| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 130, 12 December 2005
Welcome to this year's 50th issue of DistroWatch Weekly. This issue covers a variety of interesting topics, including a call to protest against introducing a DMCA-style law in France, Linux migration efforts by Berlin, Prague and Cape Town, and an insider's feedback to our last week's feature on backporting newly released applications to existing distributions. In the news section we'll introduce Security Enhanced SUSE, congratulate Patrick Volkerding, and draw your attention to a newly compiled list of FreeBSD projects for volunteer programmers. Finally, we'll take a brief look at the new Ark Linux 2005.2. Happy reading!
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
About software freedom and Linux migration efforts
We have seen the dangerous trend of big businesses in the United States influencing the law - by lobbying and successfully instituting controversial protection measures, such as software patents or the infamous Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Now it appears that this trend is moving across the big pond and into Europe. France is the first major target and, if not prevented, it will become the first country in Europe to have a law similar to DMCA (correction: Finland is the first). Once it happens, it will be illegal for French residents to circumvent any copy-protection or encryption technologies. As an example, those who download the libdvdcss library to watch encrypted DVDs on Linux or find a way to make a backup copy of a copy-protected music CD might face criminal penalties.
As a web site advocating the use of Free Software we find this trend unacceptable and worth fighting against. Europeans have already demonstrated their ability to get together when they protested against the adoption of software patents earlier this year, so let's hope that the current attempt by the French government to adopt another controversial law will suffer the same fate. But for this to happen, the French citizens need to mobilise once again. The leading advocate against the "loi DADVSI" is EUCD.INFO which also provides a way for readers to sign a petition against adopting the law. We would like to encourage all freedom-loving French citizens to visit the page and sign the petition - not only for the sake of preserving software freedom in France, but also to send out a message to other governments and legislators to think twice before they succumb to commercial interests of powerful multinationals.
Luckily, it's not all bad news on the European front this week. It would seem that, after Munich, Vienna and Paris, the next major cities to adopt Linux or at least encourage migration towards open source software for use in their municipalities are Berlin and Prague. According to Heise.de (link in German), the local government of the German capital is currently drafting a plan to switch their servers to Linux, while migration of some 60,000 desktops to Linux is also under consideration. Additionally, the city intends to introduce a formal requirement to buy and deploy only software with open standards and open document formats.
In the meanwhile, an interesting piece of news has reached us from across the border - from Prague. According to two news reports released by European eGovernment Services, the Czech capital has had an open source study and research plan since 2001, with the goal of cutting down the city's IT budget and "showing citizens that there are no economic, moral or ethical excuses for using illegal software since OSS is an alternative to proprietary software". As a result, the Czech government is now planning a range of activities in 2006 to actively encourage the use of open source software and to assist those municipalities that adopt a migration plan. More information is available here and here.
And while on the subject of migration to open source software, further good news comes from Cape Town (pictured on the right). As reported by Tectonic, the municipal offices of the South Africa's second largest city currently have some 540 desktops in daily use that run open source software, while a migration of another 500 City Library computers to open source is in the planning stage. "To those that say the open source desktop is not ready for wide usage we say 'we are already doing it'," asserts Nirvesh Sooful, head of the IS&T Directorate in Cape Town. (Disappointingly, the city's open source deployment plan has so far by-passed its official web site, which is still hosted on Windows and IIS.)
The above gives a good indication that more and more municipalities and government offices around the world have started seeing the value in open source software and begun migration plans.
How about the government in your city? Is it still using your tax money to pay massive license fees for running proprietary, closed-source and closed-format software in places where Free Software would do perfectly fine?
* * * * *
Miscellaneous news: SESUSE, Patrick Volkerding, FreeBSD list of projects for volunteers
One of the positive side effects of opening up the development of SUSE Linux to public is the emergence of various specialist sub-projects based on this popular distribution. The latest addition to this growing family is SESUSE (Security Enhanced SUSE), a hardened distribution for those users who demand extra strong security features. The project is presently in early development, but the first release, based on the upcoming Alpha 4 of SUSE Linux 10.1, is expected shortly. The distribution will have SELinux enabled by default, it will ship with both KDE and GNOME, and it will include a new YaST module for configuring security profiles. For more information please see the unofficial announcement and visit the SESUSE project page.
Followers of the Slackware current changelog were greeted with a rather unusual entry last weekend. "It's a girl!" declared the title of a new post, the first one in over a month. It turned out that Patrick Volkerding, the 38-year old maintainer of Slackware Linux and one of the most prominent personalities in the world of Linux distributions, had just had his first child: "I know a lot of you have been wondering what's going on here, and the news is that my wife Andrea delivered our first child, a daughter Briah Cecilia." Our warmest congratulations to Patrick and Andrea! More details (including some mundane stuff, such as upgrades to the Linux kernel, glibc, GCC and ALSA, and a promise that "things should be getting back to normal here (more or less) over the next couple of weeks") can be found in the Slackware current changelog.
FreeBSD has published a new list of projects and ideas that could help to extend its features and has invited volunteers who might be interested in contribution code: "The FreeBSD project has hundreds of active developers spread all over the world, and many of them have their own parts of the source-tree that they work on. However, there are always a lot of new interesting projects and ideas that needs to be investigated and evaluated, and this is where the FreeBSD project relies on heroic efforts from volunteers." All projects are highly technical and require the ability to write code. Please see this page for more information.
* * * * *
Feedback: On backporting applications
Our last week's feature on backporting newly released applications to stable distributions has stirred quite a debate. One of the more interesting posts was the one from John Dong, the Ubuntu Backports project leader. With more backporting experience than most, John has outlined some of the pitfalls of backporting complex applications to well-tested distribution releases. Some readers felt that it was worth reprinting John's posts for the benefit of those readers who don't read the forums. So here it goes:
- Backporting is a sweet way for us to enjoy the hot new things in the Open Source world without compromising stability like running a development/CVS/snapshot release.
- Backporting can be a major PITA if not done correctly! There are lots of compatibility issues that stem from poorly or recklessly done backports.
- Developers know what they're talking about, and what they're doing. Nobody's voice is being ignored. Most backports are just a handful of commands (just a few minutes of interactive work), so there is not much effort in the actual backporting process. So if a developer doesn't backport a certain package, it's been done with good reason.
For example, Firefox 1.5 has been a very popular request for the Ubuntu Backports project. However, backporting Firefox also requires recompiling over 50 source packages in the Ubuntu collection, and even then there is no guarantee that the recompiled packages would work correctly. As of now, everything from Mono applications (that use HTML rendering) to the GNOME Help viewer is broken by recklessly compiling a set of firefox backports, just to give you an idea about the degree of breakage.
Sometimes, there is more to a package than meets the eye -- especially true of Firefox. It's not just a browser (though that's what most people think) -- it's an embeddable HTML rendering library that's used at the core level by a majority of the Linux desktop programs that utilize HTML rendering. There is a lot more work than meets the eye when you do something. I hope now people see that the "I unpacked the damn 1.5 tarball, what's so difficult about backporting it?" argument does NOT work!"
I'd like to emphasize the importance of compatibility again. There are two aspects of compatibility: A platform for 3rd party developers to target, and consideration for the consequences of backports to users:
- As much as your distribution is able to package OSS (or even restricted) packages, others will at times need to make packages for Linux themselves. These could be authors of less-popular OSS software, or even large commercial vendors wanting support of the Linux community.
Either way, when they package, they need a platform that they can depend on. For example, if I am a commercial vendor that wants to make packages for RHEL, I expect the package to work with RHEL, no matter how much of RHEL's software I must link to. That's one thing enterprise-grade Linux is good at -- providing a well targetable uniform platform. For the life of RHEL, I can expect that the package I made 12 months ago will continue to function on this platform.
Ubuntu also tries to be that way, though we certainly do make more releases! Through the 18 (or more) months of support, we strive to make each release a targetable enterprise-grade platform. As a results, Backports has to be careful not to introduce incompatibilities in the process of providing updates. In the Firefox example, backporting Firefox 1.5 would cause any 3rd party package linked to the Ubuntu Firefox Gecko engine to need recompiling (meanwhile they'll crash on attempts to use Gecko), which is something I cannot do. Recompiling the 55 source packages in the Ubuntu repositories: sure, I have the authority to request that done. Telepathically recompile every 3rd party package that's made and will be made for Ubuntu Breezy 5.10 within the next 16 months? Sorry, don't think I can do that.
- A part of the Code of Conduct (the core philosophy behind Ubuntu) is to be considerate. Backports has to be considerate to other Ubuntu users, and the consequence to every user is weighed before a backport is officially made. For example, consider the Firefox backport example again (wow, this is becoming a popular example): many people heavily customize their Firefox profiles, usually through extensions. Most of us Firefox 1.5 adopters know that the Extension API in 1.5 is not compatible with 1.0.x. As a result, many extensions that work fine in 1.0 will not run when Firefox is upgraded to 1.5.
At the same time, there are many Ubuntu users who use Ubuntu as an enterprise-class workstation OS for getting job-critical work done. For me to decide to introduce a new package that breaks a core application for them is not considerate to them, and causes them countless headaches.
