United States)
I've never installed Opera but perhaps someone more familiar can offer some advice there. As I recall though - it's been awhile since I ran Mepis - you can run Kpackage without actually being logged in as root. But if that wasn't the case, that's a bug.
Using a GUI only for administrative tasks - not browsing the web or checking e-mail as root - and staying logged in briefly isn't such a bad thing. It's not ideal, but it's not that bad.
The issue isn't with what a 5 year old in your house, but with a hacker outside your house. For example, a few months back, there was a security flaw in KDE's libraries for viewing images. A carefully crafted file that appeared to be an image file could execute arbitrary code - with whatever priviledges KDE was running with. Now, it was promptly patched and to my knowledge there was no exploit "in the wild". Not even a "proof of concept" exploit. But still, this illustrates the potential for mischief.
Best security practices dictate running any application with the minimum priviledges necessary for it's execution. Running a GUI as root means pretty much everything is running as root. Not good.
Ideally, you do all root tasks from a shell. But I understand that many are averse to the shell. Next best is running individual programs - e.g. Kpackage - as root. Barring that, it's at least good to be logged in as root for the shortest time possible, doing only those tasks you have to perform.
End of lecture and my apologies if I've been pedantic.
50 • re:xwindows (by LinuxHungry on 2005-10-06 02:30:44 GMT from United States)
Thank you for the advice...I did a clean install of debianpure and I think opera is installed now however I don't see It listed on the programs list in kde but I think it will run from the terminal apt says it's there anyway. kpackage is accepting my password now as well as terminal and file manager.
I was recienty put on a committee at work(I'm a nurse at a 400 bed hospital) to come up with our future software for charting lab's and other health care related items I suggested that we look at using linux as a possible solution because we are a nonprofit hospital and they had stated that the move from our current service to another windozs based service was going to be very expensive...just seemed like a good idea to me anyway the IT guys piped in and stated that the programs were not as well developed as the windoz programs and very few of our IT people could use linux. While this does not say much for our IT people, I think there is a problem when when even the elite techno geeks at work prefer windoz. I believe linux could be more user friendly.
I've never thought of what I do at home as administrating But...at least i'm better than the IT guys at work.
51 • Sysadmins re 50 (by gnobian_ken00bie on 2005-10-06 03:13:11 GMT from United States)
What you describe is quite common.
Actually, you'll find a big range of views on Linux among IT professionals. Your hospital most likely has a bunch of MCSEs (Microsoft certified Systems Engineers) who only know Windows and are invested in that platform. On the other hand RHCSEs (RedHat certified) make a lot more money so people with Linux skills tend to gravitate to places demanding those skills. Meanwhile, the MCSEs will generally spread FUD about Linux because it's a threat to their job security.
(The big bucks are currently still for SCSA and SCNA, Sun's certifications for systems and network administration on Solaris. While Linux has made a lot of porgress, a lot of the heavy lifting still gets done by Solaris or another UNIX, like HP-UX or A/IX.)
Another note. Much of the literature to pass MCSE exams is parroting back pro-Windows rhetoric and propaganda. I kid you not!
Anyway, the result of the hoards of MCSEs spouting propaganda and RHCSEs being snapped up is that small businesses and private non-profits - places that might benefit most from Linux, tend not to even be exposed to the option.
Apparently, Linux is developed enough for Google, Amazon, Wal-Mart, and quite a few other corporations. Along with NASA, the Dept. of Energy, and the NSA.
Still, a lot of non-tech-savvy managers have trouble recognizing that when someone is presenting them with options and those options only involve one vendor (Microsoft) that maybe their best interests aren't being served.
Good luck with Debian Pure.
52 • PS (by gnobian_ken00bie on 2005-10-06 03:21:46 GMT from United States)
A lot of businesses are in that position right now, with MS ending support from Windows 2000, which could run on machines made for Windows 98 or even 95. Windows XP... won't run so well. Likely, this will lead to some move toward Linux (though KDE and GNOME are still pretty demanding) but it also means a lot of old hardware coming onto the market that will run fine with XFCE4 or Fluxbox and even better as a SOHO firewall or file server.
53 • x-windows (by LinuxHungry on 2005-10-06 08:51:09 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the linux viewpoint....doubt I can change any viewpoints at work though they seem pretty entrenched.
