| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 165, 21 August 2006
Welcome to this year's 34th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! A slow week in terms of distribution releases, but an exciting one for those who attended the LinuxWorld show in San Francisco. Missing from the exhibition for the first time in years, Red Hat also failed to release the first beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 - apparently due to issues with Xen. But the company was represented by a Fedora booth - a distribution that is rapidly regaining trust among its users and passion among its developers. In other news, we'll take a quick look at Linux in Cuba, point you to a list of new features in Ubuntu "Edgy Eft", and link to a chart depicting Linux distribution timeline. A range of new distributions should make up for the lack of other news this week. Happy reading!
- News: LinuxWorld San Francisco, Debian in Cuba, RHEL beta delay, Fedora's Max Spevack, Linux distribution timeline
- Released last week: Kate OS 3.0, Momonga Linux 3
- Upcoming releases: NetBSD 3.1
- New additions: Ekaaty Linux, RoFreeSBIE
- New distributions: DDbackup, FIRST LIVE, Nethence Linux, Ubuntu Christian Edition, Ubuntu Lite
- Reader comments
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LinuxWorld San Francisco, Debian in Cuba, RHEL beta delay, Fedora's Max Spevack, Linux distribution timeline
Much of last week was dominated by news and reports from LinuxWorld Expo in San Fransic so. Unlike many of the previous shows, the most recent event was characterised by solemn dignity, rather than exciting announcements and buzz of major expectations. The absence of Red Hat, Inc, surprising as it was, did not detract from the success of the exhibition and both those who looked for business solutions for their companies and organisations, and those who enjoyed the more informal atmosphere of the dot-org pavilion were equally impressed with the quality of Linux products on offer. Rumours about the imminent release of a Red Hat-based Oracle Linux turned out to be false and so did those of a possible acquisition of the North Carolina Linux company by the database giant. Despite that, the show has proved once again that Linux is already firmly entrenched in the consciousness of many in the IT industry and that it offers a wide variety of low-cost, reliable solution for those who are prepared to evaluate alternative operating systems available on the market.
Have any of our readers attended the show? If so, what were your impressions? And what do you think was the best booth on the exhibition floor? Please discuss in the forum below.
* * * * *
Speaking about Red Hat Linux, it seems that the popular enterprise distribution has run into some trouble with getting a new version out for testing. The first development build of Red Hat Linux 5, originally scheduled for release in July, will be delayed: "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 was slated to move into beta testing in July but that has been pushed back until September, sources close to the company said. ... The source said the reason for the delay was a technical snag engineers originally thought was a memory corruption issue related to Xen but later identified as a kernel debugging issue. It is now being fixed." Despite the delay, Red Hat intends to ship the final version before the end of the year as planned. For more information please see this article at InformationWeek.
* * * * *
Possibly one of the best distribution-related interviews in recent months, the Fedora Project leader Max Spevack answers ten questions by the ever inquisitive Slashdot readers. One of them discusses the interviewee's view on the most annoying shortcoming in Fedora - the split between "Core" and "Extras": "I would like for the Core/Extras distinction to go away, and instead be replaced by the idea of a Fedora Universe, which is a giant pile of packages that are blessed by Fedora, and any subset of those packages that produces a functioning OS can be called Fedora. It's going to happen, but it's not an overnight sort of change." Also, don't miss Spevack's explanation about the purpose and goals of Fedora in question number 8. It's an excellent interview - definitely worth reading even if you are not a Fedora user.
* * * * *
Our statistical analysis of readers' interest in DistroWatch in Central America, published in last week's DistroWatch Weekly, coincided with an interesting report of a Debian developer David Moreno Garza in Cuba. He concluded his experiences with: "Cuban free software effort and community, just as most of the communities in Latin America, are growing. Every day, more free software is being adopted by the government and interest is rising in urban communities. Lots of Cubans are into computing careers and building even stronger social bows while using free software and adopting Debian. This has been the reality in Latin America, which is expected to keep going up." The full report is available here.
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Although Ubuntu's next stable release, code name "Edgy Eft", is still in early stages of development, there is little doubt that a more experimental and adventurous version of the popular distribution is in the works. This article, published on a worldpress.com web log, has collected information about some of the new features in Ubuntu 6.10 and GNOME 2.16 for your reading pleasure: "GNOME 2.16 Beta has been in Edgy Eft (Ubuntu 6.10) for the past few days. It is functioning extremely well. I've seen some occasional crashes with Epiphany and Nautilus but I hope that it will be fixed soon. Other than that, there are lots of new things in GNOME 2.16. Nautilus, Evolution, Tomboy, GEdit all have had great speed improvements. Evolution used to use around ~45 MB on my machine and now it uses barely 25 MB. Its functionality has improved as well. Nautilus uses less memory. As usual, GNOME Terminal has also undergone some speed improvements." The article is accompanied by a good selection of screenshots.