Maybe I and many of us amongst here are Linux hobbyists / enthusiasts that can deal with (or even enjoy) the occasional breakdown and fix here and there, but others cannot accept this and consider it downtime.
Until there is a user-friendly way to allow users to make a conscious decision as to what "potentially incompatible Backports" to install, I will tread very cautiously and only provide absolutely safe, top-quality packages to Backports users. Those hobbyists amongst us can use Backporting scripts (like ubp-build.py [google]) to make their own backport packages (oh boy, I think I have 50+ of those installed at the moment!).
John Dong, Ubuntu Backports Team Leader
|First looks: Ark Linux 2005.2
Ark Linux 2005.2
When Ark Linux was first announced in 2002, it created much excitement as it was to become the first free distribution designed for novice and non-technical computer users. The fact that it was led by such an experienced and well-known developer as Bernhard "Bero" Rosenkraenzer, previously coding for Red Hat, added more credibility and expectations to the project. But some three years and one buggy release later, the distribution has failed to attract many users. Partly responsible for this failure was the emergence of other free, user-friendly distributions, such as MEPIS or PCLinuxOS, with larger and more active communities, and more frequent releases.
Nevertheless the developers of Ark Linux have continued their work. Last week, the project's second stable release hit the mirrors and I decided to take a look. The new version 2005.2 comes with an updated system installer, the latest development kernel, X.Org 6.9 from cvs, KDE 3.5.0, Firefox 1.5, OpenOffice.org 2.0, and many other up-to-date applications, some bordering on the bleeding edge. It also includes 3D acceleration support for ATI graphics cards and the usual improvements in hardware detection, speed and usability.
The Ark Linux installer now provides an "expert mode" by integrating QTParted for custom partitioning and a screen for selecting partitions to install the distribution. While this is a welcome addition, I found it somewhat broken, with GRUB being setup incorrectly when told to write to the root partition instead of the Master Boot Record. Also, QTParted feels a little out of place, lacking "continue" button once you finish the partitioning. The installer still gives a feeling of something designed in the Caldera era of mid-nineties, somewhat awkward to use and with no support for the USB mouse wheel. I am, of course, writing this from the point of view of somebody who has performed hundreds of Linux installations so new Linux users might have a more favourable view of the installer. Nevertheless, I feel that Ark Linux should perhaps make use of one of the tried and tested open source installers, rather than re-invent the wheel.
I found the hardware detection and setup a little flaky as well. While the Realtek 8139too network card was configured correctly, the SoundBlaster Live! sound card was not (permission problem) and the screen resolution was set to 1024x768, which is lower than the maximum resolution supported by the monitor. Worse, there was no way to increase this in Ark's Mission Control - a surprising omission for a distribution designed for use by non-technical computer users. These are issues that many less beginner-friendly distributions solved a long time ago so it was disappointing to see Ark failing here.
On the positive side, after the GRUB problem was fixed and the hardware setup failures corrected, Ark turned out to be a very nice operating system. The beautifully designed Mission Control is a pleasure to use and Kynaptic and KPackage were pre-configured and ready for installing, removing and updating packages. The developers have resisted the temptation to introduce heavy customisations to KDE, the only available desktop, preserving its default look and feel. One of the more interesting aspects of the distribution is the omission of the "root" user - the system logs you straight into a user account with elevated privileges to modify system settings, but without the right to delete or alter important system files. Power users can access the root account via the "Super User Terminal".
Overall, Ark Linux 2005.2 is not a bad distribution, but I don't think it is quite ready to be called "beginner-friendly". More experienced users might, however, find it a worthwhile project, especially since it attempts to be on the bleeding edge of open source software development and its "dockyard" package repository is continuously updated. Perhaps a little extra attention to detail, some usability studies and better installer with more testing could bring it closer to the beginner-friendly league, but as it is now, this goal remains elusive.
For more information about Ark Linux please visit the project's home page at arklinux.org.
Ark Linux 2005.2 - still not quite as beginner-friendly as it would like to be.
(full image size: 1,367kB)
|Released Last Week
EnGarde Secure Linux 3.0.2
A new update to EnGarde Secure Linux 3.0 series has been released: "Guardian Digital is happy to announce the release of EnGarde Secure Community 3.0.2. This release includes several bug fixes and feature enhancements to the Guardian Digital WebTool, the SELinux policy, and the LiveCD environment. New features include: a new WebTool frontend to the AIDE filesystem integrity checker; daily, weekly, and monthly graphs for the Snort IDS WebTool module; the latest stable versions of MySQL (5.0.16), fetchmail (6.3.0), and Snort (2.4.3)...." Find a more complete list of changes in the release announcement.
Kate OS 2.3
The Kate OS distribution has been updated to version 2.3: "We are proud to present the newest milestone release of Kate OS II series. Kate OS 2.3 brings 22.214.171.124 kernel with Reiser4 support, the newest glibc library, XFce 126.96.36.199 desktop environment and many other applications in current versions. We have modified system boot scripts so they present the boot sequence in a clear way. Another new addition in Kate OS is a hardware detection tool 'discovery', which detects and configures system hardware. ... Additionally, the DVD edition contains GNOME 2.12.1 and KDE 3.4.3 (optimized for i686 class processors)." Read the complete release announcement on the project's home page.
Helix is a customised distribution of the Knoppix live CD dedicated to incident response and forensic analysis of compromised computer systems. A new version 1.7 has been released: "Helix 1.7 has been released. This edition revamped the GUI on the Windows side with all new code and added some new tools. The Linux side has been dramatically updated with a brand new 2.6.14 kernel that features many new RAID and SATA drivers." Read the release announcement and changelog for further information.
B2D Linux 20051207, 20051208
The December release of B2D Linux is now available for download. B2D Linux is a Taiwanese live and installation CD based on Knoppix, with complete support for traditional Chinese. The major changes in this release are: upgrade to kernel 188.8.131.52, upgrade to Firefox 1.5, inclusion of OpenOffice.org 2.0.0 (an enhanced Chinese edition packaged by OpenDesktop.org.tw), newly added ability to switch between UTF8 and Big5 locales from within a graphical utility, switch to xcin 3.0 for Chinese input, and several other enhancements. See the release notes (in Chinese) for a more detailed description of the changes.
64 Studio 0.6.0
64 Studio is a Debian-based Linux distribution with a collection of software for digital content creation on x86_64 hardware. It's based on the pure 64 port of Debian GNU/Linux, but with a specialised package selection and lots of other customisations. The latest version is 0.6, released yesterday: "I'm glad to announce the 0.6.0 version of the 64 Studio distribution. The release features many major software upgrades and system enhancement, for further details just have a look to the list of closed tickets for this milestone." More information is available in the release announcement and on the project's web site.
Ufficio Zero 0.7
Hot on the heals of the recently released version 0.6, the developers of Italy's Ufficio Zero, based on Ubuntu Linux, have announced another new release: "Ufficio Zero 0.7 has been released. This release features a big step forward with the new version of 'automatico', an automatic software installer based on gnome-app-install. A simple guide through all daily tasks has been included in the distribution so users can find information right on their desktop." Like the previous version, Ufficio Zero 0.7 is a live CD only, without a hard disk installation option. Read the full release announcement (in Italian) for further information.
ClarkConnect Gateway/Server 3.2 R1
The recently released ClarkConnect Gateway/Server 3.2 has received its first bug-fix revision: "From time to time, we release ISO downloads with all the latest updates and bug fixes. Revision Notes: intrusion detection report generation; system watch connection issues with some ISPs; PPTP VPN blocked access to local server; PPPoE configuration issue on a new network interface; Webmail configuration error on a new installation; cosmetic issue with the rpm command." Read the complete revision notes for further details.
SLAMPP 1.0 "Lite"
A "lite" edition of the SLAMPP 1.0 live CD project for home servers has been released: "As I promised before, a lite version of SLAMPP is now available for public download. It contains only essential server applications and other tools that will support your web development work. To keep SLAMPPLite small and make it easy to update, I've chosen to include a ready-made solution called XAMPP, developed by nice people at Apache Friends. ... A new linux kernel 184.108.40.206 has been used. To compile all things into a live CD, I also updated the linux live scripts which will be available for you to use as well. You can use it to edit or re-master SLAMPPLite if you have intention to do so in the future." Here is the full release announcement.
Berry Linux 0.65
A new version of Berry Linux has been released: The most important changes in version 0.65 include the following: upgrade to Linux kernel 220.127.116.11 with SMP, udev and bootsplash, upgrade to KDE 3.5.0, upgrade to Firefox 1.5, newly added Thunderbird mail client version 1.5rc1. XMMS and Mozilla have been removed and MPlayer upgraded to its latest development release. GCC has been upgraded to version 4.0.2. See the complete changelog for further information.
Coyote Linux 3.00.31
Build 31 of the Coyote Linux Personal Firewall distribution 3.00 has been released: "Coyote Linux 3.00 build 31 is available for download. This release fixes the following problems: UPnP service not working properly; web admin page not working for http remote access config; web admin reload function fixed to prevent blocking access to the web admin after a reload; several unused files were cleaned from the root firmware image. This release also contains an updated version of the firmware loader. NOTE: This release can not be upgraded to using the firmware update web admin page. Until the firmware loader specs and process are finalized, this function can not be used." The release announcement.