We have already updated most of our pc's to pentium 4's although offhand I couldn't tell you much about whats under the hood, made by Dell look very small like itx box's...wouldn't recommend them though they run maintence at the same time around 1am and it sounds like blenders going off everywhere. We also have 3 notebooks for charting in the patients rooms (dells) also wouldn't recomend them either last week one would not connect to the network and the 2nd pc's LCD monitor died. These pc's are under a year old! I built 3 of my 5 pc's and don't have anywhere near the problems they have.
As for XFCE4 or FLUXBOX I love the way they look very clean desktops. One of the first distros I tried was DSL.
Debianpure seems to be going well right now but part of my problem is that I seldom get more than a hour or two to use it. Just to many things to do around here. Sometimes I get very stressed over the simpliest things yesterday I forgot how to get to the root folder from the terminal upon starting the terminal window and typing ls I was presented with a few files ending in sh and such but no directories when I typed cd cd. or cd.. nothing happened googled and 5 minutes later I had a solution cd / anyway problem solved now but it felt very degrading. I have built I guess 19 or 20 pc's in the last 4 years for people I work with, friends and myself I have never been as stumped putting the hardware together and installing software as I am when staring at a terminal window.
What is the difference between synaptic and kpackage?
54 • linuxhungry (post #53) (by Anonymous on 2005-10-06 11:38:58 GMT from Brazil)
" Sometimes I get very stressed over the simpliest things yesterday I forgot how to get to the root folder..."
A good starting point:
and this one:
55 • @ LinuxHungry (by Christophe Grandsire on 2005-10-06 12:24:22 GMT from Netherlands)
Synaptic and Kpackage are just two different graphical front-ends to apt, the command line tool for package management. I guess the main difference is that Kpackage is specifically part of KDE, whereas Synaptic is more desktop-agnostic (although it is built with GTK+ IIRC, and thus fits better in a GNOME environment). There are other graphical front-ends (I believe there is one specifically for GNOME, although I can't find its name anymore), which differ mostly by which GUI toolkit they use. They may also have slight differences in use and options, but since they are based on the same command-line tool they should be approximately equivalent.
As for your problems with the command line, notice that in Linux cd *has* to be followed by a space. So if you want to go to the parent folder type "cd ..", not "cd..". You must treat ".." (and ".") like any other filename. For the rest, you need to get familiar with the Unix folder structure. It is most unlike what you find in Windows, but it has its own logic, and once you understand that logic you won't have any problem with it anymore. Believe me, I have not 1% of the experience you have with computers and yet have no problem administrating my Debian box. It's all a matter of acquiring new habits, a bit like learning to drive on the left of the road when you've always driven on the right, and vice versa.
56 • Synaptic & KPackage (by Ariszló on 2005-10-06 15:39:57 GMT from Hungary)
Christophe Grandsire wrote: Synaptic and Kpackage are just two different graphical front-ends to apt, the command line tool for package management.
Yes, Synaptic is a front-end to APT but no, KPackages is not exactly a front-end to APT. While you can't use Synaptic without APT, you can use KPackage without it, e.g. in Slackware. The main difference is that Synaptic can also be used as a system updating tool, while KPackage is mainly useful in installing or looking inside individual packages.
I believe there is one specifically for GNOME, although I can't find its name anymore
57 • kpackage synaptic commandline (by gnobian_ken00bie on 2005-10-06 18:05:49 GMT from United States)
I mentioned kpackage because you'd mentioned Mepis earlier and I'd recalled using kpackage with mepis. But I usually use synaptic or plain old apt-get. (I've recently been learning to use aptitude though and I like it.)
This link has some different views on synaptic vs. kpackage:
Don't feel too bad about the terminal. Different people adapt more readily to different tasks and interfaces. The commandline is worth it for seriously learning Linux, but it's harder for some than others.What you've said reminds me of a joke about the opposite problem and it may offer some comfort:
How many computer programmers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
It can't be done: it's a hardware problem.
Oh, here are a few of books on the commandline that I've found helpful:
A 'practical Guide To Linux Commands, Editors, And Shell Programming by Mark G. Sobell is probably the single best book because its both a tutorial and a reference and covers both editors and shells. There are books that do parts of that better, but if you just want one book, I think this is it. But request it from the library to decide for yourself before laying out the cash.
