| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 14, 8 September 2003
Re-thinking the "distribution" model
Traditionally, September is a good month for releasing new versions of Linux distribution. The big commercial trio of Mandrake, Red Hat and SuSE have always considered this month to be vital for their profit margins as this is about the right time to get the boxed versions out to big chain stores ahead of the Christmas shopping season in Europe and North America. These have always been the major sources of income for the Linux companies.
But times have changed. The three largest distributions are no longer dependant on sales of boxed products to generate revenue. In fact, the box sets are often seen as too much hard work to get it produced and shipped to stores just to have profits eaten away by all the middlemen and service companies. Red Hat has already indicated that it will no longer deliver their distribution to stores in a box, concentrating their resources on attracting big customers who are more likely to provide the company with a steady revenue for years to come. Similarly, Mandrake's product have not been particularly visible on the shelves in recent years; instead they encourage all their fans to join the Mandrake Club. This seems to be working fairly well, thanks to the fact that the company has succeeded in creating a large user base of loyal fans and followers. This leaves SuSE as the only one of the big three pursuing the traditional model of "distributing" their distribution. But even SuSE has been actively courting the big business, income from which surely has to be a lot more interesting than the few euros earned from those heavy boxes full of thick Linux manuals.
Perhaps a better model is to distribute the CDs as part of a "magazine". The idea was pioneered by Aurox Linux, which has done exactly that, getting their distribution to a substantial number of software stores, book stores and even supermarkets in large parts of Europe. This is a great way of getting Linux exposed and tempt impulsive buyers who rarely venture into big software stores, but might be attracted by a low-cost Linux distribution found in a local grocery store. Of course, the fact the producer of Aurox Linux is actually a large publishing house with years of experience, plenty of contacts and delivery channels certainly helps. Still, it takes some effort to get the infrastructure in place, to get the magazine translated into many languages and, most importantly, to get it to places where Linux has never been before.
|Released Last Week
The ByzantineOS project announced a release of a new ByzantineOS ISO image and buildsystem. From the changelog: "Changes for byzantine-i586-20030901.iso.gz: kernel 2.4.21, alsa-driver-0.9.6, metacity-2.5.3, xmms-1.2.8-pre1, bug fixes (mplayer, sound). Changes for byzgl-buildsystem-4.1-r2.iso.gz: based on LFS-4.1, kernel 2.4.21..." See the full changelog for a more complete list of changes.
Onebase Linux 1.2
Onebase Linux released two quick bug fix versions of the earlier 1.0 release: "The CD-device selection has been avoided making the installation easier and this also resolves issues with certain CD device nodes. Other than this it contains minor fixes and improves the stability of 1.0. For those who had problems with 1.1, download or buy 1.2. Unfortunately this happens to be the third 1.x release in as many days. With this we may be closing the 1.x branch and start development with the 2.x." The announcement, changelog and system requirements. Onebase Linux is a new source-based Linux distribution with a web-based package management.
Damn Small Linux 0.4.6
Damn Small Linux 0.4.6 was released. From the changelog: "Dillo with more patches! Andreas Kemnade was kind enough to modify his SSL patch to make it compatible with Frank de Lange's frames and tabs patch. The binary is only 337k! Also, I added traceroute, fixed a rendering problem with netcardconfig, and modified startx so that it will save your selected settings for the next X session -- run 'xsetup.sh' as root if you want to change it."
MEPIS is a new desktop Linux distribution based on Debian/Knoppix, with a fresh release announced yesterday: "Today, MEPIS LLC announced the release of MEPIS Linux 2003.08 for Pentium processors. MEPIS Linux is a desktop Linux that is designed for both personal and business purposes. MEPIS Linux offers a live/installation/recovery CD, automatic hardware configuration, NTFS partition resizing, ACPI power management, WiFi support, anti-aliased truetype fonts, personal firewall, KDE 3.1.3, OpenOffice 1.1, and much more." See the rest of the detailed announcement. MEPIX LLC has also become the newest sponsor of DistroWatch.com
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Eagle Linux 3.0
Eagle has announced that its 3.0 release planned for August this year will be dealyed: "Due to the recent SCO Unix happenings, Eagle Linux 3.0 will not be released until October 2003. Being a non-revenue generating product, it was not in our interest to continue development until it was assured that no negative effects would result in any fashion. Development has resumed, and we look forward to producing a product which is comparable to the previous versions of Eagle Linux."
Aurox Linux 9.1
Aurox Linux 9.1 will be released on 15 September: "Next version of Aurox Linux -- 9.1 (Fire) will be available from 15 September. Aurox will be attached to Aurox Linux Magazine. The magazine is issued in 5 language versions (Polish, Czech, German, Spanish, French). You can buy it in 12 countries, or via Internet. Aurox is free, GPL licenced distribution, you can download Aurox via FTP. The distribution is on 7 CDs: binary packages on CDs 1 - 4, sources on CDs 4 - 7. CD no. 4 includes binaries, sources and extras (nVidia drivers, Flash plug-in, J2RE, partitioning tool)."