Ark Linux 2005.2
A new major version of Ark Linux, an easy-to-use distribution designed for non-technical users, was released today: "The Ark Linux team is pleased to announce the release of Ark Linux 2005.2. The highlights of this release include: an upgrade to the KDE 3.5 desktop; OpenOffice.org has been upgraded to version 2.0; 3D acceleration on ATI Radeon 9600 and 9800 based hardware is now supported; handling of auto running inserted CDs and DVDs has been improved; hardware support has been improved; unsupported PCI / wireless network cards can now automatically be configured to use a Windows XP driver through the Ndiswrapper emulation layer; some USB printers are configured fully automatically...." More details are available in the long press release.
Foresight Linux 0.9.2
A new version of Foresight Linux, a desktop-oriented distribution based on rPath Linux, has been released: "It has been a long hard road, but 0.9.2 ISOs are now posted. I will say they aren't perfect, but a huge jump from the previous ISOs released. What has changed? The GTK theme has been hacked to use colors that match our look better; default icon set is 'Tango'; stripped out stuff that folks won't even miss, which shaved 120MB off the 2nd CD; added laptop-tools, which includes some nice wireless drivers, NetworkManager, GNOME Power, and ndisgtk (GUI for configuring windows wireless drivers); convert back to using GNOME Systems Tools; package selection in the installer." More details can be found in the release announcement.
Wolvix 1.0.4 Games Edition
A new edition of the Wolvix live CD, featuring over 50 games, has been released: "Games Edition features over 50 games in different categories, four emulators and quite a few desktop applications. You won't find World of Warcraft or Half-Life 2 on the CD, but I've tried to include some of the finest free Linux games and I think there should be a game or two for most people, I've even added dopewars for your grandma. ;-) None of the games require 3D drivers, so you should be able to play most games on any graphics card." More in the release announcement and on the Games Edition page.
* * * * *
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
New distribution additions|
- How-Tux. How-Tux is a Slackware-based, desktop-oriented Linux distribution with the installer translated into Italian and most applications localised for the benefit of Italian speakers. Compared to Slackware, How-Tux is enhanced by GWARE GNOME, OpenOffice.org, and several extra multimedia and graphics applications.
- 64 Studio. 64 Studio is a collection of software for digital content creation on x86_64 hardware (that's AMD's 64-bit CPUs and Intel's EM64T chips). It's based on the pure 64 port of Debian GNU/Linux, but with a specialised package selection and lots of other customisations. It will be marketed to hardware OEMs in the creative workstation and laptop markets as an alternative to the 64-bit version of Windows XP, or OS X on Apple hardware.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
And with this we'll say good-bye until next Monday. We hope you've enjoyed this issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
1 • Wow! (by war on 2005-12-12 10:25:56 GMT from United States) |
An early release of DW :)
2 • Ark Linux (by Alan Moser on 2005-12-12 10:37:35 GMT from United States)
It is sad to see that a distro with that much promise failed to attrack users/developers. A project like Ark has great potental, but the one thing that keeps distros like Ark from comming main stream is the fact of commercal backing. Look at SUSE, RedHat/Fedora, Ubuntu, Mandriva. They all have companys behind them, and really that is what the "unexperinced" end-user wants to see, a company; not a few developers.
3 • Slackware next generation (by IMQ on 2005-12-12 10:42:37 GMT from United States)
Congratulations to Patrick and Andrea!
4 • VLC in PcLinuxOS (by possum-buster on 2005-12-12 11:19:44 GMT from France)
A quick work of appraisal for the latest release of PcLinuxOS, the one and only distro (I know of) to integrate the excellent all-purpose multimedia reader and streamer: VLC (VideoLan Client). Thank you very much.
5 • Ark linux (by Agris on 2005-12-12 11:44:12 GMT from Latvia)
2 • Ark Linux (by Alan Moser on 2005-12-12 10:37:35 GMT from United States)
It is sad to see that a distro with that much promise failed to attrack users/developers. A project like Ark has great potental, but the one thing that keeps distros like Ark from comming main stream is the fact of commercal backing. Look at SUSE, RedHat/Fedora, Ubuntu, Mandriva. They all have companys behind them, and really that is what the "unexperinced" end-user wants to see, a company; not a few developers.
Can't agree - look at the MEPIS
6 • NetBSD (by Anonymous on 2005-12-12 11:57:54 GMT from Canada)
Why NetBSD 3.0 is not in the "Upcoming Releases and Announcements" ?????
7 • Ark Linux 2005.2 (by John Coombes on 2005-12-12 11:59:41 GMT from Australia)
Now I am not exactly a newbie am I ? I was dissapointed that I could not get it to Custom install to the partitions on the HDD (/dev/hdbx) I wanted it to go on to - I had pre-prepaired them (so I could multi-boot-Linux-distros) and it did not like my having 2 Swap partitions on /dev/hda7 and /dev/hdb8 - infact the only time I thought I was their it balked at the 2 swaps _ or _ if I could un-tick one then it stopped immediatly and rebooted ?
So as I was trying to put it on an old P2 400Mh box with 256 Mb of physical RAM (I thought it would be a good distro only requiring 128 Mb) I gave up and I will give you all one guess.
Did you get it in 1 ? - PCLinuxOS P.92 installed with out any problem - even though I just scraped in with the minimum RAM - took this old box over 1 hour to do the copying from CD to HDD (/dev/hdb1 = / and /dev/hdb5 = /home) - lest say it took maybe 2 hours all up and I was up and running.
Pity that Ark Linux 2005.2 would not let me install it - with out wiping out every thing eles _ OR _ just a re-size dos/win option - the customise was not what I have come to be used to with other distros
Ah well perhaps ( IMHO ) a heak of a lot more work must be done on the installer - Again a pity as I have wasted my time downloading the Install CD and the Extras CD from http://linuxtracker.org (which you will find is the same tracker they are using - even if you get the torrent off the ArkLinux site (look inside with any trext editor - I have no problem with that) Hope other downloaders had better luck than I did installing ArkLinux 2005.2 ?
OK that was my experiance this time round with ArkLinux 2005.2 - any others have some thing to say about it ?
Happy Days with what ever Distro you use
8 • life (by jollyx on 2005-12-12 12:10:10 GMT from Bulgaria)
What an amazing and beutiful life, isn't it? A year ago Patrick was suffering from a mysterios illness but now he is a happy father. Congratulations to Patrick and Andrea !!!
9 • Ark 2005.2 - Expert Install worked for me (by HappyUserFromBrazil on 2005-12-12 12:48:42 GMT from Brazil)
"Expert Install" worked for me. The install recongnized my pre-configured swap partition (HDA6) and the system was installed on a pre-formated partition (HDD5 = ext2).
My test system is a Pentium 3 733 MHz, RAM = 256 MB, 3 HDs, video = SiS 305, SB Live!, Realtek 8139.
10 • Ark Linux (by 1c3d0g on 2005-12-12 12:48:46 GMT from Aruba)
"Can't agree - look at the MEPIS"
MEPIS is going down the drain after their latest disastrous move...bad example. A good example is Slackware, still going strong for over 10 years without official company backing.
Congrats Patrick & Andrea!
11 • RE: 6 • NetBSD (by ladislav on 2005-12-12 13:01:45 GMT from Taiwan)
Does NetBSD have a roadmap or release schedule? If so, please point me to it so that I can update the list.
12 • Distrowatch donations (by Dustin Laurence on 2005-12-12 13:05:20 GMT from United States)
May I suggest that the next Distrowatch donation go to EUCD.INFO or another organization opposing the "loi DADVSI" law?
13 • Ark Linux (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-12-12 13:23:56 GMT from Italy)
"Nevertheless, I feel that Ark Linux should perhaps make use of one of the tried and tested open source installers, rather than re-invent the wheel."
I have been preaching this for years. Glad to hear this from somebody like Ladislav.
However their extremely basic installer allowed me to install Ark Linux for the first time since the early betas (I was using "expert mode")
As to the overall experience, the permissions and the password-less user and root confused me at first (the first thing I tried was "sudo passwd", but I got the usual tirade)
I have also a SoundBlaster Live! sound card: no sound, and alsaconf didn't work (a bug, because I was finally working as root)
I found it also pretty odd that they are using an unstable kernel.
Well, overall not a distro I'd spend much time on and not one I'd recommend to newbies either.
14 • SESUSE (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-12-12 13:30:28 GMT from Italy)
Very welcome news. I am using Kanotix myself, and I have enhanced its security. SUSE is another favourite of mine, but 10.0 refuses to cooperate with my hardware.
15 • Screen Shot (by Benjamin Bach on 2005-12-12 13:32:22 GMT from Denmark)
Your screen shot of Ark is 1,4 MB.... that's a silly way to spend bandwidth =)
16 • EUCD and Finland (by nojoopa on 2005-12-12 13:32:24 GMT from Finland)
France is not the first European country to adopt EUCD. Unfortunately.
...and the obligatory slashdot reference:
The new legislation will come (partially) into effect 1.1.2006.
17 • Congrats to Slack King (by Flavio de Oliveira on 2005-12-12 13:43:23 GMT from Brazil)
May I suggest a donation to buy clothes and toys for Briah Cecilia?
