| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 162, 31 July 2006
Welcome to this year's 30th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! This is my third and final week bringing you DistroWatch Weekly. It's been great fun, but I now have an even greater appreciation for the contribution Ladislav Bodnar makes to the Linux and Open Source Community. Fedora and Mandriva have announced the end of the support cycle for some older products, Ubuntu is starting class and Gentoo is holding elections. Dr. W. T. Zhu brings us an in-depth look at all the options and features available here at Distrowatch with glimpses into some of the history as well. Beranger brings us a wonderful look at last week's release of Zenwalk Linux 2.8, while I report on my test drive of Berry Linux 0.72. I hope you enjoy this week's DWW. Oh, and as Ladislav always says, "Happy reading!"
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
Fedora and Mandriva End of Support Cycles, Ubuntu Classroom, Gentoo Elections, Slax Special Editions|
Last week we reported that the FC6 Test2 freeze had slipped by a week. However, it subsequently slipped even further until July 24 due to issues with Xen. As of this writing, news of this FC6 test2 freeze hasn't been forthcoming. In other Fedora and Red Hat news, the Fedora Weekly News issue 56 informed users of the end of support cycle for FC1, FC2, RHL7.3 and RHL9. FC1 and FC2 support will cease upon release of FC6 Test 2 and bug reports will be accepted for RHL7.3 and RHL9 until October 1 with the end of life being set at December 31.
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The Ubuntu project has announced their newest addition: The Classroom. This irc based educational service was established to assist new users in using their new Ubuntu systems, from the simplest to more advanced tasks. Classes will be held in #ubuntu-classroom on chat.freenode.net at scheduled times. Appropriately, the first class topic is an Introduction to Internet Relay Chat (IRC) scheduled for August 5 and August 6.
* * * * *
It was announced in last week's GWN, "The Gentoo User Relations project is happy to announce that the elections for the position of User Representative are now open." Candidates have shared some information on themselves and their goals. Voting began July 22 and will run through August 5.
* * * * *
Seems 10.2 has reached the end of its support cycle as well. Reports are scarce but READMEs on mirrors state that the previous 10.2 updates have been moved to "Mandrake-old/ tree as 10.2 is no longer supported." Mandriva had been having great difficulties building a 2007 beta. However, new Beta 1 isos, dubbed "Thor," began appearing on mirrors July 30. This release features Gnome 2.16 beta 1, Kernel 2.6.17, and KDE 3.5.3.
* * * * *
Slax released several specialty distributions based on their latest 5.1.7 release. These consist of the KillBill Edition - which has the ability to run many Windows applications natively in Linux, Server Edition - which includes support for DNS, DHCP, HTTP, FTP, MySQL, SMTP, POP3, IMAP and SSH, Popcorn Edition - is a minimalistic version featuring XFce which fits even 128MB USB Flash Drives, and the Frodo Edition - which is the commandline only version. See the download page for those special versions.
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The lead developer of SymphonyOS has fallen upon hard times recently. As a result, development of his revolutionary Linux distribution has come to a halt. He and his friends are appealing to the community for financial assistance. For more information please see the SymphonyOS Homepage or this forum topic for more details and an opportunity to help.
(by Dr. W. T. Zhu)
Like many others, DistroWatch is one of my favorite websites and I visit it everyday - sometimes every hour. We all know that it is a comprehensive website dedicated to news and feature lists of Linux and BSD distributions, but it may be even more comprehensive than many of us think. It lies in the way how we could better explore DistroWatch.
DistroWatch welcomes readers with a main page with three columns, the main focus in the middle being the "Latest News and Updates". The first news item ever recorded dated back to Apr 25, 2001, which was even earlier than DistroWatch's debut on May 31, 2001 ("About DistroWatch"). It's so interesting that DistroWatch began with an end. The second news item was dated June 1, 2001, in which DistroWatch founder's maintenance on the Slackware table was mentioned. Again, the third and the fourth news items were both on Slackware. Interestingly then, DistroWatch started receiving so much attention that it began to respond to readers' feedback. Soon Ladislav planned to transform DistroWatch from a static HTML-based site into a dynamic one powered by MySQL/PHP. Looking back at those historical posts may help you better know about how DistroWatch got started in the early days.
The way the news items are referred to (http://distrowatch.com/nnnnn where nnnnn is the news id) probably took effect in October 2003, according to this message ("Web Site News"): "New on the main page: news headlines are now clickable. The resulting page will display a single story, with further information related to the specific distribution - click on any of the headlines to see for yourself." In this way, DistroWatch news posts are elegantly "referable" or "locatable"; when publishing some news concerning a latest release, a webmaster can link the release to such a headline other than simply speaking of "DistroWatch reports".
The "Latest News and Updates" column also features "News Filtering Options". That is, news can be selectively organized according to the reader's preferences on release date and the distribution concerned. For example, recently (July 26) an anonymous reader asked how he could search back further for recent distribution releases (No. 52): "a week or so ago I noticed a new release based partially on Kanotix, but now I can't find it and I don't remember the name of the distro. The Latest Distributions list only goes back 3 or 4 days. That is not much depth. Is there a way to search back farther for [recent] distribution releases on DistroWatch?" Well, it's easy to find the solution utilizing the "News Filtering Options" (a nice feature possibly unnoticed by many!): Set Month to July and Year to 2006 (and Distribution defaults to All), then click the Refresh button. Among the filtered news headlines, just search "Kanotix" in the browser - and the answer to the question turns out to be Dreamlinux 2.0 released on 2006-07-16. Isn't such a solution fast and convenient?