Think Unix by Jon Lasser isn't encyclopedic but it proceeds at a leisurely and well thought out pace, exposing you to various concepts and building on that knowledge as you go. It's great for getting the reasoning behind different aspects of The Unix Way and I'm sure that will help many get more comfortable with it.
The Linux Cookbook by Michael Stutz (the Carla Shroder book by the same name is also good) has an excellent introduction to basic Linux usage and concepts and then proceeds to teach all sorts of things you can do without a GUI. The projects make this a very fun way to learn.
58 • Mandriva Release Info (by Leo on 2005-10-06 18:32:36 GMT from United States)
I thought you may want to add the following links to the story on the new Mandriva Release (I hope you read this message)
PS: I really like the new release, but I think it is a bit exaggerated: the result of the contributions from Conectiva and Lycoris are not really not very noticeable so far. For example, smart, the conectiva packet manager, is not used by default. And the user interface looks a bit cleaner and definitely more polished, but I don't see fundamental changes. Oh well, congrats to everyone at Mandriva for a great release!
59 • Apocoliptic end of internet near? (by LinuxHungry on 2005-10-07 02:45:48 GMT from United States)
Just got this story looks like the UN and USA are playing a game of chicken over who will control the internet.
60 • Or...Google makes high speed internet avilable for free! (by LinuxHungry on 2005-10-07 03:08:30 GMT from United States)
61 • more on Google (by LinuxHungry on 2005-10-07 03:16:03 GMT from United States)
Looks like they are going to give away 300kb conections.
62 • Wolvix - Superb live CD (by mikkh on 2005-10-07 23:21:52 GMT from United Kingdom)
I like Slax as a live CD, but it's small size leaves it short on the software front
So I thought I'd try Wolvix, and I'm glad I did
There's no KDE or Gnome, but before some of you run off panicking, this is, like a lot of live CD's a great advert for light window managers at their best. It has XFCE, IceWM and Fluxbox all configured very nicely.
I like IceWM myself, clean, fast and if it's set up right (which this is) just as easy to use as Gnome or KDE.
There's so much right about this distro, it's hard to know what to praise first, but I'll start with the included games. Great choice and not just the token handful of mostly rubbish that other distros seem to throw in - as an afterthought almost. 3D acceleration is not required for most, if not all of them and not only does it contain some old favourites like SuperTux and Lbreakout, but several I'd never seen before which are excellent. Metal blob solid (very good platform game), Njam (brilliant pacman clone) Head over Heels (based on, but seems better than the original C64 classic)
Loads of others and the best games live CD IMO
But the games are just an added bonus to a live CD that can play DVD's, MP3's, Access your windows NTFS partitions as standard and one very neat trick I haven't seen on other distros live or installed - connect to the internet via a USB connected cable modem with no fiddling about, just straight on like it was connected via ethernet.
I like this, I like it a lot :o)
63 • Damn Small and Puppy (by Teobromina on 2005-10-08 11:53:49 GMT from Spain)
I am glad to know that in the 'official' comment on Puppy in this issue of Distrowatch Weekly, there is a mention to DSL:
It is amazing to see how fast Puppy Linux has matured over the last few months - from a little-known minimalist distribution for older computers to an incredibly useful and versatile product which now competes with Damn Small Linux in terms of features and user-friendliness. But unlike Damn Small Linux, which was originally derived from KNOPPIX, Puppy was built from scratch, ...
This is a clever comment, because for me they are both leaders in something that can become a very important line of developement for Linux:
Those distros that are 'lives', desktop oriented, easy to manage, very very small to fit in a small 8 cm CD.
Though I love Knoppix too, both, DSL and Puppy, are really my favourites, after testing alot of them.
Visit my web:
64 • Jim Lucha, I miss you so much (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-10-09 14:12:20 GMT from Italy)
I never liked Red Hat (and now I don't like Fedora), but you made me change my mind. You were the first and the best in so many things. A modified Anaconda, such an easy and great installer. An extremely nice custom KDE, for somebody like me who doesn't use Gnome. i686 optimized software, one of the first to my knowledge. Apt4rpm, also one of the first. Ease to watch a DVD or install Nvidia. all that at the time of Red Hat 8/9.
You did very well what Ark Linux never managed to do: they refused to adopt Anaconda and their installer has caused Ark to be a total failure.
Nobody has replaced you: there are a few Fedora derivatives, but none as good as J.A.M.D.
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