| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 176, 6 November 2006
Welcome to this year's 45th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Novell drops a bombshell on the Linux community. Signing an exclusive patent-protection agreement with Microsoft, a company that has been trying to discredit Linux at every opportunity, Novell claims that the deal is great for its customers. The community, however, is not impressed. In the meantime, CentOS, a project that provides a free clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, voices its concerns over the recently launched Oracle Enterprise Linux. In other news: find out how the Fedora code names are generated, check out the 100% "libre" gNewSense distribution, and install a bunch of scientific applications on your Ubuntu box with just one command. In our web log feature, we revisit Mandriva Linux 2007 and give away four boxes of its PowerPack edition. Finally, reader's input is sought for a dilemma about the increasingly aggressive linking of several Linux distributions to DistroWatch. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in ogg (6.6MB) or mp3 (7.4MB) format (courtesy of Matt Taylor).
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
Novell partners with Microsoft, CentOS on Oracle Enterprise Linux, Fedora code names, Mandriva and MEPIS updates, gNewSense
Novell, what have you done now? Was this really necessary? As the news about the partnership between Novell and Microsoft hit the wires, many Linux users and community news sites expressed extreme bewilderment and utter disbelief over the deal. Although the agreement has more to do with software patents and mutual protection from law suits -- and is therefore better suited for analysis by sites that know more on the subject (see Groklaw's Novell Sells Out and The Morning After) -- this sentence from Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer makes it very clear what the deal means for the world's largest software company: "If a customer says, 'Look, do we have liability for the use of your patented work?' Essentially, if you're using non-SUSE Linux, then I'd say the answer is yes." That statement is enough to convince any Linux user that this is not an agreement that should be applauded and that Novell has done a terrible disservice to the Linux community at large. What a huge disappointment after several years of being an absolutely wonderful community player!
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The Novell-Microsoft bombshell comes shortly after the recent announcement by Oracle to offer a re-branded Red Hat Enterprise Linux and heavily discounted support options to interested customers. While both announcements are seen by some as attempts to attack Red Hat and dilute its considerable profits from the enterprise Linux market, many important community players continue to voice their support for the North Carolina company. One of them is CentOS, a project that has been providing a free Red Hat Enterprise Linux clone for several years, complete with timely security updates. Johnny Hughes, a CentOS community member, argues that from a technical point of view, Oracle Linux is not quite what Oracle's Linux web pages would like everyone to believe: "Oracle's Enterprise Linux is poorly documented, extremely buggy, and of questionable security hardening. ... In the free version of Oracle Linux, for example, urlgrabber is not installed by default, and the kernel is named so that third-party device drivers do not work. Oracle does not externally mark their RPMS [in ways] that are different. So it is not easy to tell that they have changed." Read more in this report by LinuxPlanet.
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But let's not get sidelined by the way Big Business is trying to profit from Linux and focus instead on the more interesting, community-oriented coverage of Linux events. With the recent release of Fedora Core 6 code-named "Zod", some readers might wonder how these code names for each new release are chosen. As explained by Red Hat's Jesse Keating, giving these special names might look like fun to the outside world, but it's actually a risky business: "We need to make sure that the name we give our release isn't trademarked in any competing way. Imagine the trouble if we had named Fedora Core 6 'Vista'..." Still, code names are a way to add extra spice to the distribution and provide a "guessing game" for the users: "Part of the fun with naming releases is the speculation around the name. All the code names given to the Red Hat Linux releases and now the Fedora Core releases are connected. Each is connected to the previous name, but not in the same way that the previous name is connected to the name before it." Read the complete story in the latest issue of Red Hat Magazine.
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Frustrated by many Linux distributions which include (or make it easy to include) non-free software in their products, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has decided to enter the Linux distribution market by sponsoring a new project called gNewSense. Based on Ubuntu Linux, the distribution, created by two Irish free software advocates Brian Brazil and Paul O'Malley, released its first stable version last week. The gNewSense mailing list immediately witnessed a rapid surge in traffic, indicating that the interest in the project is reasonably high, even at this early stage. Most of the discussion is currently revolving around possible improvements to the project's infrastructure and advocacy. If you strongly believe in the four software freedoms as advocated by the FSF, then gNewSense looks like a perfect distribution to use and an exciting project to join.
gNewSense 1.0 - keeps Ubuntu's African heritage, but removes components that violate software freedom.