In another example, suppose you are a Slackware enthusiast, and you are now composing a review on Slackware or sending an Email to a good friend trying to persuade him to have a try on it. You write, "Slackware survives as the oldest Linux distribution still actively maintained and it was first released on..." Wait, what's her birthday, er? Well, turn to DistroWatch and try to find the answer! By merely setting Distribution to Slackware (so Month and Year default to All) you get all the reports on Slackware. Then try searching "birthday" in your browser and you luckily went back to the day when Slackware was exactly 10 years old. So you continue writing, "and it was first released on 1993-07-17..."
A stable releases of a Linux or BSD distribution is referred to as "Distribution Release" or "BSD Release" respectively, while a testing one (either Linux or BSD) is referred to as "Development Release". A news item posted in this column may occasionally be updated one or more days later. Some recent examples are 3586, 2419, 2056, 1764, and 1518.
DistroWatch follows the rule that on posting a new release, download links to the ISO image(s) and the checksum file (typically, an MD5 file, if any) are "scattered" to as many FTP/HTTP servers as possible. Particularly, a download link to an MD5 file on an FTP server also implies that the ISO image(s) may be found in the same directory. Such a cautious consideration shows the kindness to avoid directing too much traffic onto a single server. Therefore, project leaders are encouraged to provide a mirror list (if any) on their download page so as not to have their main server heavily loaded or even overwhelmed. If there are no mirrors available at all, they are strongly advised to distribute a release via peer-to-peer file sharing technologies as a plus. One of the "Recommended Sites" found on DistroWatch homepage is LinuxTracker, where lots of torrent files are maintained.
Now let's come to the right column of the DistroWatch main page, which is mainly occupied by the somewhat controversial "Page Hit Ranking". It came into being almost at the very beginning. I'm a faculty member with the academia and I make a living by doing some research work. But I was really amazed when the "Page Hit Ranking" was turned into a research topic of some groups (including Zenwalk.org and Nuxified.org), and I was really impressed by their academic spirits.
I hope I can improve my research skills so that I could be promoted to Professor in the future. Then I did something similar - I investigated the HPD numbers of two specific distributions, which looked "suspicious" at that time. I looked into the Apache log file but unfortunately in the end no evidence of manipulation was found. So now, I tend to accept what Ladislav once said in his New Year greetings ("Which is the best?"): "don't read too much into the numbers. They are provided for entertainment only..."
So let's come to the left column, which is so informative that one just wonders how this column is maintained. In the in-depth interview with Ladislav Bodnar, Susan Linton asked "How do you keep up with all the happenings in the Linux world?" Then he replied this question with only one word: "Liferea". Unfortunately, I failed while trying setting up Liferea on my own PC (it core dumped over and again). So, I turned back to keep an eye on this left column - for one-stop shopping.
The "Latest Newsletters" section provides direct links to newsletters published within the last week or so. Newsletters from less popular distributions also have their positions here, say the GoblinX Newsletter. The "Latest Reviews" area contains recent reviews on distributions of specific versions, be they stable or development releases. If you find an interesting review or even you publish one yourself, you can send the web link to firstname.lastname@example.org and chances are good that the link will be put up here within hours. Reviews written in languages other than English are also accepted. However, if you submit a link to a distribution review published weeks or even months ago, of course DistroWatch will not consider it as "Latest Reviews". One of my observations is that only highly selective reviews will be put up as official news items (in the middle column). The hints in the introduction to "Articles, Reviews and Interviews" may shed some light.
I don't want to talk much about the "Latest Podcasts" section as I never listened to them (due to poor aural English), but I really like the "Latest Packages" area. Quite often download links to newest software packages are provided here even before news updates are found on the projects' homepages. One thing to note is that only packages of latest stable branches are tracked, as explained in "Packages Tracked by DistroWatch". If the application is source open, working links to the source tarball are provided. If the source code is not available (say opera, ati-driver, etc.), download links to binary packages are provided. I do not use the Firefox package shipped with my installed distribution; instead, I always download the binaries in Mozilla mirror server's linux-i686/en-US/ directory and manually set up my browser. Each time I see a new version of Firefox sneak into this "Latest Packages" area, I immediately upgrade mine to it.
Now let's come to the "Latest Distributions" section. For those "ISO hunters" on the Internet, this section could be a real secret treasure. Quite often a working link to ISO images of a latest release is listed here before the release is officially announced. That may happen for various reasons. For example, the distribution developer is waiting for all mirror servers to be synchronized, or she/he goes to bed while the ISO images are being uploaded, or she/he has done that just to get prepared for an upcoming anniversary day of the distribution, or she/he just decides not to make an announcement at all.
Often there is a release that is freely available for download but on the project's website there is never a decent release announcement, or a changelog, or anything like that. In this case, the "Latest Distributions" section accommodates the release and it will not be officially posted as a DistroWatch news item. In the coming issue of DistroWatch Weekly, those releases will be mentioned as "unannounced releases" in "Released Last Week". So, if you are a project maintainer, remember to publish a detailed announcement as gracefully as you can - at least provide a few concrete remarks on a not so casual page so as to be quoted in a DistroWatch news item. More specifics on this topic can be found in "A new policy regarding release announcements" ("Web Site News"). In case DistroWatch happens to have missed a well prepared announcement, just feel free to drop in a line.
