| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 33, 26 January 2004
Welcome to this year's fourth edition of DistroWatch Weekly. If you are wondering why it comes out later than usual, the reason is simple: since many people have been complaining about the web site's pages loading very slowly recently, I decided to spend some time to look through the PHP code and identify the bottlenecks. It turned out that main reason for the site loading slowly was a function translating common phrases into various languages based on visitor's IP address or language preference. This function was fine back in early days when we only offered a handful of linguas, but it became inadequate now that we support some 34 languages. The code rewrite required quite a bit of effort and you should find it worthwile, since the script's execution speed seems to have increased considerably. If, however, you find any bugs due to the new code, please let us know.
Now that this is out of the way, let's get on with the regular program.
Are you happy with your current distribution?
DistroWatch tends to attract two types of visitors. One of them comes here to look for a particular distribution to satisfy a particular requirement, while the other is simply interested in the latest news, development and in keeping up-to-date with ideas and innovation comming from the Open Source community. But do we have a third type? Users looking to replace their existing distribution with a new, "better" one?
In other words, how satisfied are you with your present distribution? This would be an interesting idea for a poll to see how happy the users of the main Linux distributions are with their current products. Unfortunately, polls like that tend to be limiting in choices, so perhaps a forum discussion is a better option. First, let's venture out and do a bit of guesswork, based on discussions on various public mailing lists and user forums. It is probably not too far from the truth to say that users of Slackware, Debian, and probably also Gentoo, are the ones least likely to consider a switch. On the other end of the spectrum, the level of dissatisfaction, as well as uncertainty with the state of the Fedora Project, quality of the recent releases of Mandrake Linux seem to indicate that users of those two distributions are more likely to consider a new one.
As an example, news about last week's beta releases of Mandrake 10.0 PCLinuxOS 2K4 were posted on the main page at about the same time, but during the hours following the announcements, more people checked out the PCLinuxOS page than the Mandrake page. Given the worrying signals that have been coming out of MandrakeSoft (see Is Mandrake pulling a Red Hat?), would you consider switching to a completely free, community-developed "clone" of Mandrake Linux from a well-established, but commercial Mandrake proper? Or do you intend to support Mandrake no matter what? Please discuss bellow.
As reported by Linux Weekly News, Slashdot and other publications, Cooperative Linux (or coLinux for short) is a new product that makes it possible to run Linux from within Windows 2000/XP. According to the information on the coLinux's web site, "coLinux is a port of the Linux kernel that allows it to run cooperatively alongside another operating system on a single machine. For instance, it allows one to freely run Linux on Windows 2000/XP, without using a commercial PC virtualisation software such as VMware." As such, coLinux is a modified Linux kernel, not a complete Linux distribution; you will still need a third-party distribution (Knoppix and Debian have been tested to work with coLinux) to take advantage of this new tool. Still, it sounds like a very interesting product, so if you'd like to try it, here is the link to the coLinux's download page at SourceForge.
|Released Last Week
Feather Linux 0.3.3
Feather Linux 0.3.3 has been released: "Changelog from 0.3.2 to 0.3.3: fixed SciTE; added Firebird and OpenOffice.org install scripts; added mount.app, portmap and nfs-common, and chntpw; changed default Fluxbox theme; updated Sylpheed to 0.9.8a; added proxy configuration option to setup; added script to save configuration to a floppy." The full changelog.
Gibraltar Firewall 1.2
This is a new version of Gibraltar Firewall. From the changelog: "Version 1.2, published 2004-01-20. This is a usability release, targeting many small enhancements for the web interface. The base system has not changed, users of the free version thus do not need to update. Added the possibility to delete multiple entries in element groups. Added the possibility to move rules from one line to a dedicated line number in the Firewall and NAT modules. Added the information of the current track in the form for creating a new rule (Firewall and NAT module)...."
STUX GNU/Linux 0.6.2
A new version of STUX GNU/Linux is out. From the changelog: "Version 0.6.2 released. Changes: corrected a permission problem on scanner device file; syslog daemon is configurable; it is now possible to install STUX on hard disk without a missing STUX configuration; g++ added." To download the new release, please visit the distribution's download page to accept the STUX download agreement (the ISO file size is 618MB). STUX is a Linux live CD based on Slackware Linux.
Burapha Linux 5.3.1
Burapha Linux 5.3.1, a Slackware-based Linux distribution from Thailand, has been released: "Welcome to Burapha Linux 5.3.1. This is a derivative of the Slackware 9.1 distribution. It has been modified with a new easy installation process, and contains some slackware-current (and other) updates. It also has some GPL software written by students at Burapha University. Changes: This release does not include OfficeTLE since we could not build it. We hope to include OfficeTLE in the next release. Upgrade to alsa 1.0.1..." The home page of Burapha Linux provides a complete list of changes.
A new version of Flonix is available: "This version is a big step in the usability by everyone. The graphic interface has been completely changed in order to be very easy and pleasant to use. New plugins are also available in menus and Flonix is now smaller than 60MB, but is complete and functional." See the changelog for further information.