Congratulations to Patrick and Andrea !!!
18 • Good news. (by Roy Stefanussen on 2005-12-12 13:48:17 GMT from United States)
Very happy to hear about Patrick and Andrea.
As a user of one of the many Slacware-based distros (Vector), I wish them Happines and Good Health.
19 • not sure if this is relevant (by aUbaWok on 2005-12-12 13:48:19 GMT from United States)
I just wanted to express my appreciation for this wonderful site, the work that goes into preparing it, and the information it contains. I am a happy linux user for 11 months running, and I don't think it would have been quite the successful or happy experience it has been were it not for DistroWatch.com!
20 • Ark Linux (by Chavezfan on 2005-12-12 13:52:28 GMT from United Kingdom)
Agris is correct; Mr Moser is mistaken and out of touch with RoW like so many of his compatriots. Out here, we admire things that do NOT sell out their birthright to big biz. We abhor the leeming-like adherence to capitalism - it is doomed to fail. Linux appeals because it is NOT associated with criminal organisations hell-bent on world domination, requiring their own Department of Justice to convict. Ark needs support and help. Not a message that lies easily with those sleepwalking to oblivion.
21 • Stick to the point (by Benevolent9 on 2005-12-12 14:26:12 GMT from United States)
Congrats to Chavezfan for turning a perfectly acceptable discussion into a political hit. Yet another example of a liberal that can't keep his mouth shut. Not everyone here follows the party line, Hugo.
22 • Backports (by Steff on 2005-12-12 14:27:01 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks foir the quality explanation about the issues with backporting. However, as all interesting comments, it leads to more questions.
Is there a way to prevent the new version of Firefox 1.5 from interfering with the rest of the system? Perhaps keeping the old version 1.07 and install 1.5 in /home/steff/firefox would do the trick? Or sandboxing it in some other way?
Yes, I know, this is no support forum. Still, I would appreciate if someone can answer this question. S
23 • Firefox installation (by Reuben Perelman on 2005-12-12 14:38:54 GMT from United States)
"Is there a way to prevent the new version of Firefox 1.5 from interfering with the rest of the system? Perhaps keeping the old version 1.07 and install 1.5 in /home/steff/firefox would do the trick? Or sandboxing it in some other way?"
Install it in /usr/local/.
24 • Bedtime in the Volkerding household (by Steff on 2005-12-12 14:55:31 GMT from United Kingdom)
Briah: "Dad, tell me a story"
Patrick: "Sure, which story would you like to hear?"
B: "Little Red Riding Hood!"
P: "Little Red Riding Hood wanted to send her granma the pictures of her nice new dress.
So, she logged in, fired up Mutt, wrote a nice little message and opened the folder /home/littlered/pics to attach the pictures to granma. But then she remembered that she had left the files in her school PC.
'No problem - she thought - I will just telnet into the school server and access my account!' She was forgetting what wise granma had told her several times 'Telnet is not an encrypted protocol, open it is dangerous to use it! Always open an ssh tunnel instead!'
As it happened, the Big Bad Wolf, the black hat hacker always up to no good, had just logged in from his liar in the forest."
25 • Response to 22 (by John Dong on 2005-12-12 15:00:28 GMT from United States)
Another great issue of DWW! Cool to be quoted/mentioned :).
For packages like Firefox, it's fairly simple to install 1.5 in a separate location, rename the executable to something else (firefox -> firefox-1.5), then run it from there. In fact, that's what I'm recommending people do for Ubuntu instead of waiting on a 1.5 backport. Since there are ready-made binaries at mozilla.com and a GUI for extracting tar.gz files, it's also very user-friendly.
However, this method gets extremely hairy as the number of executables grow. For example, it's not feasible to install two versions of GNOME side by side without A LOT of effort.
26 • Re: Firefox installation (by Joeb on 2005-12-12 15:02:24 GMT from United States)
"Install it in /usr/local."
That may not be a good idea. If everything that is using html rendering is tied to the as-shipped version of Firefox, what happens when you are running the 1.5 from /usr/local and some other app tries to hit the gecko engine?
In addition, it is still going to use the same .mozilla directory in your home directory for it's settings. This could cause problems if you have to revert back to the original version.
Finally, unless you change your path statement or the symlink, it is going to find the original version before the new version in /usr/local.
All in all, unless there is a very specific need to go to 1.5, with all the problems it could cause, it might just be better to wait for it to be packaged.
27 • Response to 26 (by John Dong on 2005-12-12 15:24:01 GMT from United States)
"what happens when you are running the 1.5 from /usr/local and some other app tries to hit the gecko engine?"
Using embedded Gecko: Typically /usr/lib is placed before /usr/local in the PATH. Also, the official Firefox 1.5 does not install any Gecko rendering libraries that may be used from other apps. Apps that need embedded Gecko will continue to use your distribution's version.
Launching URL's: That's the mozilla remote launch client's job, and from all my testing works regardless of Firefox versions.
"In addition, it is still going to use the same .mozilla directory in your home directory for it's settings. This could cause problems if you have to revert back to the original version."
This is a very legitimate concern. My testing shows that profile folders do NOT gracefully migrate between the two Firefox versions.
28 • Firefox side by side (by Leo on 2005-12-12 15:33:44 GMT from United States)
As I said in last week's DWW: just use klik to install it. It worked very nicely for me !
29 • RE: #5 & #20 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-12-12 15:49:18 GMT from Italy)
"Can't agree - look at the MEPIS"
Overhyped, buggy, closed source installer... (good marketing though)
If everybody felt like you, linux wouldn't be much more relevant than the many hobby operating systems out there (that is: zero relevance)
30 • Choosing the Right Server... (by guhappy on 2005-12-12 15:57:02 GMT from United States)
Thank you for another interesting issue of DistroWatch Weekly. By the way, what is a good server distro for older hardware (i.e. Intel Celeron processor 333 MHz with 256MB RAM)? I want to be able to run a secure web, FTP, and mail server from home for testing purposes. I'm considering VectorLinux, DSL, Engarde, ClarkConnect, and SME Server. Which one should I choose? Thanks for the help.
31 • re: Choosing the Right Server (by Anonymous on 2005-12-12 16:33:56 GMT from United States)
That's not really a server IMHO. If you have to run it on that though, use Gentoo. Most modern Linux distros are going to be too bloated to run on that hardware. Gentoo will let you install a minimal system on it that is secure and useable.
32 • Re: Choosing the Right Server... (by guhappy on 2005-12-12 16:37:02 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the info on Gentoo. I will definitely try it.
33 • Server distro (by John Dong on 2005-12-12 16:50:57 GMT from United States)
May I also suggest Debian or Ubuntu, also great server choices if you can't stand compile times (or you got a poorly cooled system that doesn't handle compiling well).
Otherwise, Gentoo is cool for a server.
34 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2005-12-12 17:15:56 GMT from United States)
clarkconnect HIGHLY reccomended
35 • LOving Frugalware 0.4pre1 (by RobNyc on 2005-12-12 17:31:54 GMT from United States)
I installed Frugalware 0.4pre1 on my Celeron 635mhz 256mb with kde 3.5 and gnome 2.12.2 and its just amazing, havent rebooted since almost 3 days uptime . Actually my sister shut it down so I only have 13hrs 45mins up , wow who does this on a 635mhz pc ? ITs so fast... 90.5m/247mb being used of ram, torsmo, xchat, and gaim under kde 3.5 running
Now I had to install it on my prescott p4 3.0ghz 1gb ddr400 ram because I always been a fan of frugal 12h 9m uptime 237m/1009mb being used. I have azureus, amsn, gaim, firefox, terminal, xchat & torsmo running here under gnome 2.12.2 :)
It's just too fast, too good, too great. And it keeps getting better .
36 • Re: Sever Distro (by guhappy on 2005-12-12 17:38:25 GMT from United States)
I considered Ubuntu, but I thought that GNOME would run slowly on that PC. But, looking at the Ubuntu site, the minimum requirements for the Server setup are 64MB RAM and 600MB Hard Drive Space. This will be a hard decision :)
37 • Must Announce my other distro(S) (by RobNyc on 2005-12-12 17:38:27 GMT from United States)
The only thing I didn't like about FW right now is it doesnt have reiser4 built-in the kernel so I cant chroot to my other partition (Gentoo w/ reiser4) .
I must also say.. Kororaa (Gentoo) rocks hard. Conrad (Gentoo) also especially for those non-n00bs (But I am a n00b) . DesktopBSD (love it and if u want a FreeBSD system fast get this) . Frugalware ( The Bleeding-Edge Baby That Works Even if its Bleeding-Edge) . Kanotix ( My favorite Debian Sid based distro for the debian lovers ) . Nexenta (New Project but it got me hooked ) . Arch Linux (Good Distro) . Overall no distro can beat Gentoo, BSD or Debian because of their repository size and long years of success.
I was using Underground Desktop for the past week and its just too buggy. Has memory leaks and too bad its giving Arch Linux a bad name.