There are more subtle differences between releases found in this section and releases announced in "Latest News and Updates". For example, a distribution released as an installation tree on an FTP server instead of as ISO image(s) will not be listed here. Neither will a release that is only available via BitTorrent, or, one that is not available for free download at all. Therefore, this section (ISO images oriented) and the middle column (release announcements oriented) may complement each other.
In the end, let's come to the full-featured navigation bar on the top of every DistroWatch webpage. Currently nearly 40 languages are supported, and it provides instant access to more than 370 active distributions - as long as you can think of the distribution name from the "Select Distribution" drop-down list. This implies that you may not need to clearly remember the exact name of the distribution. For dormant and discontinued ones (more than 130 in all), you can access the distribution-specific page by typing in the text box the exact distribution name or a reasonable abbreviation. This may also be applied to active ones, for example, typing "parallel" for "ParallelKnoppix". You may also try typing some comical words, say "microsoft" or "barbie".
In the navigation bar there are a dozen of links organized in three blocks. However, some of the features have been paid less attention. For example, now and then someone writes in, "Sir, I'm looking for a Red Hat Linux based x86_64 distribution that supports KDE for my desktop PC, I thought DistroWatch might be helpful but then I found it somewhat lacks the functionality for finding or recommending a customized solution. I would appreciate it if you could consider implementing such a feature for classification based selection." Well, what can Ladislav do on receiving feature requests like this every week? Maybe the only thing he could do is rename the "Search" link in the navigation bar to "Advanced Search", and the readers need to learn to better explore DistroWatch.
Rome was not built in one day. Neither was DistroWatch. "DistroWatch started as a one-man project and it's still 95% one-man project five years later" ("Ladislav Bodnar - Keeper of the Record"). This is by no means an easy task. Maybe he has been employing the "two naughty parrots" in the Bodnar household as his secretaries; they keep a close eye on hundreds of distributions' websites as well as wade through busy FTP servers and they twitter on finding anything new and interesting...
|Featured Distribution of the Week
With the recent release of both ZenLive Linux 2.6.1 and Zenwalk Linux 2.8, this distribution formerly-known as Minislack (through mid-2005) hits it big. In a world of easy to use, installable LiveCDs like Ubuntu / Kubuntu / Xubuntu, MEPIS, PCLinuxOS, Mandriva One and others, this might be the chance to prove that the Slackware base does not impede a distro to keep up with the current standards.
To test it prior to the installation, we downloaded the 500MB ZenLive 2.6.1 ISO. As it was meant to be a sneak preview of the full 2.8 release, and most of the packages are unchanged between the two, we'll only say that: it simply worked. That's definitely Zen, so far. (The root password is "ZenWalk", in case you missed it.)
The installation CD took 410MB and the setup process was more or less like in Slackware, minus the package selection: it installs everything it has on the CD. And it does it really quickly.
The cfdisk partitioner failed to cope with one of the hard-disks ("FATAL ERROR: Bad primary partition 3: Partition ends in the final partition cylinder. Press any key to exit cfdisk"), but this happens with Slackware too. The unlucky guys should use the plain fdisk instead.
Two words about the defaults: the default 220.127.116.11 kernels is sata, but you can also opt for ide or scsi. We recommend to add an option vga=791 or vga=793 at boot time, to avoid the ugly 25x80 text screen. And you should know that if you go with the default xfs filesystem, you won't be able to install LILO in the superblock of a partition, should you need to chain two bootloaders.
What does it mean to be Zen nowadays? Painless power through simplicity, thy name might be XFCE 18.104.22.168 (4.4 BETA2, dubbed BETA1 in Zenwalk 2.8, but BETA2 in ZenLive 2.6.1). This lightweight desktop environment gets better and better lately, and the new Thunar 0.3.2beta2 shines.
Thunar 0.3.2beta2 - an elegant file manager
(full image 1302x508, size: 88kB)
Zenwalk is configured with simplicity in mind, with a compact single-panel layout of Xfce, but you won't feel anything lacking (clutter and bloatness, maybe).
The Zenwalk Linux 2.8 desktop
(full image 1280x1024, size: 312kB)
Just coming from a GNOME desktop, we spent 10 minutes to make it look a little like the elder brother: the results were quite impressing.
Customized Zenwalk Linux 2.8 desktop (à la GNOME), in activity
(full image 1280x1024, size: 296kB)
Right out of the box, Zenwalk Linux offers you a fully-fledged system: Firefox and Thunderbird 22.214.171.124, GAIM, Bittorrent, LinNeighborhood, Wifi-radar, GIMP 2.2.12, GQview, Evince, Mousepad, Bluefish 1.0.5, Geani IDE 0.7.1, GHex, JRE 1.5, Python 2.4.3, Perl 5.8.8 (with GTK bindings), Gxine 0.5.4, Graveman, and many more.
The pre-installed office applications are however limited to AbiWord and Gnumeric (plus Xsane and Xfce's Orage), but you can install OpenOffice.org 2.0.2 from the network repository, using Zenwalk's Netpkg package manager (see the manual if you need help).