SuSE Linux 9.0
It seems that the next release of SuSE Linux will be version 9.0. How do we know? Take a look at this NVIDIA installer HOWTO, which makes references to "SuSE Linux 9.0 (Preview/Beta)". SuSE does of course have beta versions of their releases, but the company claims that there is no evidence that a large-scale public beta testing of its product would result in a better quality distribution than the current closed beta testing, and it has never offered the beta releases to public.
|Web Site News
Page Hit Ranking time span options
New in the way Page Hit Ranking statistics are presented on the main page is the ability to choose a time span for the data. Currently there are options to select the data collected during the most recent 1, 3, 6 or 12 months, as well as the data for the entire year 2002. The data collection has now been completely automated, although it still needs some more testing.
Serbian and Rumanian translations
Many thanks to Andrej Lukács for his effort to translate the site's navigation system and introduction into Serbian. Those of you who are visiting from Rumania will notice that many parts of the site have been translated into your language - this is thanks to the enthusiasm of Ghita G. Serban and Adrian Belciug. Great work!
New on the waiting list
- EduLinux. Based on Mandrake Linux 9.1, EduLinux is a specialized distribution for education and office use. It is aimed at the general public as well as educational and community environments. It was developed and compiled at the Université de Sherbrooke's Faculty of Engineering and is intended to be easy to use and perfectly adapted to Quebec's linguistic environment.
- Quantian. A Knoppix/Debian variant tailored to numerical and quantitative analysis, Quantian is a remastering of Knoppix, the self-configuring and directly bootable CDROM that turns any PC or laptop (provided it can boot from CDROM) into a full-featured Linux workstation. The most recent version is based on clusterKnoppix and adds support for openMosix, including remote booting of light clients in an openMosix terminal server context. Quantian is an extension of Knoppix and clusterKnoppix from which it takes its base system of about 2GB of software, along with fully automatic hardware detection and configuration. However, Quantian differs from Knoppix by adding a set of programs of interest to applied or theoretical workers in quantitative or data-driven fields.
- MEPIS Linux. MEPIS Linux is a desktop Linux system that is also easy to configure as a dedicated server. It is designed for both personal and business purposes. It includes cutting-edge features such as a live/installation/recovery CD, automatic hardware configuration, NTFS partition resizing, ACPI power management, WiFi support, anti-aliased TrueType fonts, a personal firewall, KDE, and much more.
DistroWatch database summary
- ZENIX is a new LFS based Linux Distribution. It was built directly from scratch, to stand for a reliable Server-OS.
- Shark Linux is a powerful Linux-based operating system designed for simplicity, security, and functionality.
- WOMP, a micro linux distribution focused on multimedia, it takes only 13 - 18 MB on a bootable CD and allows playing multimedia files (video/audio/image) without installing any software on the computer's hard drive.
- Number of distributions in the database: 172
- Number of discontinued distributions: 24
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 63
This sounds like an excellent idea. However, I am going to need some help in drawing the "old hardware" line. Is anything older than Pentium II considered "old hardware"? Or should we go still further back in history? The next question is of course how we deal with the X Window System. Apart from the latest versions of Red Hat Linux which will not install on anything with less than 128MB of RAM, most other distributions, like Slackware or Debian will be quite happy on a Pentium 90 - if you don't care much for a clickable interface, that is. But including all distributions which will run in text mode will probably result in a huge page which would kill the objective of providing a list of distributions designed to run on old hardware. These are just some of the dilemmas; as always your suggestions and a possible list of included distributions are more than welcome.
- "Given the large number of inquiries showing up on newsgroups from people wanting to install linux on a 486 or Pentium 90, etc. it might be helpful to add a 'distros for old hardware' selection at the top of the page..."
Robert Storey's Debian GNU/Linux - Not Just Another Pretty Face article we published last week was generally well received, with one exception - DebianPlanet.org. This was a little disappointing at first, but luckily, the author of the above post has since exchanged emails with Robert, detailing all inaccuracies in the article. The promised second part of the Debian review should be up shortly and it will have all the corrections from Part I, as well as further talk about Debian. But this episode has made us realise a simple truth - writing a review of a geek distribution is a lot harder than writing about distributions designed for non-technical users. No wonder we rarely see reviews of Debian or Slackware in the mainstream Linux media!
- From DebianPlanet.org: "Although Distrowatch is currently carrying an article about installing a Debian from a new user's perspective, I recommend you skip this and go straight to the much more comprehensive and factually correct Debian Install Manual which is (hopefully) available in your native language and in whatever format you wish."
That's all for this week, keep well and see you next Monday :-)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 220.127.116.11, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu or Linux Mint pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
Freepia was small GNU/Linux distribution designed to run on VIA EPIA-M mainboards. It currently only runs on the M-9000 and M-10000 (ezra and nehemia CPU) but with some modifications like kernel and X11 modules it should run on others too. The main goal of this project was to build a full-featured, low-noise media box to play movies, MP3s, images, etc. It uses freevo as its media viewer, but in the future there may be support for others, like mythtv or vdr.