38 • ahh.. PCLinuxOS (by RobNyc on 2005-12-12 17:39:30 GMT from United States)
how can I forget my lovely PCLinuxOS .. It's just the best thing out there for a newbie. Ubuntu is just too slow
Soon when Phaeronix (Gentoo) comes in January or so. We will rule the world :)
39 • 19 • not sure if this is relevant (by x on 2005-12-12 17:42:12 GMT from United States)
John Dong, thanks for the information, not everyone understands why things work differently than expected.
40 • Ark Linux (by 1c3d0g) (by Anonymous on 2005-12-12 17:56:23 GMT from United States)
"MEPIS is going down the drain after their latest disastrous move...bad example."
What happened to MEPIS that was a disastrous move??
41 • Ubuntu as a server (by John Dong on 2005-12-12 17:57:56 GMT from United States)
You don't necessarily have to install GNOME on a server. Type in "server" at the bootup screen, and it'll install a base system (CLI), and you can use your good friend APT to do the rest. The process will be very similar to Gentoo, only with a friendlier installer and no long waits for installing.
The 18 month security backing per stable release and 6 month release cycle is really nice. Depending on your mood, you can confidently keep your setup for 18 months with no worries of an update breaking something or forcing you to reconfigure something, or be more exciting and do 6-month updates to take a look at the latest and greatest.
If you're not very CLI-oriented, may I echo the suggestion of ClarkConnect, which is CentOS/RHEL based and has a wonderful web based administration console.
There are so many great choices -- do you have time to explore them all? ;-)
42 • ClarkConnect for the win! (by guhappy on 2005-12-12 18:19:35 GMT from United States)
Yes I'm not very CLI-oriented, so I will try ClarkConnect first. But, the 18 month security backing of Ubuntu sounds great. Finally, I would like to thank everyone who helped me with my decision especially John Dong. :-)
43 • Ubuntu is slower than other distros for App updates (by Mich on 2005-12-12 18:35:48 GMT from United States)
Well John Dong, it's just not good enough. A distro aimed at easiness, should make getting new applications a breeze. If it takes ages and there are a lot of dependencies, then something must be done to enable a quicker and smooth process. People don't like to wait, which is the commotion over at the ubuntu forums. So instead of having to wait, they're taking risks of installing their FF, for example, the risky way. Others are just using Klik. Ubuntu shouldn't have depended so much on FF, because as you can see it's not a great idea.
44 • Dependence on Firefox (by John Dong on 2005-12-12 19:10:21 GMT from United States)
Ubuntu does depend more on Firefox than most other distributions. Typically, Gecko embedding is something provided by the mozilla package, not Firefox.
Ubuntu decided that instead of adding another large package to the base install, that Firefox should provide these rendering services instead.
Again, we draw the line between enthusiasts and those who need to get stuff done. Enthusiasts love to get the latest and greatest by whatever means necessary, while the rest will accept a reasonable and predictable delay in favor of a stable system when they need it.
Enthusiasts have other ways of installing Firefox -- such as unpacking a mozilla.com tarball or using Klick or other technologies.
45 • re: this whole firefox debate (by anoncub on 2005-12-12 19:53:40 GMT from United States)
ok, I am by the standards of most people here a noob - so I am wondering if I have made some awful mistake unknowingly... I'm using Ubuntu, and when "apt-get upgrade firefox" didn't provide me with Firefox 1.5 (which I understand now with all the backport talk) I just downloaded the .tar.gz from their site, unpacked it in my home directory, and created a launcher that points to "firefox" inside that new directory - everything seems to work perfectly fine, but now I'm concerned. Is this going to break my system in some way? I did not remove the old version or anything...
46 • Response to 45 (by John Dong on 2005-12-12 20:23:45 GMT from United States)
No, that's perfectly safe to do, and is the recommended way of getting Firefox 1.5 on any version of Ubuntu.
Only thing, try to stick with always using 1.5's launcher (don't regularly switch back and forth between using 1.0.7 and 1.5), because your Firefox profile folder could get messed up if you do that too often.
47 • Response to 30 (by darin MacLachlan on 2005-12-12 20:50:25 GMT from Canada)
30 • Choosing the Right Server... (by guhappy on 2005-12-12 15:57:02 GMT from United States)
You really should try the open source and totally free SME Server by Contribs.org. I have been using this for 4 years now, never been comprimised and only been rebooted twice, and only to reset the MAC Address for my cable router.
The SME Server version 6 also runs great on older hardware. The newer version 7 requires some more modern (about past 2 year) hardware.
Easy installation and great support if you run into issues in the forums. Most of the issues you will see will be with the additional contributions. The base installation is solid and secure.
48 • Linux installers (by william johnson on 2005-12-12 21:04:11 GMT from United States)
PClinuxOS .92 and Mepis 3.3.1 have the easiest to
install and most noobie friendly distros out there. Sadly,
many distros have very cryptic ,difficult installers where
very often you arrive at a page and you have no idea what
they want you to do. This is inexcusable.
I am currently running PCLinuxOS .92 on an AMD64
system and it is amazing. Everything works, even the
Firefox plugins. I had trouble with all of the "big three"
distros on this system so i took them off.
If this post bothers some zealots, you need to get a CLUE.
49 • Ubuntu/FF 1.5 (by Larry Michaels on 2005-12-12 21:13:53 GMT from Canada)
I am by no means an expert, very far from it in fact, but I find Ubuntu's explanation, somewhay wanting, when I consider I'm running Blag 300001, which is Fedora 3 based with a Gnome 2.8 desktop, so it's far more out of date,if you will than Ubuntu, Yet, Blag had a backport of Firefox 1.5 within days, and everything runs great, I asked about Firefox 1.5 in Ubuntu irc room, all I get is wait till the next version, "Gay Duck", comes out, that's something like 5 months or so, I see no reason for that, when other somewhat older distros are able to supply such things far far faster, seems to me just a ploy to keep you upgrading every 6 months. And don't get me started about Ubuntu and Skype, or Linphone..it installs, but you can't get a working desktop icon for it and Audacity in in repos and just don't work at all and all you get in rooms is Audacity won't work...oh..too bad...maybe in next version.
50 • FF 1.5 in Ubuntu (by muszek on 2005-12-12 21:37:26 GMT from Poland)
would that work?
- FF 1.5 installed as a completely separate package/set of packages.
- FF 1.0.x would remain and everything depending on it would keep doing so.
51 • Congratulations to Mrs. Volkerding and her husband (by hatimesnuequalse on 2005-12-12 21:55:42 GMT from Austria)
But as someone with experience in this field :
Things get back to "normal" when all your kids have left home for work/college.
Nothing beats the volume of a six month old child getting it's first teeth ....
52 • RE: johnson (by iMoron on 2005-12-12 22:13:55 GMT from Puerto Rico)
48 • Linux installers (by william johnson on 2005-12-12 21:04:11 GMT from United States)
Well... I got a tiny problem... I din't get PCLinuxOS to boot on my machine... and seen you have an AMD64 like me... Could you tell if you had any problems starting it???
I am looking foward to trying it out... but I must be missing something... MEPIS and SuSE installed fine... But PCLinuxOS din't even start... will try latter!
Larry Michaels... I think that they explain qute well why they don't go "backport crazy"... Besides, you can go and use any other linux for your lattest greatest... I am looking for better arternatives myself but I see things aren't as simple as one would like...
Happy TUX hunting...
53 • Mr imoron (by Larry Michaels on 2005-12-12 23:00:58 GMT from Canada)
I hardly think that wanting FF 1.5 in a timely manner qualifies as "backport crazy", gimme a break, Ubuntu users need to grow a skin, Ubuntu isn't the second coming, any minor slight against Ubuntu really upsets them, I have used Ubuntu and admittedly, liked it, but I see as time goes by and they grow, they are becoming less responsive to users needs and wants, their irc room, while at times, can have helpful people in it, seems to be becoming more like other rooms (you know who you are) where there is nothing but disdain for noobies, or you get the famous RTFM, which, for a system that purports to be trying to migrate folk from that other system, is totally unacceptable....Linphone, well if you're going to put it in the repos, at least make sure it shows up in a working manner in the menu...Skype is another story, I do realize that.....Let's all hope the next version of Gaim is all we need.Back to backports, considering all the folk involved with Ubuntu compared to Blag, yet Blag still released a FF 1.5 I find it odd, it should also be nothed, the the good folk at Blag, which consist of far far smaller numbers give you a stellar working system and are NOT "backport crazy" just user sensitive.
54 • netbsd release schedule (by Anonymous on 2005-12-12 23:01:29 GMT from Canada)
55 • I don't understand the debate... (by Lance Lucas on 2005-12-12 23:12:00 GMT from United States)
About backporting. It's pretty simple. You either choose a dynamic distribution, and the pros/cons that come with it (Gentoo, Debian Sid, Fedora Rawhide, etc.) OR you choose a static distribution, and the pros/cons that come with it (Ubuntu, RHEL, Debian Stable).
The whiners who want backports to their static distribution just don't get it. By choosing a static model, the distributor has chosen to support a software platform over a period of time, regardless of minor changes in software. Jon @UBP described this perfectly in his post. So why on earth do you expect that distributor to provide packages with a HIGH likelyhood of breaking not only the distribution, but also any customization or software the user has added to their static distribution??