Knoppix STD 0.1
The first stable version of Knoppix STD has been released: "I'm pleased to announce Knoppix-STD 0.1. Boot the CD and hit Alt-F7 for an introduction to the new features." Knoppix-STD is a Knoppix-based live CD with a customised Linux kernel (2.4.21 with NTFS read & write, OpenMosix, and SuperFreeSwan patches), Fluxbox window manager, incredible hardware detection and hundreds of applications. With the focus on information security and network management, Knoppix STD is meant to be used by both the novice looking to learn more about security and the security professional looking for another Swiss army knife.
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
SME Server 6.1
The first community-driven release of SME Server (also known as e-smith) is under preparation, with a planned beta release within the next week or two: "Here is the work remaining and the approximate timeline for a release candidate. Much of the work that has been done has been largely cosmetic. The most obvious change has been posted in Screenshots as the Server-Manager interface. There have been some bug fixes worked on along the way. Many of those should have already been entered in to the Bug Tracker. All source will be available along with the release. This is a starting point for the project. In order to make *any* changes or even properly compile an ISO for release we had to put together a team of volunteers. We also had to develop infrastructure and process to coordinate these efforts. It's not all in place yet. There is plenty of opportunity to participate." Read the Status of SME Server Release for further information.
|Web Site News
Red Hat/Fedora split
In anticipation of the first test release of Fedora Core 2, scheduled for 2 February, we have separated the Fedora Project from Red Hat Linux and created a new Fedora Project page. The original Red Hat page will remain active and will track the less frequent Red Hat Enterprise Linux series, while the Fedora page will keep any eye on the Fedora Core releases, as well as Fedora's development tree.
Order your own official DistroWatch T-shirt from Hackerthreads.
- blackPanther-Linux. blackPanther-Linux is Hungarian Linux distribution based on Mandrake Linux.
- Biadix. Biadix is Knoppix-based Linux live CD with support for the Catalan language.
- LIIS Linux. LIIS Linux is a Latvian Linux distribution based on Debian and Skolelinux.
- Knoppix STD. Knoppix STD is a customised distribution of the Knoppix live Linux CD. STD focuses on information security and network management tools. It is meant to be used by both the novice looking to learn more about information security and the security professional looking for another swiss army knife for their tool kit. The tools are divided into the following categories: authentication, encryption utilities, firewalls, penetration tools, vulnerability assessment, forensic tools, honeypots, intrusion detection, packet sniffers and assemblers, network utilities, wireless tools, password auditing (crackers) and servers.
Screenshot: blackPanther-Linux - a new Hungarian live CD with Waimea as its desktop environment.
(full image size 147kB)
New on the waiting list
- LITRIX. LITRIX is a Brazilian live CD based on Slackware Linux (web site in Portuguese).
- LinuxDefender. LinuxDefender Live! CD is a Rescue CD based on Knoppix. It features full NTFS write support (using Captive). It also includes instant antivirus and antispam SMTP protection, which is managed via Webmin. Desktop antivirus protection is integrated into the KDE interface, using BitDefender for Linux technology.
- KnoppIT. As the name indicates, KnoppIT is an Italian variant of Knoppix. It is developed by the Asti Linux User Group (web site in Italian).
No surprises here, the Caldera/SCO-inspired UnitedLinux is no more: "'The legal entity exists, but I shut the lights out,' former UnitedLinux general manager Paula Hunter said in an interview Thursday at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo here. Hunter is now channelling her Linux collaboration energies into a new job: director of business development on the East Coast for the Open Source Development Labs. The shutdown marks the end of an ambitious effort to attract more hardware and software partners, standardise Linux, and boost research and development. Instead, it was OSDL--a more neutral coalition in the Linux industry and the employer of Linux leader Linus Torvalds--that succeeded where UnitedLinux failed." The full story at ZDNet.
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of distributions in the database: 244
- Number of discontinued distributions: 29
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 59
What happened to MEPIS?
It is not often that I receive as many concerned emails about a distribution as during the recent "disappearance" of the MEPIS Linux web site. Is this project becoming everyone's darling? While I don't know why the site was off-line, I am pleased to report that mepis.org is back with a new logo, a slightly modified web site and the increasingly active user forums. In fact, MEPIS Linux 2003.10.02 was released recently; this is however a minor update and those with a working installation do not need to upgrade.
- "Is it just me, or has the Mepis web site been down for about a week for everyone? As this is my favourite distro, I'm getting concerned."
- "I've been trying to get to mepis.org for three days now, and get the 'not found' message. I hope everything's OK with them. Have you heard any news?"
That's all for this week, see you next Monday :-)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• 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|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
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View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
Local Area Security Linux (L.A.S.)
Local Area Security Linux was a 'Live CD' distribution with a strong emphasis on security tools and small footprint. We currently have 2 different versions of L.A.S. to fit two specific needs - MAIN and SECSERV. This project was released under the terms of GPL.