| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 32, 19 January 2004
Welcome to this year's third edition of DistroWatch Weekly.
Debian-based versus Red Hat-based
Our statistics pages provide an interesting insight into various aspects of Linux distributions. One of them is the distribution's "independence", listing distributions and their relationships or dependence on other distributions, if any. This table is not nearly as simple to put together as it might seem. As an example, answer this questions: what is Mandrake Linux based on? Many readers will probably answer "Red Hat", simply because that's how Mandrake Linux started - as a modified version of Red Hat. But is true today? Of course not. Mandrake Linux is not based on Red Hat, it is based on "Cooker", Mandrake's own, independently maintained development tree.
Other common misconceptions include statements, such as "Xandros is based on Corel". Among those of you who still remember Corel Linux and have tried Xandros Desktop, how much resemblance there is between the two? Not much. In fact it seems that the only thing that Xandros developers are still using from the old Corel code is the modified lilo boot loader, and perhaps snippets of code from the Corel file manager, but not much beyond that. Similarly, some people are quick to assert that LindowsOS is in fact based on Xandros. Yes, there might have been some code sharing and cooperation between the two at some point, but to claim that they have a parent-child relationship is a complete nonsense. The simple truth is that both of them are based on Debian, period. Without Debian, there would be no Xandros and no LindowsOS, at least not in the present form.
Which brings us to an interesting discovery found this week on the statistics page: Red Hat/Fedora is no longer the most popular distribution to be used as a base for a new distribution. It has been overtaken by Debian. This is primarily due to two factors:
Of course, this is not to say that there are now more people using Debian and Debian-based distributions than those who prefer Red Hat/Fedora. But if this trend in distribution development is anything to go by, we might soon see a similar trend in usage.
- The success of the Debian-based Knoppix at introducing Linux to a wide audience has resulted in dozens of attempts at remastering the original Knoppix and releasing it under a different name. Some might argue that these are not real distributions; yet they play an important role in the Linux ecosystem, good examples of which include support for less widely used languages (Ankur Bangla, Arabbix, Kinneret, Shabdix, Soyombo...) or a complete redesign to fit a certain niche (Damn Small Linux, Gnoppix...). All these projects get their packages from the Debian archives and use the Knoppix technology of hardware autodetection and cloop file compression to create a new product.
Screenshot: Hebrew speakers will feel right at home with the Debian/Knoppix-based Kinneret GNU/Linux.
(full image size 220kB)
- The second factor is the quality of Debian packages. It is no coincidence that Knoppix, MEPIS and even commercial Debian derivatives such as Libranet, LindowsOS and Xandros are quite happy to base their products on the Debian's so called "unstable" branch. While it is certainly not without its bugs, Debian "unstable" is probably a lot more stable than the development branches of other distributions, such as Red Hat's Rawhide or Mandrake's Cooker.
Happy Chinese New Year!
DistroWatch.com 祝您猴年行大運, 新年快樂! To all our visitors from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore and all Chinese communities from around the world: we would like to wish you a happy and prosperous New Year and lots of Linuxing in the Year of the Monkey! Thank you for visiting and supporting DistroWatch!
|Released Last Week
ThePacketMaster Security Server 1.2.0
A new version of ThePacketMaster Security Server has been released: "The new release of the TPM security server, 1.2.0, is now out. It includes: kernel 2.4.24 to address issues found in 2.4.23 and earlier; added new packages for forensic analysis and vulnerability testing; /usr is now in a cloop file system for a smaller ISO image; XFree86 X-window system is now included, as well as the enlightenment window manager, Mozilla web browser and Java." Read the rest of the release announcement.
L.A.S. Linux 0.4.1
This is a new release of Local Area Security Linux, version 0.4.1: "I am pleased to announce the release of the first of the 210MB images of L.A.S. Linux! With this release come many improvements, in terms of all packages being upgraded to current, as well as a new theme and other cosmetic additions. Special thanks to iceman81 for his help in getting this release out. (For those curious of when 0.4.1-185MB will be released, it will be in a few days.) With this release it also marks a new direction we are headed in when it comes to L.A.S. Linux as a whole. As always, we are dedicated to providing a no-frills security toolkit distribution aimed at PROFESSIONALS free of most fat." Read the rest of the release announcement.