Long story short: If you need the newest versions and find yourself continually looking for backports, change distributions. There are plenty of distributions that can fit your needs, and it will save your developers time and resources by not asking them to break the distribution they spent so long stabilizing. Case in point: I'd strangle someone if an update to FF1.5 came across on my RHEL boxen. Breakage from another planet would occur.
Seriously, this is like buying a gas car and bitching that it takes too much work to make it run on diesel. People are really just looking for the newest version - SO SWITCH A DYNAMIC DISTRIBUTION!!!! You can have whatever versions you want. Then don't complain when something on the bleeding-edge breaks, because you could have stayed with your static & stable distrbution, except for you *really* needed the newest version of KPoker. It is impossible to please Linux people...
56 • Backporting FF1.5 (by Jeff Moe on 2005-12-12 23:24:19 GMT from Argentina)
Larry, thanks for your nice comments about blag.
I did a "backport" of Firefox because I built it for myself and it rocked FF1.0.x.
For many things I can't really do a backport because it would set off a chain reaction of things that needed to be updated and would jack up the base (I think linphone may even be an example of that--it needs a newer speex, which needs a newer foo, which needs.....).
I'm a bit surprised that updating FF in ubuntu would set off this reaction. In BLAG you don't need FF installed to have a "normal" desktop. I haven't used ubuntu much, but I'm pretty certain debian doesn't require it.
Sometimes saying it will break things may just be an excuse (though I'm not pointing fingers at ubuntu here). I used this excuse with r7 (a blag user) so I wouldn't have to build OpenOffice 2. ;)
57 • Re: Screen Shot (by Ariszló on 2005-12-12 23:25:58 GMT from Hungary)
Benjamin Bach wrote: [i]Your screen shot of Ark is 1,4 MB.... that's a silly way to spend bandwidth =)[/i]
Yes, its size could be reduced. This is how you do it in Gimp:
Layer - Colors - Auto - Normalize.
58 • Re2: Screen Shot (by Ariszló on 2005-12-12 23:29:37 GMT from Hungary)
Oops, it does not reduce the size.
59 • NetBSD Release (by *BSD_User on 2005-12-12 23:34:46 GMT from United States)
Here are a few links in the right direction:
12/02/05: RC5 was released.
12/06/2005: Freezing pkgsrc CVS repository
Based on the following links; MY guess is that with in 2 weeks (or less) it should be out. The above links came from:
PS: Sorry about all the links.
60 • RE: Larry Michaels... (by iMoron on 2005-12-12 23:56:41 GMT from Puerto Rico)
Want a cookie!
Here you go... it is chocolate chips
What! You don't like the cookie? ... You want a frog cookie???
*Larry Michaels jumps franticaly across the street....
...am bored I guess...
61 • The issue of dependencies (by Small Potato on 2005-12-13 01:03:19 GMT from Hong Kong)
The Firefox backporting debate actually lead me to the thinking of software dependency issues on most Linux distros.
Because of keeping a stable supported platform, large changes on the packages are not encouraged. However this really hurts many desktop users that would like to have the latest and greatest software available.
We can take a look at Windows here (sorry for using this example). It has no problem installing Firefox 1.5 and replace 1.0.x. The point is that Windows does NOT use it for core functions (Yes it uses IE, but IE can be upgraded on Windows as well.)
The point is, if the system does NOT depend too much on a specific (set) of package(s), could this mean the packages can be upgraded more easily?
Is it possible to seperate the core HTML rendering library and the web browser used by the user, like keeping the core library at 1.0.7 and seperate the user browser to 1.5? Is it possible in this way that users can upgrade Firefox 1.5 without affect the core library (which is seperated and kept at 1.0.7)?
Obviously, I am not a professional in backporting applications. I am just merely brainstorming myself here. I am sorry if I made some dumb comments.
62 • RE: Bandwidth (Ark screenshots) (by ladislav on 2005-12-13 01:07:44 GMT from Taiwan)
Do you guys worry about my bandwidth or yours? If it's the DistroWatch bandwidth, then you don't need to worry just yet - currently we are using only about half of the allocated 1TB/month. And if it's your bandwith you worry about, then, well, clicking on the image is entirely optional :-)
Yes, there are ways to reduce the size of an image, but I don't like doing this, because it might take away some of the important details. I know of a few people who do investigate screenshots (e.g. check the fonts, anti-aliasing, etc) closely before downloading the ISO.
63 • I'm a bit late (by William Poetra Yoga Hadisoesen on 2005-12-13 02:02:58 GMT from China)
But still, congrats to Pat!
64 • Re: Bandwidth (by Tim on 2005-12-13 05:44:12 GMT from United States)
It might be halpful when including screenshots in the weekly, to indicate what screen resolution was in place when the screenshot was made. That way we can tell if an artifact is because of a mismatch between our screen resolution and the original or if the original had the artifact.
My 2 cents.
Thanks for another great issue, Lad...
65 • Re: ladislav (NetBSD) (by *BSD_User on 2005-12-13 06:28:16 GMT from United States)
I just posted some info about NetBSD and their potential release cycle. I must have just missed the update to their web site with the new RC6. All I can say is that you have your eye on hundereds of distro's; not sure how you do it; but it is awesome.
As always; fantastic work.
66 • PC-Linux OS (by Robzilla on 2005-12-13 08:29:12 GMT from United States)
Well after using the latest and greatest Slackware 10.2 I was very happy. I had entered the Linux world via Mepis and graduated to Slackware. It was the best most solid distro out there. I was very happy with it minus a few little problems.
Then came the new release of PC Linux. I have tryed previous releases of PC Linux and was always a fan but it never worked well on my laptop. I just install .92 and wow. I am very impressed. Has anybody been using this OS?? I mean look out it is one of the easiest, fast booting fully loaded, nicely packaged systems out there. The PC Linux control center has what I always liked about Suse. It is fast. The boot up time is quick. Everything seems to work right out of the box. I went to synaptic and upgraded and now have kde 3.5. This is a beta release too!! I have to say if Texstar keeps this up I think there is going to be quite a stir in the Linux world!! I have to say hands down the best experience I have had with a Linux OS yet. It has only been a few days granted but again I am very impressed.
If you haven't tryed it go for it you won't be dissapointed. Now I am not talking to the people who like to tweek the sh*t out of their system and configure this and that. If you want something that works well and is reponsive and has a nice package list without being too bloated PC Linux is it!!
"You are damaging my calm" Serenity
67 • PC-Linux OS (by Robzilla) (by Anonymous on 2005-12-13 08:55:46 GMT from Australia)
That is not the correct name of the Distro and so could be confused with others of similar names
The correct name = PCLinuxOS
Some times it is abreviated to = PCLOS
68 • PCLinuxOS (by Distrowatch Reader on 2005-12-13 14:28:16 GMT from Germany)
LOVE it. For my Hardware Zero setup Zero fuss.
Firefox 1.5 my favorite extensions wont work yet. (Mozilla update has only a few 1.5 extensions)
On 1.7 every-thing works.
Firefox all ways releases then every one jumps to try it.
Broken extensions get old quick.
69 • More misc Backporting points addressed (by John Dong on 2005-12-13 21:33:27 GMT from United States)
"I'm a bit surprised that updating FF in ubuntu would set off this reaction. In BLAG you don't need FF installed to have a "normal" desktop. I haven't used ubuntu much, but I'm pretty certain debian doesn't require it."
Ubuntu and Debian deviate in that respect. Debian uses mozilla to provide libgtkmozembed.so, while Ubuntu uses Firefox to keep the default distribution small (on one CD) amongst other reasons.
As far as pure stable versus pure rolling versions distribution models, I think we can find a compromise -- that was the original reason for Ubuntu Backports. We've had great luck finding these compromises :).
As far as getting the latest & greatest technology to users, Ubuntu offers fast 6-month releases, each release trying very hard to capture the latest and greatest Linux has to offer. I think this is a very reasonable timeframe, but if it's not enough, there's three choices:
(1) Use Backports
(2) Roll your own Backports from development packages
(3) Use the development version
70 • RE: Bandwidth (by Misty on 2005-12-14 05:07:45 GMT from United States)
"I know of a few people who do investigate screenshots (e.g. check the fonts, anti-aliasing, etc) closely before downloading the ISO."
I'm one of those people. Thanks for doing that, Ladislav.
"It might be halpful when including screenshots in the weekly, to indicate what screen resolution was in place when the screenshot was made. That way we can tell if an artifact is because of a mismatch between our screen resolution and the original or if the original had the artifact."
71 • Too many distros? (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-12-14 05:22:40 GMT from Italy)
It has been said over and over again, but saying it once more can do no harm: there are too many amateurish attempts at creating new distros.
So it can happen that you download 2 isos, you spend a lot of time installing and you find no bootloader installed (Kororaa, but it happens also with PCLinuxOS)
It can happen that you download a DVD iso but it refuses to start installing (RR4 Linux: it doesn't get any better with every new release)
It can happen that a new, apparently promising distro (OCSID) is nowhere available for download. Oh yes, you can get a torrent, but it doesn't work.
But it can also happen that one of your fav distros refuses to cooperate with your hardware (SUSE 10.0) or that your *very* favourite distros go "dormant" or don't release for ages.
Sometimes I wish I could ibernate for 50 years and see if the situation has got any better!