(full image size: 1,727kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
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The user-friendly MEPIS distribution continues its quiet existence without getting into the headlines on Linux web sites too often. Recently, however, the project announced an attempt to re-design the graphical desktop environment in SimplyMEPIS and invited interested parties to submit ideas that would bring the distribution's artwork to the same level as the rest of the system: "From time to time, we hear from users who say that the look of the MEPIS desktop isn't on par with the quality of the MEPIS operating system. We tend to agree that the desktop could use a little makeover. The problem is that we just don't have the money to hire a professional to design a desktop, nor do we have the time to work on it ourselves. So this is a call to you graphic designers out there, and anybody else who would like to tackle the MEPIS desktop makeover." If you are interested in helping out, please read Is the MEPIS Desktop in Need of a Makeover?
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Following the example of other popular distributions, Mandriva has announced the creation of a /backports directory for both "main" and "contrib" repositories on the distribution's mirrors. This will make it easy for package maintainers to backport (i.e. to provide updated versions of) popular software packages to the stable Mandriva releases. Adam Williamson: "There's finally a simple way for packagers to build and users to get backported packages for stable releases, where the maintainers want to do them. Quite a lot of maintainers are interested in using this system, and I've already heard of plans to backport Beryl, so this should be fun." On a related note, a big part of Mandriva's mirroring system is currently broken due to the failure of its main US-based mirror at carroll.cac.psu.edu. Warly: "One of our main mirror (carrol) seems to have a trouble. Unfortunately, I do not find the contact person there to see what is the reason for the problem." If you continue to experience failures while updating your Mandriva system, you are advised to reconfigure your urpmi sources and point them one of the European mirrors instead.
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Finally, here is something that should interest those Ubuntu users who want to use their operating system for scientific and statistical calculations. "Scibuntu is a script that adds scientific programs and other convenient tools to the plain desktop Ubuntu." Which applications are included? "Tools for reading and writing scientific text: LaTeX, Ghostscript, Ghostview and Acroread; mathematics and statistics tools like Octave and R; plotting tools like Gnuplot, Grace and Labplot; bioinformatics packages like Clustalw, Clustalx, Treepuzzle, Treewiewx and T-coffee; chemistry tools like RasMol, PyMol and GROMACS...." Scibuntu is available as a single script that downloads and installs all these packages on your Ubuntu 6.06 system. If you are interested, visit the project's web site and download the latest alpha release.
One month with Mandriva Linux 2007
Those of you who follow DistroWatch Weekly will remember that some three weeks ago I switched my main production system from Kubuntu to Mandriva Linux 2007. This was mainly due to a desire to rotate my working environment and to be able to report more objectively about the many free operating systems available on the market. Also, I thought it would be stimulating to change my desktop scenery from time to time - especially since I tend to spend many hours in front of a computer every day.
Alas, my adventures with Mandriva received a major setback when the hard drive it was installed on started showing dangerously obvious signs of the drive going bad. As much as I resisted returning to Kubuntu on the other hard disk, I soon ran out of options when the disk with Mandriva started giving too many input/output errors. Reluctantly, I rebooted into the newly upgraded Kubuntu "Edgy Eft" and prepared to restore the data from the rapidly failing disk, if possible at all.
But to my surprise, after several hours of using Kubuntu's latest and greatest, I found myself inserting the Mandriva Linux 2007 DVD into the DVD drive, removing Kubuntu and installing Mandriva instead!
Yes, I found Mandriva Linux 2007 PowerPack superior to Kubuntu "Edgy Eft". It would take a long article to list all the reasons and no, Mandriva Linux 2007 is certainly not perfect, but basically, it came down to three major usability aspects of the two distributions:
So here I am, working on the system running the beautiful, stable and polished Mandriva Linux 2007 and enjoying every minute of it!
