| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 22, 3 November 2003
ROCK Linux in search for a new identity
Do we have too many distributions? You bet. The result is that some excellent projects are lost in the sea of distributions, most of which are nothing but modifications of other distributions. Take this interesting post by Clifford Wolf, the creator of ROCK Linux: "'ROCK Linux' fits too well into the common 'Foobar Linux' naming scheme for Linux distributions - so it's no wonder that it is so hard to promote ROCK Linux as 'built kit for Linux/whatever distribution' instead of 'yet another Linux distribution'. I'd suggest renaming the project to something different. My personal preference would be something like 'Open ROCK'. Suggestions, thoughts and feedback in any form are very welcome."
The above dilemma is not hard to understand. ROCK Linux is a unique and highly original project in that it provides a bunch of flexible bash scripts which allow users to create a new and customised binary distribution directly from source code. This can be as simple as a 10MB general purpose router, or as complex as a full-featured development workstation. Once the compile process is complete, the resulting distribution can either be installed on a remote computer via network or it can be burnt onto a bootable CD and deployed on any number of machines. It can even be compiled for an architecture different from the machine performing the compilation. While the project's documentation is certainly not as beginner-friendly and colourful as that of say Gentoo Linux, those who take their time to peruse the ever evolving ROCK Linux handbook might be pleasantly surprised to discover a true gem.
ROCK Linux is a not an ordinary rock. It is a rare diamond - precious and unique among the gravel that surrounds it.
How good or bad is Mandrake Linux 9.2?
Although it has been almost three weeks since the release of Mandrake Linux 9.2, we haven't seen many reviews of the most popular desktop distribution. Instead, we are getting a steady flow of reports about the highly publicised problem affecting users with LG CD-ROM drives and various generalised complaints about issues such as the number of bug fixes issued shortly after the final release. While the unfortunate matter of damaged CD-ROM drives is certainly a valid complaint, much of the general negativity about Mandrake Linux 9.2 on various forums, often coming from former staunch supporters of Mandrake, is not. Does the high number of bug fixes bother you? Chances are that, as with the LG CD-ROM drives, many of them only affect a small percentage of users. In fact, it is nice to see that Mandrake developers are hard at work, looking over the issues and working out the problems. I would certainly not look at the number of bug fixes as a negative point - it would be a lot worse if Mandrake developers ignored their users and went on holidays!
What are your experiences with Mandrake Linux 9.2? Any surprises or disappointments? Is it going to stay on your desktop or are you here to look for another distribution? Please discuss below.
|Released Last Week
Source Mage GNU/Linux 0.7.1
A new version of Source Mage GNU/Linux, version 0.7.1 is out: "The Source Mage GNU/Linux developers team is proud to announced the new release 0.7.1. The main difference with 0.7 is the native support of devfs (mounted on /dev as you would like to expect). Have fun!" More information on the distribution's web site, release announcement and ISO release changelog.
Aurox Live 1.0.2
A stable version of Aurox Live CD, version 1.0.2 (based on Aurox Linux 9.1), has been released: "What's new in Aurox 9.1-Live-1.0.2? It is now possible to run Aurox Live on 233MHz Pentium II with 96 MB RAM! (use 'aurox fluxbox' command when booting). Updated: Knoppix X Window autoconfiguration, Evolution (1.4.5), CD recording tools. Added: educational software (lum, tuxpaint, tuxmath, geg), Qt-designer, Qt-documentation, KDE libs API documentation, Kdevelop and extra header files - you can now generate and build an example application using Aurox Live! Fixed: /dev/ppp and other devices created, starting fluxbox is now available, mouse wheel should work now, KDE shows CUPS printers." See the complete release notes.
Devil-Linux 1.0 and 1.0.1
Devil-Linux 1.0 has been released: "The Devil-Linux development team is pleased to announce the release of version 1.0 this Halloween, October 31, 2003. Devil-Linux is a distribution which boots and runs from CDROM. The configuration can be saved to a floppy diskette or a USB pen drive (new in 1.0). Devil Linux was originally intended to be a dedicated firewall/router but now Devil-Linux can also be used as a server for many applications. Attaching an optional hard drive is easy, and many network services are included. New Features: kernel 2.4.22 with FreeS/WAN and Netfilter patches applied; kernel Security through GRSecurity; almost all software compiled with the GCC stack smashing protector; new 'setup' program for basic configuration..." More details in the release announcement. A bug-fixed Devil-Linux version 1.0.1 was released three days later.
After 9 beta releases, the new Freeduc 1.4 live CD is now ready for public consumption: "OFSET, the organization for the development of free software for education and teaching, is working with UNESCO to set up an international version of its FREEDUC distribution. FREEDUC is a GNU/Linux distribution which can be used without installation. It is specifically dedicated to the world of education and it enables an easy introduction for stakeholders of education to the 40 free software packages included on the cd-rom. The software was selected for its pedagogical values and ergonomic qualities." See the rest of the official press release. There is a bug in the Italian implementation of Freeduc 1.4, which will be fixed in the upcoming version 1.4.1.