For many people, Netpkg is exactly the part of Zen which might be seen a little harsh (no, it's by no means resembling Synaptic). Apart from the modest look, you should be aware that the apparent lack of an alphabetical order is only illusory: the listed packages are alphabetically ordered, but this only happens within a set of packages - where the sets are (in this order): a, ap, d, g, n, l, s, xap, x, kde, extra.
What you can get from the repositories? First of all, Midnight Commander (mc) lacks from Zenwalk, although it was in ZenLive. Then, plenty of packages, including a full GNOME 2.14.2 (in only 6 packages!), a full KDE 3.5.2, Ruby 1.8.4, PHP 5.1.4, MySQL 5.0.21, apache 2.2.2, ProFTPd, samba, webmin, nVU, Inkscape 0.44, Mplayer, Audacious, BMP, and so on.
To make a bit of proselytism now: the rather unexpected choice of having Gxine as the default multimedia player is actually "a better choice". When listening to streaming radio channels that update the ID tags for each tune, you may be surprised to find that Gxine updates the screen info too, while most players can't do the same!
Where are its limits set? Not being a corporate-backed distribution, it can afford to come with support for MP3, win32 codecs, and RealMedia files - but you have to download libdvdcss2 with Netpkg. Alas, the PDF reader Evince seems to have problems when selecting text.
As a funny thing in confignetwork (check also configservice): the NIC that are named in Zenwalk 2.8: eth0 and eth1, were identified in Zenlive 2.6.1 as eth2 and eth1 (in this order).
Searching for higher limits now: as Zenwalk's packages are in .TGZ format and are still meant to be binary-compatible with Slackware, you should have a good chance to enjoy extra packages from linuxpackages.net too.
For a distribution that doesn't need many resources to fly (an 850 MHz CPU, 128 MB RAM and 1.5 GB of disk are more than enough), this seems to be the good path to the moment-by-moment awareness through direct experience. And this is exactly Zen.
Berry Linux 0.72
The release of Berry Linux 0.72 was announced on July 26. Berry Linux is a Fedora-based livecd with support for the Japanese language. I've tested earlier versions of Berry Linux before, but this release held a little surprise for me. This version includes XGL. One can boot the system into an XGL KDE desktop.
I've always like Berry with its fruity motiff and with this release that hasn't changed. Strawberries and raspberries can be seen throughout the boot process and desktops as well as other blooms and even a kitty cat. Seems Berry developers have an appreciation for nature. Underneath it is all Linux.
This release brings Kernel 126.96.36.199, KDE 3.5.3, Xorg 7.0.0, gcc 4.1.1, OpenOffice 2.0.3, and Firefox/Thunderbird 188.8.131.52. Coming in a 515 MB download, one might think it'd be a slimmed down system. Well, it is, but it's hard to tell by looking. The menus are full of applications and tools for most of the common computing tasks.
The menu is constructed in a manner that lends itself for easy navigation. Major headings include Administration, BERRY, Preferences, and Program. Under Administration is the entry for Wireless Assistant and Server settings (which is empty). Under BERRY we find various system and hardware configuration tools and utilities, including two harddrive installers. Preferences contain a few entries for KDE specific settings. Program is where the applications are found.
For photo and image viewing and manipulation we find The Gimp, digiKam, showFoto, and Inkscape. Under the Internet subheading are KPPP, Konqueror, Firefox, Thunderbird, SIM (gaim), Smb4k, and Sylpheed. Sound and video includes BMP, K3b, Kaffeine, Mplayer, TVtime, and Xine. Office tasks can be handled by the OpenOffice suite or TextMaker and PlanMaker.
All the applications worked very well here except for SIM which seemed a bit unstable. It exited with segmentation faults on two occasions in the short time it was being tested. The media players functioned as designed, and the video players had no problems with the basic formats tested. TVtime was a very pleasant surprise for me as I've rarely had any luck with it. Rarely, if ever, does it work for me, but on Berry it did.
Berry Linux includes a utility for saving one's BERRY configuration and two hard drive installers. The primary installer looks very much like Morphix's installer. It consists of a few basic configuration questions and then a progress bar. It's quite easy to use for anyone of any experience. As with any Linux install, only the partitioning step could present any confusion.
Berry Linux has a basic Control Center. At this point it holds system information and offers a few system configuration options as well as an Auto Update feature. I wasn't able to test the Auto Update tool as there didn't seem to be any updates at this time.
There are several choices when the Berry Linux live cd is first booted. At the grub splash screen one can choose from such options as English Version, Expert, Vaio, or Xgl. When choosing Xgl one is booted to an XGL enabled KDE desktop. I found this option to be a great addition to the Xgl desktop line-up. SUSE offers a setup guide for using XGL KDE on their systems, but I believe this to be the only distro shipping with it enabled at boot. It worked wonderfully here and didn't seem to consume excessive system resources. Menu operation, application opening, and window moving or redrawing all functioned with no noticeable delays. All the commonly documented effects worked really well.
Berry Linux also comes in a "mini" version too. If one desires a smaller lighter version, a 162 MB iso is available. This version features a lighter desktop rather than KDE. It features their own Rasp-UI, but appears to be an animated Equinox. All icons on the desktop, in the panel, and in the menu are animated. Gears turn, windows resize, and flags wave. It's a real cute option that's available as an alternative in the larger iso as well.