- Firstly, Mandriva Linux 2007 PowerPack is designed in such a way that everything pretty much works out of the box. That includes non-free software, such as proprietary graphics drivers, Acrobat Reader, RealPlayer, etc, and popular media codecs, encrypted DVDs and even, surprise surprise, MP3. Yes, these things are easy enough to add to Kubuntu, but it requires searching on the Internet, looking up various guides, modifying the sources.list file by adding possibly insecure repositories, and hoping that installing the new applications won't break the rest of the system. Putting trust into a third-party script to do the work is another suboptimal option.
- Secondly, the developers of the 64-bit PowerPack edition of Mandriva Linux understand that most users will probably want a ready-made hybrid system with 32-bit libraries, plugins and codecs working seamlessly with their 64-bit applications. This is probably the most pleasant aspect of Mandriva 2007, which makes you forget about your processor architecture. Flash, Java, Opera, Acrobat Reader and 32-bit media codecs all work without the need to download extra bits and pieces from third-party repositories.
- And thirdly -- and this is a subjective issue -- Mandriva Linux 2007 looks great out of the box. I found its way of rendering fonts especially pleasant to the eyes, something that I had trouble with in other distributions. After booting into Kubuntu "Edgy Eft", I spent several hours trying to fix the comparatively ugly fonts in both KDE and GNOME applications, but no matter what I tried and irrespective of what advice I followed, I could never make them look as good as they looked on Mandriva 2007!
Mandriva Linux 2007 PowerPack - stable, feature-rich and easy on the eyes
(full image size: 563kB, screen resolution: 1680x1050 pixels)
That's not to say that Mandriva 2007 is a completely bug-free operating system. I reported about some in an earlier issue of DistroWatch Weekly, although most of them have since been resolved, thanks to a comprehensive errata page. Others, like the K3B DVD burning bug have known workarounds. I still think that Mandriva's urpmi package management system doesn't compare well with Debian's apt-get, especially in terms of speed and features, and its Rpmdrake front-end tends to choke and crash on simple errors. But I like what Mandriva has done with the user interface, I enjoy the Ia Ora theme and the Xgl effects, and I really like the distribution's customisations in Bash and Vim. I never thought that I'd be happy to replace Kubuntu with Mandriva one day, but that's exactly what happened!
Now before somebody accuses me of being bought by Mandriva, there are still two areas that I think the company needs to address before the distribution regains its former respectability.
Luckily, it appears that Mandriva has started a transition from a business entity to a more active community player. The "Free" edition of Mandriva Linux 2007 was released without delay and there are indications that the company might return to a 6-month release cycle. Most importantly, the latest version of its flagship product is excellent and I highly recommend that you give Mandriva Linux 2007 a try. Like me, you might be very pleasantly surprised....
- The first one is somewhat difficult to quantify, but it revolves around the standards among Mandriva's developers. I recently talked about the infamous blog posts by two Mandriva developers (one full-time employee and one volunteer contributor), who went public with their beliefs that "Linux was not ready for the desktop". One of them, the employee, even called the Linux kernel developers idiots. Now, you are welcome to disagree with my views here, but I think this is mighty immature by any standard.
Firstly, the statement that Linux is not ready for the desktop is clearly wrong. Secondly, it frightens me to imagine that the said Mandriva employee goes home after work, switches on his computer and boots into - what? Mac OS? Or, heavens forbid, Linux XP? Is his job at Mandriva just that - a job that pays the bills? Where is his pride? Where is his passion for the work he has chosen to do? Does Mandriva hire people purely on the basis of qualifications? He might be a talented coder, but if he doesn't take pride in his work and lacks passion for all things Linux, then he doesn't belong in a Linux company!
This sentiment was also mirrored by another experience of mine - dealing with the package maintainer of the Liferea RSS reader. Although not an official part of Mandriva Linux, an unstable build of Liferea 1.1.x was made available in the contrib directory on Mandriva's mirrors. Unfortunately, this version turned out to be a total disaster - it crashed several times per hour and even corrupted my RSS feeds on the way out. In frustration, I emailed the maintainer asking him why, oh why, he chose to package a version which is clearly labelled as unsuitable for production use, instead of the stable Liferea 1.0.x.