Bonzai Linux 3.2
Bonzai Linux 3.2 has been released: "Due to the great interest in the KDE version of the Bonzai Linux distribution, this is a KDE release again. Version 3.2 includes the current stable version of K Desktop Environment 3.1.4. It also includes all current security patches and proposed updates from debian.org. Bonzai Linux is now 100% compatible with Debian 3.0r2." Read the release announcement in English or German.
A new version of DeMuDi, a sub-project of the AGNULA GNU/Linux Audio Distribution project has been released: "AGNULA/DeMuDi 1.1.0, the Debian-based GNU/Linux distribution for audio/video, has been released. The 1.1.x series of AGNULA/DeMuDi mark a major infrastructural change from the 1.0 release. While the latter was based on Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 (aka 'Woody'), AGNULA/DeMuDi 1.1.0 (and subsequent releases) are/will be based on a snapshot of Debian GNU/Linux Unstable (aka 'sid'). Instructions on how to download and install AGNULA/DeMuDi 1.1.0 are available here." The full release announcement.
STUX GNU/Linux 0.6.1
STUX GNU/Linux 0.6.1 has been released. Changes: "OpenOffice added. Peripherals: drivers and configuration saving has been added for printers, modems and scanners. Scripts added for: sound volumes saving, ample server (MP3 streamer) configuration, apache web server configuration; MySQL db configuration, ProFTPd FTP server configuration, ssh server configuration, Samba server configuration, swaps manager, passwords setting and saving, loop filesystems creation, Flash plugin installation, Tcl/Tk installation, AMSN installation. X-CD-Roast has been replaced by K3b (for CD/DVD burning)..." The full changelog.
Buffalo Linux 1.1.1
A new version of Buffalo Linux has been released: "The main new features are the 2.6.1 kernel, a 'newkernel' GUI rebuild feature, and a new modutils 3.0.0 (with a Buffalo wrapper for switching back to the old version if needed). All other packages are the same as 1.1.0. There are many minor bugfixes and a few new features, such as a 'RUN Program' option on the main menu which supports adding desktop icons and Programs entries for both Linux and MS Windows programs."
Lunar Linux 1.3.3
Lunar Linux has been updated to version 1.3.3: "An updated Lunar install/rescue ISO is now available. Linux kernel 2.4.24 based. glibc recompiled with 2.4.24 kernel headers. No more /usr/include/linux symlinks to /usr/src/linux. SATA is supported in the kernel on the ISO. More kernel modules for ethernet, SCSI, IDE, fusion, firewire, USB, ppp now included on the ISO. BitchX is now included. For full details of all the changes please see ISO.Changelog. A xdelta patch is also available from 1.3.2 ISO to the 1.3.3 ISO." Read the rest of the official announcement.
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
The GoboLinux project has published a roadmap leading towards the release of version 011: "GoboLinux 007 and 010 featured large improvements, namely the installer and hardware detection. These would be hard to top on 011: the plan is to have smaller things as new features, and focus on improving these larger features that were introduced in the last releases. So, what's new to be expected? New bootscripts. They are going to be as simple as the current ones, but more modular than the current ones. While some scenarios need extra complexity (daemon management, dependency-based boot, runlevels) others just need a few programs to be launched in a certain order at startup and "that's it". We believe it is possible to support both in an elegant manner. And do all of this in a themeable way, of course. ;-)" More details about the release can be found here.
|Web Site News
In addition to "distrowatch.com", you can now also access DistroWatch via "distrowatch.org".
Cheats from Poland
It has come to our attention that there has been a massive effort at increasing the page hit count of the Debian page by visitors from Poland. This has been going on since early in October last year, but it has accelerated dramatically during the last three weeks (with brief high-hit periods during late November and early December. During this time, the number of visitors from Poland represented some 30% of all visitors on the Debian page, while on the main page they only represented less than 1.6%. Although the hits came from varying IP addresses, the visitors were invariably using a version of a popular Windows browser to access the Debian page.