72 • rr4 2.65 (by jose gonzalez on 2005-12-14 12:04:26 GMT from Dominican Republic)
Buenos dias a todos he bajado el rr4 gentoo 2.65 con instalador experimental y no he podido instalarlo en mi maquina que es una pentium 4 a1.6ghz he hecho casi todo lo que me pide para que se instale en mi maquina, pero cuando le doy a instalar el instalador no hace nada , he leido que otros lo han hecho pero como.tengo una ilucion de ver gentoo instalado.creo que el rr4 deberia tener un manual propio porque es una esperanza para tener gentoo para los novatos como yo.help me
73 • #72 (by Anonymous on 2005-12-14 12:34:17 GMT from Brazil)
"creo que el rr4 deberia tener un manual propio "
No sitio do rr4 não existe um manual para download?
Ou talvez no CD que vc gravou?
"pero cuando le doy a instalar el instalador no hace nada"
O programa não inicia a instalação?
E não dá nenhuma mensagem de erro?
74 • #72 - manual de instalaçao (by Anonymous on 2005-12-14 12:37:24 GMT from Brazil)
HOWTO Install Gentoo with Reiser4 enabled using Lxnay's Gentoo RR4 LiveCD
75 • As Always A Great Read = A3GR (by Bill Savoie at 2005-12-14 16:26:13 GMT from United States)
Thanks to John Dong, and Lance Lucus, I can learn more about LInux.
One of the problems of Open Source, is that everyone can have their own libraries. This contributes to bloat. What we need is an automated program that will 'suggest' library replacements, and provide wrapper functions to make it possible. Thus a database of library code would crunch through 2 gigs of installed distribution in a twelve hour run and maybe reduce the size by 50 percent. It would be a bit impractical for the end user to apply, but not for an established distribution.
Open Source allows progress to unfold on the most natural path. Maybe China will provide this meta-programming-tool? The future is an open process. Thanks Ladislav.
76 • For Jose Gonzalez #72 (by Leo on 2005-12-14 17:54:30 GMT from United States)
Jose: por que no usas un instalador estable (no experimental) de la ultima version estable de gentoo. Instalate una version minima, y despues usa las herramientas de gentoo para poner el sistema al dia y para instalar nuevo software. Total, el instalador te va a ayudar con el "bootstrapping" nomas (es decir, a tener una base compilada desde la cual vas a compilar nuevas versiones de todo ...
77 • Another alternative to backporting (by Mr. Pink on 2005-12-14 21:39:53 GMT from United States)
Free product secures Firefox browsing
Dec. 13, 2005
Virtualization software maker VMware released two free products for download Monday. VMware Player lets users run, evaluate, and share software in a virtual machine on Linux or Windows desktops. Browser Appliance, based on VMware player, allows PC users to securely browse the Web using Firefox, from within a virtual machine.
Read the rest here: http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS5754753913.html
78 • I would support GNU/Solaris I will not support CDDL/Solaris (by Write your own Software Sun on 2005-12-15 02:13:12 GMT from United States)
From the SHILL_X site at
After the OpenSolaris release on the 14. June 2005 SchilliX is the first distribution using this code under CDDL.
* all Schilly tools
* smake as /usr/ccs/bin/make
* ... more to come
GEE I did not know GNU/ programs could be released under CDDL (Code for SUN for free lic.)
At bottom of page.
Note: The list of packages included in Schillix is not available.
79 • PCLOS (by Robzilla on 2005-12-15 03:05:46 GMT from United States)
For almost a year now evry Linux distro I have tryed I could not get the wireless internet working. Now PCLOS has solved that. I posted earlier that I was impressed with this distro well now I am amazed. Not so much that it works because I knew sooner or later that it would but because everything works. I have used released distros that did not work half as well as PCLOS and I had to put in hours of work to get nothing.
Now I can finally get rid of windows for now I am free to use Linux to the fullest because everything works with very little configuration or hunting for codecs, etc. All in a Beta release. The only thing I had to get was the dvd codecs, everything else was there and works!!
I can't wait for PCLOS to go stable but until then they are my first choice in Linux. I am simply amazed and will definetily donate to your cause! You have done what no other Linux distro I used ever could and more!
80 • PCLOS (by Robzilla on 2005-12-15 03:12:03 GMT from United States)
I never had a problem with PCLOS bootloader. Seemed quite easy to install??
I highly disagree with your assumption that PCLOS is amateurish. On the contrary I find it to be one of the most polished distros out there.
You have a problem with choice?? I do not understand all of the main distros had to start somewhere.
Isn't choice what Linux is all about? Another choice from Big Brother??
P.S. if you ever get to try PCLOS I think you will have another opinion. Maybe wait for the release instead of the beta??
81 • Greatness of Linux (by Mr. Pink on 2005-12-15 05:55:12 GMT from United States)
This is listing of my mp3 player's tuner directory. Note the dates.
ls -al /media/sdb/TUNER
drwx------ 2 g00fy g00fy 4096 2005-10-19 11:49 .
drwx------ 4 g00fy g00fy 16384 1969-12-31 16:00 ..
-rwx------ 1 g00fy g00fy 79988796 1980-01-01 00:00 TUNER000.REC
-rwx------ 1 g00fy g00fy 62524 1980-01-01 00:00 TUNER001.REC
-rwx------ 1 g00fy g00fy 13321276 1980-01-01 00:00 TUNER002.REC
-rwx------ 1 g00fy g00fy 6616124 1980-01-01 00:00 TUNER003.REC
-rwx------ 1 g00fy g00fy 16444 1980-01-01 00:00 TUNER004.REC
Reliability at it's best. It's not the first time I witnessed this.
82 • RE: #80 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-12-15 06:35:26 GMT from Italy)
I wasn't assuming that PCLOS is amateurish, I was only saying that it doesn't install Lilo to my / partition (sorry, it wasn't clear enough in my previous post). More generally speaking I feel that the PCLOS installer needs more work. As to waiting for the release...we have been waiting for years.
I wasn't complaining about too much choice either. Mine was basically a rant by somebody who has gone through too many bad experiences in a short time. And that includes my favourite distros as well.
83 • Re: 82 (by Lanx on 2005-12-15 09:30:47 GMT from Germany)
As far as I know by reading in their forums, you have to tell the PCLOS installer to install Lilo by pressing the "Install"-button; pressing "Next" without that step will result in Lilo not being installed. And if you have installed Grub in your MBR, then the installer won't be able to install Lilo instead, you have you use a boot disk to remove Grub manually from the MBR completely and install Lilo then (if you don't want to remove Grub you can simply add PCLOS to Grub's list and do not install Lilo at all).
84 • RE: #83 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-12-15 09:48:34 GMT from Italy)
As I was saying, I want to install Lilo to my root partition, not the MBR.
85 • Re 84 and RR4 problems (by mikkh on 2005-12-15 11:21:40 GMT from United Kingdom)
PCLOS installs flawlessy to a root partition, like the previous poster pointed out you have to press the install button - and pick the correct root partition of course. I've got 4 distros multibooting with windows and all installed to the relevant root partition.
I use this command (inside any Linux or live CD)
dd if=/dev/hda? of=/nameofdistro.lnx bs=512 count=1
The ? should be the relevant partition of course, and 'nameofdistro' should be amended to suit - see boot.ini below
It makes a 512k boot sector image, which I transfer to the root of C
and add an extra line to boot.ini to save my MBR being mangled
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS="Windows XP " /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
c:pclos.lnx="PClinuxOS 9.2 (hda7)"
c:suse.lnx="OpenSuse 10 (hda8)"
c:vector.lnx="Vector SOHO (hda10)"
Onto RR4 2.65.1
Boots OK, even loads Nvidia GLX drivers for me
Looks fine, if a little cluttered- no Gimp though, strange!
The one major snag for me, is it doesn't find my bog standard
onboard NIC, a Realtek 8319 which every other distro I've tried picks up perfectly. I've been on their forum and can't see anyone with the same problem and the only advice I saw was to try
It didn't work
86 • Re previous post (by mikkh on 2005-12-15 11:28:40 GMT from United Kingdom)
The boot ini posted has not copied correctly for some reason
each (Linux) entry *should* read
c: not just c:
c:one.lnx="...... etc <<<<<<<< like that
87 • why is it doing that (by mikkh grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr on 2005-12-15 11:32:34 GMT from United Kingdom)
It should be "c" colon backslash
why is it not showing in the message?
88 • booting multiple distros (by Leo on 2005-12-15 17:43:37 GMT from United States)
Many of you have a set up with many linux distros to boot from. Is here any good mini-howto on this topic ? I'd like to try kubuntu as a secondary OS for a while (and keep using mandriva in the meantime)
I know it's no rocket science but a good howto would help. This one for instance is not bad, but it is missing a few bits:
89 • re:88 (by mikkh on 2005-12-15 20:30:16 GMT from United Kingdom)
It's not only incomplete (and old) but misleading
The hdc=ide-scsi appends are only needed for the old 2.4 kernel
Probably the simplest way to boot multi linuxes is to use GAG
either on the MBR, or on a floppy
90 • Re #88 Multi-booting (by rglk on 2005-12-16 03:21:35 GMT from United States)
There was a good write-up about this subject in an older DWW:
91 • Underground Desktop (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-12-16 12:00:06 GMT from Italy)
This is one of the best new(ish) distros I have tried of late. If it weren't for a couple of rough edges it could be just perfect.