Although polite and helpful, his reply was hardly satisfactory. In his view, all open source programs are essentially beta versions, so it didn't really matter whether he packaged the supposedly stable 1.0 or the development 1.1 version. He tried 1.1, it looked good on his system and decided to package it for Mandriva 2007. The same maintainer also packaged GIMP 2.3.x, the development version (with too many obvious bugs, even though I've only used it for light image editing so far), instead of the stable GIMP 2.2.x. I strongly disagree with this view. After all, wouldn't the developer of the software be in a better position to judge its "stability" than a distribution's package maintainer?
Based on these experiences I came to a conclusion that the quality of some (not all, I might add) Mandriva developers is just not up to the usual high standard found in many other open source companies. The lack of correct judgement is something that a developer can learn with time, but lack of passion and love for Linux is inexcusable. If a Mandriva developer is not ashamed to state on a public forum that he will never use Linux on his main desktop, then he shouldn't be working for Mandriva. Or any Linux company. That's what I believe, so flame me if you think that I am wrong.
- My second major gripe with Mandriva Linux is its collection of websites. Many things have been said about the company's web infrastructure, but you'll be hard pressed to find anybody who finds visiting the company's web presence, including its paid-for Club pages, a satisfactory experience. There are just too many annoyances to list, starting with the missing "remember me" option when logging in, to non-existent features and hard-to-find information. I don't know if the entire Club thing is about to fold or whether there just isn't enough money to pay an experienced developer to fix these pages, but this is another example of a missing vital ingredient. Suddenly, the lack of pride and passion comes to mind again.
Competition - win a boxed edition of Mandriva Linux 2007 PowerPack
If you've read this far, then you are probably interested in Mandriva Linux and maybe would even like to try it out. Here is the good news: instead of the traditional monthly donation, DistroWatch is giving away four boxes of Mandriva Linux 2007 PowerPack to four lucky readers this month. All you have to do is answer five Mandriva-related questions and email us the answers. If you answer the questions correctly, your entry will put you into a draw to win a Mandriva Linux 2007 PowerPack box, complete with printed documentation.
The product and shipping cost will be paid for by DistroWatch and the box will be shipped to you directly from Mandriva's online store - a US$120.00 value. As always, the competition is open to all citizens of the universe, but please remember that the judge's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the competition. Your email address will not be given or sold to third parties.
To ensure that you are the right recipient for the product, you will need to know (or at least do some research to learn) the answers to the following questions:
1. The first ever release of Mandrake Linux back in 1998 was given a version number "5.1". Why 5.1 and not 1.0?
2. Mandriva Linux ships with an advanced package management utility called "urpmi". Which was the first version of Mandrake Linux to include this tool?
3. One of the best-known Mandriva developers goes under the nick-name of "Warly". What is his real name (first name and surname)?
4. What was the primary reason for the decision in April 2005 to rename the company and distribution from Mandrake to Mandriva?
5. Mandriva Linux 2007 ships with a new theme called "Ia Ora". What does "Ia Ora" mean? In which language?
The competition closed at 23:59 GMT on 7 November 2006. The winners are: João C. Pinto, Tony Capriglione, Simon G. Hildenbrand and Daniel Rojo. Thanks everybody who participated.
|Released Last Week
T2 SDE 6.0.1
René Rebe has announced an updated release of T2 SDE, a source-based distribution build kit originally forked from ROCK Linux: "We are pleased to announce the maintenance release T2 6.0.1 named 'From Zero To One'. This release includes bug fixes, security fixes, updates and even some improvements to the System Development Environment (SDE). Most notable are: login warning about unsupported keyword in login.defs was fixed; a fix for the build environment where relative file names could potentially be resolved incorrectly; GRUB installation to non-primary hard disk computing a wrong BIOS device number; live CD creation scripts to involve fewer hard coded presets...." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
Oliver Schweissgut has announced the release of Xfld 0.3, a Xubuntu-based live and installation CD featuring the latest development build of Xfce: "The os-cillation team is happy to announce the release of Xfld 0.3. Xfld is a live demo of the Xfce desktop environment, version 4.4. Xfld boots from a CD-ROM drive and provides a complete GNU/Linux operating environment without the need to install anything. The new release features applications and tools like Xfce 4.4rc1 with Thunar, OpenOffice.org 2.0.4, GIMP 2.2.13, Firefox 2.0, Thunderbird 1.5, AbiWord 2.4.5, Wireshark 0.99.3a, Ruby, Python and Perl... Xfld 0.3 is now based on Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy), instead of plain Debian as before." Visit the project's home page to read the complete release announcement.