After examining the log files for the period between 2003-10-15 and 2004-01-17, the number of illegal hits on the Debian page by visitors from Poland was determined to be 9756. This number has been deducted from data on the statistics page. The overall number of hits on the Debian page, as calculated for the Page Hit Ranking (PHR) statistics, has been reduced by an average of 37 hits per day during the above period (this number is lower because the counter already ignores hits from identical IP addresses). The adjusted count will be displayed after the next PHR update scheduled for Saturday, 24 January.
As a result of the above fact, all visitors from Poland trying to access the Debian page while using Windows are currently banned from loading the page, and are being redirected to debian.org instead. This will remain in effect until all extraneous hits from Polish IP addresses stop (which hasn't, even some 48 hours after the redirection came into effect!).
Unfortunately, cheating is a way of life for many people and I doubt that appealing to visitor's conscience will change that. The Page Hit Ranking was never meant to be taken seriously, yet some people are prepared to go to great lengths to promote their favourite distribution. Any blatant attempts to manipulate the distribution ranking will result in deduction of page hits, and in more serious cases, we'll call on the FBI to investigate the breach of rules. Unless of course this is all a big mistake and there has suddenly been a massive increase of interest in Debian among the Windows users in Poland, in which case please leave an explanation below. (Don't take the FBI threat too seriously though, just grow up, prosze bardzo!)
New on the waiting list
- Ares Desktop. Ares Desktop is a free operating system for people looking for a polished desktop environment for the educational, business desktop and home user fields. Ares Desktop is based on the Linux core system. Ares Desktop offers more than just an operating system: It comes with many packages that are used daily by desktop educational, business and home users. All these packages are bundled up in an easy installation program.
- Zeus Linux. Zeus Linux is a Greek Linux distribution based on Slackware Linux. It includes many fixes, such as remaking init scripts, new precompiled kernels for workstation machines, several tools that we believe should be included in all distributions (Zebra for advanced routing, FreeSwan ipsec tunnels, Open-nms for network monitoring, Ntop, Mailscanner, Sophos Antivirus, Mrtg, Rrdtool for graph making, sawmill log analyser and many other useful tools for power users).
- Condorux. Condorux is a Peruvian Linux distribution based on Knoppix.
DistroWatch database summary
- Good-Day GNU/Linux. Good-Day GNU/Linux is a free Japanese server distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux.
- Number of distributions in the database: 239
- Number of discontinued distributions: 26
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 60
DistroWatch server slow?
No, not as far as I know. It seems to be just general overload caused by a surge of interest. We've had a major influx of visitors just after publishing the Knoppix review (that wasn't the first time the site was slashdotted, but it was by far the most intense "attack" on the server; no wonder Knoppix is at No 3 in our Page Hit Ranking!). Last week, following the appearance of PHLAK on TechTV, we had an incredible amount of people accessing the PHLAK page. In fact, the number of visitors interested in this relatively unknown distribution was as high as the number of visitors on the Mandrake or Red Hat pages shortly after a release! Also of note was the massive effort of some visitors from Polish IP addresses to increase the page hits on the Debian page (see the "Web Site News" section above). All this contributed to the general sluggishness of the server hosting DistroWatch.
- "Hey Ladislav, I (and several of our readers) have noticed your site being
very unresponsive the past week or so. Are you having server issues?"
The solution? I am going to spend some time on the PHP code to see what I can speed up, but in the meantime, simply bookmark and visit one of the mirrors. The main reason we have everything in text files, rather than a proper database is the ease of mirroring. Most mirrors rsync hourly, including the ones in Bratislava, Budapest, Cluj-Napoca and Vienna, as well as our newest mirrors in Prague and Florida (see the very top of this page for links).
That's all for this week, 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 18.104.22.168, 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|
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|Random Distribution |
Septor is a Linux distribution which provides users with a pre-configured computing environment for surfing the Internet anonymously. It is based on Debian's "Testing" branch and it uses Privoxy, a privacy-enhancing proxy, together with the Tor anonymity network to modify web page data and HTTP headers before the page is rendered by the browser. The distribution uses KDE Plasma as the preferred desktop environment and it also includes a launcher for downloading the latest Tor Browser, OnionShare for anonymous file sharing, and Ricochet for anonymous instant messaging.