The only trouble I had here was with the installer and SIM. The installer appeared to stop at 80% with the installing grub phase. I'm not sure if the install was really unsuccessful as the resulting system appeared to function fine within the limited testing performed. It performed well from the live cd. Hardware detection and auto-configuration was good. As stated, I've always like Berry Linux and this release has some really nice new features. It is another great Linux distribution.
|Released Last Week
GoblinX Mini 1.4.0:
"The GoblinX 1.4.0 has several important improvments. The Liveupgrade, our livecd remaster tool, now has a new main window with all options you can enable before create your own livecd, there are also several new GUIs prepared to use, gtkDSL which is a graphical interface to configure accounts and start DSL connections, gtkSwap, used to create swap memory files, gtkQivss, a Qiv slideshow interface, gtkSplitz, to divide files into pieces and gtkImods, to use with modules and install modules to harddisk." Visit the project's news page to read the full release announcement and changelog.
DragonFly BSD 1.6:
"1.6 is our fourth major DragonFly release. DragonFly's policy is to only commit bug fixes to release branches. The biggest user-visible changes in this release are a new random number generator, a massive reorganization of the 802.11 (wireless) framework, and extensive bug fixes in the kernel. We also made significant progress in pushing the big giant lock inward and made extensive modifications to the kernel infrastructure with an eye towards DragonFly's main clustering and userland VFS goals. We consider 1.6 to be more stable then 1.4." Find more details in the comprehensive announcement.
"NetBSD 3.0.1 is the first security/critical update of the NetBSD 3.0 release branch. This represents a selected subset of fixes deemed critical in nature for stability or security reasons, no new features have been added. NetBSD 3.0.1 runs on 57 different system architectures featuring 17 machine architectures across 17 distinct CPU families, and is being ported to more. The NetBSD 3.0.1 release contains complete binary releases for 53 different machine types, with the platforms amigappc, bebox, pc532 and playstation2 released in source form only. Complete source and binaries for NetBSD 3.0.1 are available for download at many sites around the world." More details can be found in the release announcement.
PUD GNU/Linux v0.4.6.1:
PUD GNU/Linux is a Taiwanese mini live and installation CD based on Ubuntu, with ideas borrowed from the LAMPPIX and Damn Small Linux projects, and with support for Traditional Chinese. Its main purpose is to provide a complete Linux desktop with many popular applications and tools, yet remain small and simple to operate. PUD v0.4.6.1 is now available: "with lots of new features and packages, improved performance, bug fixes and upgrades. For more information please read on Release Note."
Berry Linux 0.72:
Yuichiro Nakada has announced a new release of Berry Linux, a desktop-oriented, Fedora-based live CD with support for Japanese and English. From the changelog: "Kernel 184.108.40.206 SMP + ndev/udev + bootsplash; squashfs 3.0; unionfs 1.1.5; ndiswrapper 1.19; InitNG 0.6.7 (+initng-is for isplash); KDE 3.5.3 (Fedora Core 5/Stable); Rasp-UI 0.03 (WindowManager); OpenOffice 2.0.3 (Japanese and English); Wine 0.9.17."
ROCK Linux 3:
Version 3 of the ROCK Linux is released. From the announcement: "It took a bit over 20 months, but finally, ROCK 3 is done. Over the last 20 months, ROCK Linux has seen many changes not only in the code, but also in its aim and social relations... Creating a distribution is a complex task. ROCK makes this task a lot easier. Many changes since the last release have gone into enhancing the example distribution - Crystal ROCK - to be a good reference for what is possible." Changes since version 2.0 can be found on the RockWiki page.
Puppy Linux 2.02:
Puppy Linux version 2.02 is released, the greatest news with which is Puppy now has full NTFS write support, using the ntfs-3g driver: "Full read and write support for NTFS partitions. This includes saving of the Puppy session to hard drive. More thorough checking of system integrity at a version upgrade, to ensure that the system is stable and usable. The kernel is still version 220.127.116.11 but has been recompiled to support 4G memory and frequency scaling..." Find more details in the release notes.
Version 12.8 of aLinux, a distribution formerly known as Peanut Linux, has been released. The changes in this release are as follows: The API was changed by updating to glibc 2.4 and GCC 4.1.1. Other updates include KDE 3.5.3 and KOffice 1.5.2. Xorg was removed and replaced with XFree86 4.6.0. The Linux kernel version is 2.6.17 with IVTV. A MultiMedia desktop was added for high definition users. More information is available in the release notes and on the project's homepage.
* * * * *
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
DistroWatch database summary|
* * * * *
I want to thank everyone for joining me during my three weeks here with you. I know you're missing Ladislav and if things go as scheduled, he'll be back with you next week. Thanks to everyone who helped out, especially Dr. Wen Tao Zhu. Thanks to Dr. Zhu for the fascinating article this week as well. Thank you Beranger for your wonderful review of Zenwalk. Thanks to gfranken for further Mandriva Linux news tips. But most importantly, thanks to all of the DistroWatch visitors. Have a great week!
1 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-07-31 09:11:08 GMT from Honolulu, United States) |
Thanks, Susan. You did a wonderful job.
2 • Well done (by David on 2006-07-31 09:11:43 GMT from Bickley, United Kingdom)
Well done, Sue!