rPath Linux 1.0.4
Michael K. Johnson has announced the availability of updated rPath Linux 1 CD and DVD images: "rPath Linux, the first Linux distribution built using the groundbreaking Conary software management system, has released updated images for rPath Linux 1. The new images incorporate installation changes, new kernels, and all package updates released as of October 27. New in rPath Linux 1.0.4 is support for the Xen 3.0.3 hypervisor, including Xen installation media. For information on Xen technology and rPath Linux, see Xen Solutions Using rPath Technologies. If you have already installed rPath Linux 1, you should update your current system using Conary rather than reinstall using the new images." More details in the release announcement.
Theo de Raadt has announced the release of OpenBSD 4.0: "We are pleased to announce the official release of OpenBSD 4.0. This is our 20th release on CD-ROM (and 21st via FTP). We remain proud of OpenBSD's record of ten years with only a single remote hole in the default install. As in our previous releases, 4.0 provides significant improvements, including new features, in nearly all areas of the system. New/extended platforms: armish - various ARM-based appliances, using the Redboot boot loader, currently only supporting the Thecus N2100 and IOData HDL-G; sparc64 - UltraSPARC III based machines are now supported; zaurus - support for the Zaurus SL-C3200." Improved hardware support, many new tools, new functionality features, and assorted improvements are all part of OpenBSD 4.0; find more details in the release announcement.
redWall Firewall 2.2.3
An updated version of the Gentoo-based redWall Firewall has been released: "Good day firewallers and spam fighters, redWall Firewall version 2.2.3 has been released. Release Notes: new features have been added; Vuurmuur has been installed again; the initial setup has been rewritten to be like a step-by-step configuration; a Webmin module for OpenVPN has been added; a comprehensive reverse proxy called VultureNG has been added." Please consult the release announcement and changelog for a more detailed list of changes.
The first stable release by the TrueBSD project development team is now available for download. TrueBSD is a general purpose FreeBSD-based live CD featuring the Xfce window manager and bundling a range of server and desktop applications, including Win32 media codecs and NVIDIA graphics drivers. From the changelog: "New: support for English, Belorussian languages for all utilities; algorithm for searching and loading language localisation depends on user settings; script for changing system language and font size in XTerm; saving profile to any available device (early only to floppy disc); script for installing TrueBSD on hard disk; script for network configuration; script for turning on OpenGL support for NVIDIA...." More information on the project's home page.
Berry Linux 0.75
Yuichiro Nakada has released an updated version of Berry Linux, a Fedora-based live CD with support for Japanese and English languages, and with a hard disk installation option. According to the changelog, the latest Berry comes with an updated Linux kernel, version 22.214.171.124, with patches for symmetric multiprocessing and boot splash, and with support for ndev/udev. It also includes the latest MadWiFi wireless networking drivers, version 0.9.2, and updated versions of NVIDIA (1.0-8774) and ATI (8.29.6) proprietary kernel modules. Among other packaging changes, DirectFB has been updated to version 1.0.0-rc1, Qingq to 0.9.1, Whiz to 0.53 with Kimera 1.32, and WINE to 0.9.23. The SCIM and SCIM-Whiz packages for inputting Asian characters have been removed.
The Free Software Foundation has announced the inaugural stable release of gNewSense, an Ubuntu-based distribution, modified to include Free Software only: "gNewSense is a free software GNU/Linux distribution created by two Irish free software advocates, Brian Brazil and Paul O'Malley, and is based on the Ubuntu and Debian distributions. The goal of gNewSense is to provide users with a software package that offers the stability of Ubuntu with the addition of freedom. gNewSense will provide users with full security updates and is available for immediate download in live CD ISO format along with a version of the Ubiquity graphical installer." Read the rest of the release announcement for further details.
André Detsch has announced the release of GoboLinux 013, a distribution with a radically revamped file system hierarchy: "We are pleased to introduce GoboLinux 013, the new major release of GoboLinux, the alternative Linux distribution. This release is the result of over an year of work on the build infrastructure used by the distribution. The new live CD build environment is highly customizable and package building was overhauled by using a dynamically-generated sandboxed environment which insulates the source code and its dependencies during compilation. These under-the-hood improvements resulted in cleaner builds when bringing the package set up-to-date: major upgrades include X.Org 7.1, KDE 3.5.3, glibc 2.4 and GCC 4.1.1." Read the release notes for detailed information about the new GoboLinux.