* * * * *
Last week one of the readers emailed us a link to a Linux Distro Timeline, a graphical chart depicting the evolution of the many popular distributions over time. It goes back to 1991 with the first release of Linux (the kernel), followed by what would later be recognised as the first Linux distribution - SLS. Its successor, Slackware Linux, remains the oldest surviving Linux distribution, beating Debian GNU/Linux by several months. SUSE Linux is shown as a branch of Slackware, although it later deviated from its predecessor so much that few would see the connection between the two just a few years after SUSE's decision to go its own way. Red Hat Linux arrived on the scene in late 1994, while Mandrake Linux started as a branch of Red Hat Linux in early 1998. Gentoo Linux is shown as coming into existence in 2002, although extensive work done prior to the source distribution's first stable release makes it a much older distribution. The chart also gives a visual impression that the years from 2002 to 2004 gave birth to a large number of new Linux distributions, including the popular KNOPPIX, MEPIS Linux, Ubuntu and Fedora Core.
|Released Last Week
Momonga Linux 3
Masaru Sanuki has announced the release of Momonga Linux 3, a complete Japanese community distribution loosely modelled on Fedora Core. Code named "Mikuru", the project's newest release is now available for both the i386 and x86_64 architectures. The most important new features include: kernel 2.6.17; GCC 4.1.1 with Stack Smashing Protector; glibc 2.4 with NPTL; GNOME 2.14.2 and KDE 3.5.4; introduction of yum; increased compatibility with Fedora Core 5; adoption of OpenPrinting standards; Sun Java 1.5; Xen virtualisation; SATA support; Ruby on Rails. Please see the release announcement (in Japanese) for a detailed list of new features.
Lineox Enterprise Linux 4.096
Following the release of update 4 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, a new version of Lineox Enterprise Linux, incorporating all upstream updates, is also out: "Always Current Lineox Enterprise Linux 4.096 with Update 4 available. In the version 4.096 the installation environment is rebuilt, so it offers better hardware support during the installation. See the release notes for full information. The x86_64 release requires either AMD Opteron or Athlon64 CPU based computer. Some new Intel Xeon and Pentium IV processors with EM64T (Extended Memory 64 Technology) will also be able to run this version." Here is the full release announcement.
Piebox Enterprise Linux 4 Update 4
The UK-based Piebox Enterprise Linux has released a new update to their Red Hat-based commercial distribution: "Update 4 of Pie Box Enterprise Linux 4 was made available today. This update includes the following enhancements: new kernel features including Device Mapper mirroring support, IDE disk dump support and Vmalloc support >64MB; enhanced kernel features including multi-core scheduler support and performance and power enhancements for Intel's Core2 Duo and Xeon 5100 series processors; source re-base to Firefox 1.5, Thunderbird 1.5, OpenOffice.org 1.1.5...." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Kate OS 3.0
The KateOS project has announced the availability of KateOS 3.0. Although the new version was released over a week ago, it was only announced yesterday due to earlier problems with the project's web site: "After seven months of hard work, KateOS 3.0 is now ready! This version starts a new series which will be supported for at least a year. It is also a jubilee version: the project, originally known as Kate Linux, was founded circa three years ago, near the end of 2003." Read the release announcement and release notes for further information.
Network Security Toolkit 1.4.2
A new version of Network Security Toolkit (NST) has been released: "We are pleased to announce the latest NST release: v1.4.2. This release is based on Fedora Core 4 using the Linux kernel 2.6.17. Many new NST WUI features and capabilities have been included with this distribution: addition of Fruity, Fruity templates and the nstfruity script to simplify the management of Nagios; addition of Sguil and the nstsguil script to simplify the setup and use of Sguil; addition of the barnyard link package; addition of NiktoRAT reports and a NST WUI management page; addition of the tidy plugin for Firefox to aid one in validating the HTML produced by web servers...." Read the release announcement and changelog for more details.
* * * * *
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
The NetBSD project has published a detailed release schedule of the upcoming NetBSD 3.1: "The NetBSD release engineering team is planning to roll out the NetBSD 3.1 release in a few weeks. Prior to the final release, a few release candidates are planned. We encourage you to test these and report any bugs using the send-pr(1) utility. The first release candidate (3.1_RC1) is scheduled for August 21, followed by a second release candidate (3.1_RC2) on September 4. If no significant problems arise, we plan to release NetBSD 3.1 final on September 18, otherwise another release candidate will follow, delaying the release another two weeks." More information about the 3.1 schedule, and instructions for getting release candidates, can be found in Geert Hendrickx's email to the NetBSD-Announce list.
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database|
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New distributions added to waiting list
- DDbackup. DDbackup is a Linux live CD based on the popular SLAX live CD Popcorn Edition. It includes several utilities for backing up disk drives, partitions and files.
- FIRST LIVE. FIRST (Forensic Investigation and Recovery Systems) LIVE is a bootable CD created with the objective to provide an immediate environment for performing computer forensic analysis, incident response, data acquisition and recovery, virus scanning and detection, and vulnerability assessment.
- Nethence Linux. Nethence Linux is a light, Slackware-based distribution incorporating NetBSD's pkgsrc package management tools and concepts.
- Ubuntu Christian Edition. Ubuntu Christian Edition is a free, open source operating system geared towards Christians. It is based on the popular Ubuntu. Along with the standard Ubuntu applications, Ubuntu Christian Edition includes the best available Christian software. The latest release contains GnomeSword, a top of the line Bible study program for Linux based on the Sword Project. There are several modules installed with GnomeSword including Bibles, Commentaries, and Dictionaries.
- Ubuntu Lite. The idea behind Ubuntu Lite is to bring the power of Ubuntu across to the users of legacy systems.
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DistroWatch database summary
And that concludes our latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next issue will be published on Monday, 28 August 2006. Until then,
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