The pros are too many to tell: from a very easy installer to everything bleeding edge, with reiser4 feeling very stable...
The main cons: Lilo installed to the MBR, no questions asked, and the sound settings not saved between reboots (of course I use "alactl store")
92 • Re: booting multiple distros (by Leo on 2005-12-16 12:41:52 GMT from United States)
Thank you Robert and Mikkh for the pointers - Robert: I remembered having read this tip some time ago but coulnt't find it myself, thanks a lot!
Ladislav: would it be possible to put the tips and tricks section of DWW in a separate section of DW ? I am thinking something like an index of Tips and Tricks where users can easily browser/search older tips
93 • Side not on search (by Anonymous on 2005-12-16 18:13:33 GMT from United States)
I was just climbing through the search features in DW:
I nocticed that Solaris is not listed; would it be possible to have that added to the list? If not; no worries; just curious.
94 • How long before knoppix upgrades the kde to 3.5.0?and newest kernel?etc (by Robert on 2005-12-17 22:12:02 GMT from United States)
How long before knoppix upgrades the kde to 3.5.0?
also for some reason kanotix is not booting the kde system on startup on the cd? but I am having no problems booting kde from knoppix right now? its a sttrange bug only in kanotix ver.2005-02 and 2005-03 not booting I don't seem to have 2005-04 yet , but I think this problem is annoying that it stalls at x loading, why? Why does kanotix stall and stop at x system and not knoppix?
95 • Re 88, 92 on booting multiple distros (by Teobromina on 2005-12-18 15:05:39 GMT from )
Hi, if you see in my page, a chapter is devoted to iso and multiboot:
You will find there some information to make a multibootable live iso, provided that you have the booting images for each live OS, and much more important, the link where the -Barts Way- method I am using, is described :
96 • Re 88, 92 on booting multiple distros (by Teobromina on 2005-12-18 18:38:29 GMT from )
I wrote the bad URL. The good one is:
Number of Comments: 96
Display mode: DWW Only • Comments Only • Both DWW and Comments
|• Issue 554 (2014-04-14): Review of FreeNAS, OpenSSL bug, Fedora.next, Robolinux Stealth VM, measuring memory|
|• Issue 553 (2014-04-07): Puppy 5.7 "Slacko", end of Ubuntu One, file encryption with GPG|
|• Issue 552 (2014-03-31): Tanglu 1.0, Ubuntu GNOME LTS, SliTaz for ARM|
|• Issue 551 (2014-03-24): Linux Mint "Debian" 201403, call for end to proprietary firmware, LVM|
|• Issue 550 (2014-03-17): Review of NixOS 13.10, Lubuntu seeking feedback, Android-x86 4.4-rc1 impressions|
|• Issue 549 (2014-03-10): ClearOS 6.5 and UCS 3.2, Gentoo interview, Ubuntu app contest, Into the Core|
|• Issue 548 (2014-03-03): Review of Mageia 4, FreeBSD console driver, filtering web content, Pitivi fundraiser|
|• Issue 547 (2014-02-24): Chakra 2014.02, Ubuntu privacy, preventing unwanted remote logins|
|• Issue 546 (2014-02-17): Review of PC-BSD 10.0, Red Flag closure, Ubuntu and systemd, SlackE18, Fedora book review|
|• Issue 545 (2014-02-10): Impressions of FreeBSD 10.0, Debian votes systemd, Ubuntu file manager, server security|
|• Issue 544 (2014-02-03): Netrunner 13.12, openSUSE future, Ubuntu Touch in emulator, running commands in multiple places|
|• Issue 543 (2014-01-27): Review of Korora 20, FreeBSD 10.0, DNF, ZFS rescue CD, Bridge Linux interview|
|• Issue 542 (2014-01-20): QupZilla, Ubuntu with MATE, Arch on Raspberry Pi, best applications|
|• Issue 541 (2014-01-13): openSUSE 13.1 and Zentyal 3.3, CentOS joins Red Hat, Bodhi on Chromebooks|
|• Issue 540 (2014-01-06): SMS 2.0.6 and SME Server 8.0, Hawaii desktop, PHR statistics 2013, more on multi-part archives|
|• Issue 539 (2013-12-23): Centrych 12.04.3, Fedora 20 and its spins, dividing archives across multiple discs|
|• Issue 538 (2013-12-16): Mint 16 review, RHEL and CentOS 7 plans, SteamOS, Windows XP replacement suggestions|
|• Issue 537 (2013-12-09): OpenMandriva 2013.0, Gentoo developer interview, project Neon, Linux Mint and security|
|• Issue 536 (2013-12-02): Impressions of openSUSE 13.1, Ubuntu Touch, FreeBSD 10 delay, troubleshooting OS lock-ups|
|• Issue 535 (2013-11-25): GhostBSD 3.5, Debian and MATE, Ubuntu 14.04 features, security updates|
|• Issue 534 (2013-11-18): Review of OpenBSD 5.4, Fedora on ARM, menu names vs command-line names|
|• Issue 533 (2013-11-11): Point Linux 2.2, Pisi update, Debian and Xfce, Bruno Cornec interview|
|• Issue 532 (2013-11-04): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.10, Debian's init, FreeBSD's PKG-NG, Linux on ARM|
|• Issue 531 (2013-10-28): PC-BSD 9.2, openSUSE testing, nftables, upgrade pros and cons|
|• Issue 530 (2013-10-21): Kwheezy 1.2, DPL interview, Zenwalk's future, keeping up with vulnerabilities|
|• Issue 529 (2013-10-14): Ubuntu's Mir, dmesg and photorec tips, Tiny Tiny RSS|
|• Issue 528 (2013-10-07): Semplice 5, Haiku package management, Klaus Knopper interview, making custom distro|
|• Issue 527 (2013-09-30): Tiny Core Linux 5.0, SteamOS, moving operating system to new computer|
|• Issue 526 (2013-09-23): Look at ArchBang 2013.09.01, BSD Now, kernel stats, command-line tips|
|• Issue 525 (2013-09-16): The Official Ubuntu Server Book, FreeBSD 10 and OpenBSD 5.4, Skype alternatives|
|• Issue 524 (2013-09-09): Look at LXLE 12.04.3, Ubuntu's new package format, Secure Boot and dual-booting|
|• Issue 523 (2013-09-02): OpenIndiana 151a8, openSUSE "Evergreen", GNOME and DuckDuckGo, running apps from RAM|
|• Issue 522 (2013-08-26): Look at gNewSense 3.0, Ubuntu Edge fundraising failure, exploring GPL|
|• Issue 521 (2013-08-19): Review of Korora 19, Fedora considers return to "Core", Haiku package management|
|• Issue 520 (2013-08-12): Salix OS 14.0.1 "KDE", Xubuntu experiments with XMir, managing passwords with KeePass|
|• Issue 519 (2013-08-05): Review of Porteus 2.0, Kubuntu lays out plans for Wayland adoption, adjusting system swappiness|
|• Issue 518 (2013-07-29): MidnightBSD 0.4, Razor-qt, Ubuntu Edge, mounting infected drives|
|• Issue 517 (2013-07-22): Zorin OS 7 "Lite", Slackware turns 20, UbuntuForums compromise, Raspbian as home server, Tor|
|• Issue 516 (2013-07-15): Review of Fedora 19 "KDE", Shuttleworth on Mir, Seth Vidal, Kingsoft Office for Linux|
|• Issue 515 (2013-07-08): Whonix 0.5.6 and Deepin 12.12, MintBox, processor capabilities, distros for Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 514 (2013-07-01): Peppermint Four, Mir, Mandriva forks, ThinkPenguin on libre hardware|
|• Issue 513 (2013-06-24): Look at ROSA, PC-BSD updates, Xen4CentOS6, Slacko vs Precise, Mageia interview, shells|
|• Issue 512 (2013-06-17): Trisquel 6.0, RHEL 7 with GNOME Classic, from Linux to FreeBSD, first look at Wayland|
|• Issue 511 (2013-06-10): Mint 15 impressions, GNOME Classic, Ubuntu Community portal, Absolute OpenBSD|
|• Issue 510 (2013-06-03): Impressions of aptosid 2013-01, Wayland comes to Raspberry Pi, maintaining DNS settings|
|• Issue 509 (2013-05-27): Mageia 3, Debian GNU/Hurd, RebeccaBlackOS with Wayland, ports|
|• Issue 508 (2013-05-20): Review of Debian 7.0, interviews with Clement Lefebvre and Gaël Duval, scripting with xdotool|
|• Issue 507 (2013-05-13): Impressions of Calculate Linux, 13.4, Ubuntu's portable packages, mintDrivers|
|• Issue 506 (2013-05-06): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.04, Debian "Wheezy", Slackware on systemd, distros for Raspberry Pi|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Free Tech Guides
C/C++ Essential Training
In this FREE video course, Bill Weinman dissects the anatomy of C and C++, from variables to functions and loops, and explores both the C Standard Library and the C++ Standard Template Library.