3 • Partitioning with Zenwalk / Zenlive (by Akuna on 2006-07-31 09:14:11 GMT from Nantes, France)
As an alternate way of using fdisck /cfdisk from Zenwalk 2.8 installation CD, you could simply prepare your partitioning with Gparted from Zenlive-2.6.1. ;-)
4 • Congrats (by CoolGoose on 2006-07-31 09:16:49 GMT from Bucharest, Romania)
Another great distrowatch weekly by Susan ;)
5 • Thanks Susan! (by Chris Smart on 2006-07-31 09:22:42 GMT from , Australia)
Susan, you've done a great job filling in for Ladislav and we certainly appreciate it. Thanks!
6 • Distrowatch and Slackware (by Ben Woods on 2006-07-31 09:28:13 GMT from Perth, Australia)
It has been good reading over the past 3 weeks. I have liked it.
Also, its good to see that many of the initial DW posts were on slackware... hopefully we will be seeing another slack post soon eh? ;)
7 • Thank you, Susan (by AC on 2006-07-31 09:28:29 GMT from , United States)
Please do feel free to come back anytime.
8 • No subject (by God on 2006-07-31 10:25:42 GMT from Kanpur, India)
Susie we love you ^_^
9 • Good job! (by Mark W. Tomlinson on 2006-07-31 11:49:35 GMT from Duluth, United States)
Good job, Susan! Thanks for so ably filling in & giving Ladislav some probably much-needed "decompression" time...
10 • Kororaa (by Matthew Vermeulen on 2006-07-31 12:20:17 GMT from Perth, Australia)
So kororaa live cd (also installable) isn't xgl enable on boot? or does that count as a discontinued distro?
Besides that, thanks a lot susan...
11 • Debian-based LiveCDs (by aerial cartwheel on 2006-07-31 12:30:38 GMT from Berlin, Germany)
The mini-review of ZenWalk lists some "easy to use, installable LiveCDs" (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, MEPIS, PCLinuxOS, Mandriva One). These are all great products but I'd like to add to this list some LiveCDs that use Debian's package pool: Kanotix (KDE), Parsix (GNOME, based on Kanotix), Dreamlinux (XFCE, based on Kanotix kernel and Morphix tools). Also, there are the venerable Knoppix (KDE), the minimalist Damn Small Linux (Fluxbox and JWM), and grml that comes with a variety of light-weight window managers and uses zsh instead of bash.
I use Debian (testing/unstable) as my main workstation and I've been very happy with the number of packages that are available for Debian, as well as with their up-to-dateness and high quality. Furthermore, I've been impressed by Debian's high system intergration (most applications seem to "just work" out of the box after installation), the configuration tools that are available for most tasks, and by Debian's own menu system that makes all the installed applications easily available. Internationalization/localization is also excellent in Debian. Plus it suits my personal ideological stance that by using Debian I support the world's largest not-for-profit GNU/Linux distro. All these reasons make me think that using Debian's package pool is a great advantage to any LiveCD.
12 • Some Podcasts Now Point To OGG Files (by Ronald L. Gibson on 2006-07-31 12:34:09 GMT from Sylmar, United States)
There are some Podcasts that use to point to MP3 files, now point to OGG files. Will there be a link to the MP3 files. My player does MP3 & WMA.
13 • no. # 10 (by susan on 2006-07-31 13:10:39 GMT from , United States)
I meant that I think Berry to be the only one that offers XGL enabled at boot for KDE. Kororaa uses gnome, right?
And thanks everyone for all the nice comments. I appreciate it so much.
14 • Is linux gaining the market? (by RIGODOR on 2006-07-31 13:19:06 GMT from Philippine, Philippines)
Check out certcities.com's top 10 certification of the year...
nicwe work dw!
15 • wonderful place (by pete on 2006-07-31 13:22:55 GMT from Vienna, Austria)
u did a great job susan :-)
i discovered distrowatch a few weeks ago , and i vist it on a regularly base now . always on top with the releases . and with this nice, friendly and interesting column every week. thx so much everybody involved with this site .
its one of the nicest places here on the net :-)
love you pete ....
16 • BSD-Curious? (by Mr Funkmaster Burstingfoam, Jr on 2006-07-31 13:27:56 GMT from Savannah, United States)
Wow! There certainly seems to be a lot happening in the world of BSD lately. There are now plenty of live CD's to choose from (my favourite is Frenzy), as well as desktop-friendly implementations of FreeBSD (DesktopBSD & PC-BSD); I just installed DragonFlyBSD and was amazed at how far it has come in the last few months, and with fairly limited project resources, too!
I'll probably go back to my beloved NetBSD though, as they just released a brand new version and I'm aching to give it a try.
17 • BSD (by ikke on 2006-07-31 14:17:47 GMT from Lokeren, Belgium)
"Wow! There certainly seems to be a lot happening in the world of BSD lately. There are now plenty of live CD's to choose from"
Are you serious? Tought there is only Frenzy and TrueBSD (if you understand some Russian). Please give us a few names ...
18 • Clarification on Midnight Commander in Zenwalk (by Béranger on 2006-07-31 15:37:53 GMT from Bucuresti, Romania)
CLARIFICATION: It wasn't properly formulated as "First of all, Midnight Commander (mc) lacks from Zenwalk".
What I wanted to say: mc is not present in the default install!
Of course it *is* present in the repositories!
19 • Good job! (by IMQ on 2006-07-31 15:55:20 GMT from Decatur, United States)
No. Very good job!