Yoper Ydesktop 1.2
Yoper Ydesktop 1.2 is out. From the release notes: "Yoper Limited is proud to announce the release of version 1.2 of Yoper Ydesktop V1. This release contains a large number of bugfixes and software changes which include: Yoper synced with LFS-5 and recompiled from scratch with gcc-3.3.2.; supermount on the fly CD mounting, no CD unmount or eject required any more, new Yoper boot splash screen; emerge world implemented; new Qt-3.2.1 and KDE 3.1.4; new Kernel 2.4.22 used to compile Yoper; update all packages to latest as of 20.10.2003; NVIDIA ethernet drivers; shadow passwords set not to expire; new OpenOffice 1.1..."
OpenNA Linux 1.0
After nearly two years of development, OpenNA Linux 1.0 has been released. From the release notes: "The version 1.0 contains many new features and enhanced functionality as compared with previous versions of OpenNA Linux. Security notes: All components of the operating system are protected against the exploitation of buffer overflow vulnerabilities in process stacks. All permission files and directories have been reviewed and improved for high security. All configuration files and software have been rewritten & rebuild with high security in mind. The Grsecurity kernel patch with most of the entire security features that it provides has been implemented into the kernel." More features.
A new version of the SULIX live CD is now available. The most important changes in version 1.1 are: new Linux kernel 2.4.22, support for USB pen drives, implementation of Knoppix's "Persistent Home" for easy restoration of saved settings, inclusion of SHFS kernel module, new lm-sensors and Hungarian implementation of OpenOffice 1.1. More information on the distribution's web site (in Hungarian).
Flonix is a new distribution on our list, a live CD based on Damn Small Linux. The developers have just released build 17, with the following changes (changelog in French): "Updated web server; addition of xnet to develop dynamic PHP-based web sites (with libmysql); new server menu." Find out more on the distribution's web site.
The ISO image of Lycoris Desktop/LX Update 3 has reportedly been released for general enjoyment. Since the lycoris.org site seems to be down at the moment, here is a quick list of some of the mirrors that carry the ISO: planetmirror.com (Australia), sunet.se (Sweden) and ibiblio.org (USA).
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Xandros Desktop 2.0
Xandros Desktop 2.0 will be released on 24 November. That's according to this ZDNet report: "Xandros sells a version of Linux geared for the average desktop user. The company plans to release version 2.0 of its software on Nov. 24, said Dave Finklestein, vice president of sales and marketing for the 35-person company." The product is currently undergoing closed beta testing.
Fedora Core 1
The first official release of Red Hat's Fedora Core 1 is expected before the end of this week - instead of today, as originally planned - due to a schedule slip: "We had to respin FC1 today for a non-technical issue (that's all I can say, sorry), which resets the clock for release. We have to start over again with the export process, and I don't think they work weekends, so we have to slip until after we hear back from them and then sync to mirrors. Wednesday the 5th is slightly possible, a day later more likely."
Texstar's PC Linux OS?
Something is cooking over at PCLinuxOnline: "I've been working on a live bootable Knoppix style CD based on Mandrake 9.2 with all of my cool mods and updated applications/desktop programs and everything setup to work right out of the box such as Java, Flash, urpmi and NVIDIA drivers. Hopefully the ability to also install directly to your hard drive. A complete desktop solution featuring over 1.5 gigs of desktop applications. I've already had a successful preview last week and if everything goes good this weekend maybe another preview that more people can test next week. What is neat about this is if we can get all the issues ironed out with the mklivecd project then YOU can make your own bootable live CD as well." The above post is by Texstar, a well-known contributor of up-to-date RPM packages for Mandrake Linux. Certainly something to look forward to, no?
|Web Site News
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All translations are done on a voluntary basis, with the only reward being free access to DistroWatch Timesavers and an honourable mention of the translator's name on the About DistroWatch page. Those who wish to go beyond translating the introduction and navigation menus (e.g. wish to translate the "Did You Know" files or the "About $Distribution" files or anything else) will get an account on the DistroWatch server and write access to relevant directories.
Thank you all for helping to spread the word to all corners of the globe :-)
New on the waiting list
- Flonix. Flonix is a light-weight GNU/Linux operating system for personal computers. It is based on Knoppix. There are two editions: Flonix USB Edition can be installed on an USB flash drive or compact flash card (64MB and more) and Flonix CD Edition, which is a live CD.
DistroWatch database summary
- Lunatix GNU/Linux. "The idea behind Lunatix is to supply a small, clean Linux distribution for expert users. No nonsense, with an extremely fast install; just simple. There are no networking daemons distributed by default in order to ensure maximum security on a network level after the initial installation. The user (or system administrator) has to compile optional programs or daemons himself (or herself) which allows the user to build a system specific to their needs while maintaining a clean secure Linux core distribution. To serve expert users, enough basic tools for networking and C++ coding are included for a quick start. All core features are listed below."
- Number of distributions in the database: 190
- Number of discontinued distributions: 24
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 65
No reader feedback items this week.
That's all for now, keep well and see you next Monday :-)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
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|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• 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|
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|• 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|
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|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
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|Random Distribution |
Redo Backup & Recovery
Redo Backup and Recovery was an Ubuntu-based live CD featuring backup, restore, and disaster recovery software. It centres around an easy-to-use graphical program for running bare-metal backup and recovery on hard disk partitions, as well as on external hard drives and network shares. The CD also includes several popular data recovery programs and a web browser.