NetBSD 3.1 and 3.0.2
NetBSD 3.1 has been released: "The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce that version 3.1 of the NetBSD operating system is now available in both source and binary form. NetBSD is a general-purpose Open Source operating system that provides interfaces for running a wide range of applications on a big number of different hardware platforms, all from one source tree. NetBSD 3.1 contains many bug fixes, security updates, new drivers and new features like support for Xen3 DomU." Read the rest of the release announcement for a detailed list of changes and new features.
Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya has announced the availability of an updated release of NepaLinux, a Debian-based distribution with support for the Nepali language: "The new release, NepaLinux 1.1, is a relatively bug-free and revised version of the previous beta release. Special features: Linux kernel 2.6.17; localized GNOME desktop environment 2.14, OpenOffice.org 2.0.2, GnuCash accounting software 2.0.1 SeaMonkey suite; Pango-enabled Firefox 1.5 and Thunderbird 126.96.36.199 with complex text rendering support; updated input system (XKB, SCIM); upgraded spellchecker and thesaurus for Nepali; additional translations of applications (AbiWord, Bluefish, gvim, GnomeBaker, Grip, Gnumeric, etc); better hardware detection and compatibility; enhanced and consistent translation." Read the rest of the press release for further information.
NepaLinux 1.1 - a Debian-based desktop distribution with support for Nepali
(full image size: 516kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Heiko Zuerker has announced that the server oriented Devil-Linux has been updated to version 1.2.11: "Devil-Linux 1.2.11 is available for download! Change highlights: kernel 188.8.131.52, many program updates, better NFS and USB card reader support, updated all Perl modules and added all modules required by SpamAssassin, OCR plugins can now be used with SpamAssassin, corrected the location of various binaries and many more other changes." Read the release announcement and changelog for further details.
The AUSTRUMI project has released a new version of the Enlightenment mini live CD. From the changelog: "Version 1.3.0. Added front-end for Apache, vsftpd and Ample; updated AbiWord, Bash, Enlightenment, Ghostscript, Firefox, LILO, Linphone, OpenSSH, QEMU, Squashfs, XChat, X.Org; updated libraries: Freetype, glibc, GTK+, OpenSSL, Pango; removed Deco, Airsnort, gcrontab, gFTP; added NTFS write support; updated kernel to version 184.108.40.206." Visit the distribution's newly redesigned home page to read the complete release announcement.
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Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Dilemma about distributions linking to DistroWatch|
It seems that a growing number of Linux distributions are now displaying prominent links to their respective pages on DistroWatch. As an example, take a look at the front page of the Fedora Project. This page has a link called "Packages (on DistroWatch.com)" near the top of the page, which has sent that particular web page to the very top of our referrer list. Since the beginning of the month, that Fedora Project link has added 2,240 hits to the Fedora's page hit counter, which represents some 16% of the total number of hits. Several other distributions also provide links to their pages on DistroWatch.com; the most visible being the openSUSE download page, the Nexenta OS download page (which is re-directed to the DistroWatch main page since the link is clearly misleading), and the Freespire download page.
This has created the usual dilemma: where do we draw the line between a link that provides valuable information for the visitors of those distribution pages that link to DistroWatch, and a link whose main purpose seems to be to increase the distribution's page hit ranking on this web site? In other words, should the link on the top of the Fedora Project's main page be counted as a legitimate visit representing "interest" in the Fedora distribution, or should we prevent it from incrementing the page hit counter? Keep in mind that the purpose of our Page Hit Ranking statistics is to gauge interest in the various Linux distributions and measure their popularity, inaccurate and flawed as this method is.
Essentially, there are three ways to handle the issue:
Any other ideas? As always, your suggestions are most welcome, please comment below.
- Allow distributions to link to DistroWatch and increase their distribution's page hit counter as they please - as long as the links are not misleading.
- Allow distributions to link to DistroWatch but prevent them from accessing the page hit counter, so their links will have no impact on the Page Hit Ranking statistics.