Thanks, Susan, for entertaining us while Ladislav entertains himself.
20 • aLinux (by IMQ on 2006-07-31 15:58:38 GMT from Decatur, United States)
Has anyone tried aLinux latest release?
Is that an oversize CD image? Can it be burnt to a DVD media?
From what I can tell, it's a CD image but too large for a normal 700MB blank media.
Just curious. I am going to burn it to a DVD-RW and take it for a spin.
21 • Re: aLinux (by Clint Christopher Canada on 2006-07-31 17:34:10 GMT from Cebu City, Philippines)
As far as I know, 12.7 (the first oversized 770Mb iso image) must be burned to a dvd-r. 12.8 I presume would be also the same.
If you guys have installed aLinux 12.7 in the past, I would suggest you reinstall using 12.8. The jump in gcc and glibc libraries causes problems in synaptic, when my colleague tested it out for upgrade.
22 • Re: aLinux (by Jase on 2006-07-31 17:54:03 GMT from , United States)
You can always burn it to an 800mb CDR.
23 • aLinux (by tom on 2006-07-31 18:16:49 GMT from Helena, United States)
I would try burnig to a 700 mb CD. The size of the iso on HD is not the same as the room it takes on CD and i have burned several "oversized" iso's to CD without problem in the. No direct experinece with aLinux.
24 • Re: #21, #22, #23 (by IMQ on 2006-07-31 20:21:34 GMT from Decatur, United States)
Thanks. I think so too. I will do a DVD-RW to test it.
I don't have any 800MB CDR. I don't recall seeing any in the local stores (Fry's, Best Buy, Circuit Cityu, CompUSA, etc.) either.
The file is too big. I don't think the overzise will fit, even with overburn. Not with a 60MB.
25 • Re: aLinux (by Jase on 2006-07-31 20:49:58 GMT from Detroit, United States)
True, I can only find them online.
26 • Re: 17 (live BSD's) (by Eggbert Ethelready on 2006-07-31 21:44:07 GMT from Savannah, United States)
Check this out:
from a Distrowatch Weekly from last month. They tested
Frenzy, FreesBIE, AnanymOS, OliveBSD, NetBSD Live, & FreeBSD Live CD.
27 • Thank you Susan, Dr. W. T. Zhu, and Beranger !! (by Bill Savoie at 2006-07-31 22:18:47 GMT from Church Hill, United States)
Thank you all for putting together Distrowatch while Ladislav gets his time to re-connect to family, friends and vacation. We all need down time. I have enjoyed Distrowatch for three years. I always look forward to Monday. I feel like a boy scout sitting around a fire, listening to stories from the old wise ones. It is all about how the sharing takes place, how technology moves around and is prefected. I don't like being an American (USA) and Distrowatch lets me see how creative people living all over the world make Linux happen. We have two models of technology one that is open and one that is not. Actually, at 60 years old, I know that America some 25 years ago was the place that allowed the Internet and new technologies to start. When Little Richard was on the radio in California it was a cool place to live! I wish we were stll that open to the new. Today we seem mostly about fear, and small minded ideas. Sorry world..wealth has it's negative effects..Now it is your turn. The Dollar is bound to bust and fall against the EURO, as we fight and build more war toys..When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn.. May the next empire be a real 'world government' and not just this one side takes all that we have now. Sorry Linux lovers to take such a dark view.. We may need to move out of software developement and move into world development.
28 • Zenwalk (by smartjak on 2006-07-31 23:14:32 GMT from Plano, United States)
Zen is a distro that been over looked and I hope its two mentions on Distrowatch will correct that matter. Clean, light, easy to use and configure makes it a keeper. I think it has all the good points of Slackware and none of its short comings. (forgive me Slackers). Give it a try. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
29 • I love optimisim (by Paul at 2006-08-01 00:21:53 GMT from Saint Louis, United States)
Susan, thanks for keeping up the traditional praise of all things Linux. One thing I really love about Distrowatch is how the masters seem to get practically every distro working with bedrock stability... while my amateur results are decidedly mixed.
There's always a note of encouragement here... which is unique in a craft where there is virtually no limit to how discouraging things can get.
30 • Great job (by Wazoo on 2006-08-01 01:27:44 GMT from Littleton, United States)
Thanks, Susan, for the clear writing and excellent historical annotations of our favorite website.
31 • job done well (by xtudiux on 2006-08-01 03:04:45 GMT from Naga, Philippines)
the job is well done susan...thumbs up....both
32 • #27 (by anon on 2006-08-01 08:53:22 GMT from Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation)
Bill, if you don't like the U.S., leave (I did).
The LAST thing the world needs is "world government." In the words of RWR, "government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem."
33 • To Beranger (by mikz on 2006-08-01 12:02:46 GMT from Moscow, Russian Federation)
Beranger wrote on Zenwalk:
With the recent release of both ZenLive Linux 2.6.1 and Zenwalk Linux 2.8, this distribution ... hits it big. In a world of easy to use, installable LiveCDs ... this might be the chance to prove that the Slackware base does not impede a distro to keep up with the current standards.
SLAX (http://www.slax.org/) installs on a hard drive instantly, and SLAX is based on Slackware. ;^)
34 • #27, #32 (by another anon on 2006-08-01 12:43:09 GMT from Cincinnati, United States)
Distrowatch is a daily read for me. I am hooked on Linux and enjoy seeing how different distros evolve.