- Prevent distributions from linking to the relevant distribution page on DistroWatch and redirect these links to the main DistroWatch page instead.
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New distributions added to database
- gNewSense. A product sponsored by the Free Software Foundation, gNewSense is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution released without any proprietary and non-free components, and several enhancements. Notably, all proprietary firmware, restricted modules and Ubuntu logos are removed, while the "Universe" repository is enabled by default and several GNU applications, such as Emacs and development libraries, as well as bsdgames and NetHack, are included in the default installation. The goal of the project is to produce a totally free ("libre") Linux distribution.
- TrueBSD. TrueBSD is a general purpose live CD based on FreeBSD. It includes Xfce and Ion window managers, media players and codecs, several server applications, and other useful tools.
TrueBSD 0.1 - a new BSD live CD based on FreeBSD's current branch
(full image size: 163kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
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New distributions added to waiting list
- Damn Vulnerable Linux. Damn Vulnerable Linux (DVL) is a Linux-based (modified Damn Small Linux) educational tool designed to simulate vulnerability attacks and teach effective defence. It was initiated for training tasks during university lessons by the International Institute for Training, Assessment and Certification, and Secure Software Engineering, in cooperation with the French Reverse Engineering team. Damn Vulnerable Linux is designed exclusively for training purposes, not for production use!
- URLI OS. URLI OS is a Debian and Ubuntu-based distribution with an easy-to-use, Windows-like desktop user interface. Developed in Argentina.
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DistroWatch database summary
And that concludes our latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 13 November 2006. Until then,
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Issue 695 (2017-01-16): Zorin OS 12, Peppermint team fixes installer bug, Debian refreshes Jessie media, Ubuntu improves low graphics mode, Exciting things coming in 2017|
|• Issue 694 (2017-01-09): MX Linux 16, Fedora considers systemd security features, DragonFly BSD to support massive swap space, Ubuntu Touch roadmap, Puppy's newsletter, sudo's password prompt|
|• Issue 693 (2017-01-02): Comparing small distros, fig language, video driver comparsion, Debian+PIXEL, Wayland on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 692 (2016-12-19): Bodhi Linux 4.0.0, Cappsule containers, Calculate's new Utilities package, Solus and Ubuntu MATE build new application menu|
|• Issue 691 (2016-12-12): SalentOS 1.0, openSUSE improves YaST, Fedora considers slower release cycle, KDE neon gets LTS branch|
|• Issue 690 (2016-12-05): Fedora 25, Ubuntu adopts rolling HWE kernel, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Haiku working toward EFI support|
|• Issue 689 (2016-11-28): openSUSE 42.2, Fedora's upgrade path, plans for Korora 25, transitioning from PC-BSD to TrueOS, Webconverger's reproducible builds|
|• Issue 688 (2016-11-21): Endless OS 3.0.5, KDE neon fixes security hole, FreeBSD's Quarterly Status Report, Rolling release trial #2 concludes|
|• Issue 687 (2016-11-14): NAS4Free 10.3.0.3, Fedora gains MP3 playback, budgie-remix becomes Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu flavours compared, Rolling release trial #2|
|• Issue 686 (2016-11-07): FreeBSD 11.0, rolling release trial #2, Debian announces supported architectures, Simplicity switching to antiX base, farewell to Mythbuntu|
|• Issue 685 (2016-10-31): elementary OS 0.4, SUSE gains ARM support, Mint improves language support, Dirty COW explained, Rolling release trial #2|
|• Issue 684 (2016-10-24): Ubuntu 16.10, Linux popularity in different markets, Fedora runs on Raspberry Pi, Ubuntu features live kernel patching|
|• Issue 683 (2016-10-17): Refracta 8.0, making packages for distributions, Alpine switches to LibreSSL, 386BSD website publishes classic code|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Zencafe GNU/Linux was a desktop Linux distribution designed specifically for public Internet cafés. Based on Slackware and Zenwalk Linux, it includes auto-recovery features, Internet café billing and management software, and other graphical system administration tools. Zencafe's default edition uses Xfce as the main desktop, while its "Lite" edition, designed for older or less powerful computers, installs the IceWM window manager.