I come to DW for this, not for political rants which do *not* belong here. If I were a moderator, I would rm stuff like that (and this one also). Let's stay on subject...
35 • Zenwalk (by tom on 2006-08-01 15:11:59 GMT from Helena, United States)
First, Thank you Susan for maintaining Distrowatch.
Second, Thank you Beranger for the review of Zenwalk. I have been using Zenwalk for a few versions now and have been quite happy. It is light and free of bloat. It seems distro's are becoming more and more bloated these days. This is also the greatest weakness of Zenwalk- limited repository. Somewhat compatible with Slackware repository, although use with caution.
As to Abiword, I find I often use (leafpad) mousepad for basic text. Open Office is nice if needed, but bloated. Dillo works well as a fast browser and is less bloated then Firefox.
Netpkg takes a while to get used to, but it works well and has been improving. If you prefer you can install slapt-get/Gslapt.
I run Zenwalk with Fluxbox and it is very fast.
mikz. I have tried SLAX and agree with your assessment. I have had problems with SLAX, however. first hardware detection is poor and I was unable to boot the last version of SLAX. I will give the latest release a try.
36 • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder (by Sphinx on 2006-08-01 18:14:15 GMT from Sacramento, United States)
"We recommend to add an option vga=791 or vga=793 at boot time, to avoid the ugly 25x80 text screen."
, no respect for the ancient weapons..
37 • Puppy has full NTFS write support (by bk on 2006-08-01 23:20:59 GMT from , Australia)
This should not go unnoticed, it's a momentous occassion!
Puppy Linux, a teensy 71MB distro with full suite of applications, now has native
NTFS write support, using the new ntfs-3g driver. This is an open-source gpl
driver, and so far has withstood testing by a few dozen people. It works perfectly.
The linux-ntfs driver site has mentioned this driver and state that it is beta-quality
for now and after testing they will look at merging it into the official code base. But,
our experience is it just works.
With puppy you can now boot the live-cd then save the session to a NTFS partition.
The ntfs-3gs driver compiled statically is quite small and is in the initrd, so the NTFS
partition can be recognised at bootup and the previously saved session loaded.
38 • SymphonyOS for next DW donation? (by EEDOK on 2006-08-02 17:39:57 GMT from Edmonton, Canada)
Isn't the next donation next week?
39 • SymPHONY OS - NO donation (by Pringles on 2006-08-02 19:10:39 GMT from Olympia, United States)
I don't know why people are trying to get donations there. There was some pretty bad press over at OSNews, and they are now up and running with the begging they did on the site as well as at OSNews. Don't buy into this project - if they can't keep the lights on and have to beg, they're not going to manage themselves well. I vote NO for SymPHONY OS.
40 • donation (by Anonymous on 2006-08-02 20:37:12 GMT from Eschborn, Germany)
Please donate to FreeNAS.
It turns every old box into a home-NAS and it is free!
41 • SymPHONY OS? (by UltraZelda64 on 2006-08-03 04:31:16 GMT from Alliance, United States)
Not that I care much for Symphony OS myself, but using lame capitalization techniques to bring out a specific word in the name of a product/word to make fun of it is pretty pathetic...
I can't say that I would like Symphony to get a donation (for one thing, I don't know how the donation system works, and there are probably dozens of projects out there that I don't know about that would be more worthy...). But come on, can't you people get past the elementary school way of making fun of things? Or better yet, leave out the childish remarks completely?
42 • Paws for thought . . . (by Lobster on 2006-08-03 06:13:57 GMT from Rochdale, United Kingdom)
"Puppy Linux, a teensy 71MB distro with full suite of applications, now has native NTFS write support,"
To think I left that out of my Puppy presentation . . .
NTFS support means Puppy can dual boot (loads and runs from CD - save files in one NTFS file on an XP computer) with Windows.
Being Puppy it will run and load from CD faster that Windows boots from HD. Then it will run faster then other Linux versions. All your XP files are available in Puppy. Lan Puppy now available. Community Editions and Gnome support on its way . . . KDE-Puppy available . . .
I was reading on the Ubuntu forum that Puppy 'does not get the recognition it desertves'
So many great distros. So little bandwidth . . .
Run Puppy Run
Be frisky, fun and free
43 • Lobster, your slideshow rocks ! (by Caraibes on 2006-08-03 22:50:03 GMT from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)
I am very proud that the Dominican Republic is mentioned on the 1st page !!!!
44 • Ubuntu Classroom (by Misty on 2006-08-05 19:03:28 GMT from Elizabethtown, United States)
"Appropriately, the first class topic is an Introduction to Internet Relay Chat (IRC) scheduled for August 5 and August 6"
Ah, good to see how many of you are here on our IRC channel. Now, our first lesson is "How to Get on IRC".
(My apologies, folks.)
45 • 44 (by AC on 2006-08-05 19:55:38 GMT from , United States)
LOL. Misty you rule
46 • Dreamlinux (by Anonymous on 2006-08-06 07:12:10 GMT from Honolulu, United States)
I just checked out DreamLinux which someone mentioned in a post above. It's beautiful visually.
Now if it just had ROX Filer installed by default.
47 • Ubuntu Christian Edition (by Ariszló on 2006-08-06 09:27:55 GMT from Budapest, Hungary)
Released on July 24, 2006:
Number of Comments: 47
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