| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 37, 23 February 2004
Welcome to this year's 8th edition of DistroWatch Weekly.
- Understanding live CDs
- Released last week
- Upcoming releases: LGIS Linux
- Get a DistroWatch T-shirt
- New additions: UserLinux, QiLinux
- New on the waiting list: Ed's Debian, PHP Solutions live, De2, Tupiserver, Debian-Extra-CD-Project, slavix, Bioknoppix, Kannery, Kazit, Dizinha
- Reader feedback: downloading ISO images
Understanding live CDs
How many live CDs have you tried? And which of them do you keep or recommend to others?
While the purpose of most Linux live CDs is to use them in emergencies or for demonstartion, there is one category of them that is sometimes misunderstood - distributions where the live-CD part is of secondary importance. Good examples of these are MEPIS Linux, PCLinuxOS or GoboLinux. They are intended as full-blown distributions for installation on hard disks, not just as live CDs. The live-CD part of them is really just a bonus, a sophisticated graphical installer which allows users to try the product before making a commitment to the full installation. This is a radical departure from the "traditional" installers, where users had to go through a lengthy installation process just to find out that perhaps the product doesn't meet their needs.
Are we seeing a trend here? It is becoming common among new distributions to start with a live CD, then provide a simple script or a full installation program, to copy the content of the CD onto a hard disk partition. Once done, users can boot into it and continue using the operating system as if it was installed with a traditional installer. The advantages of these distributions are clear: besides the try-before-you-commit benefit, the CD is still available for emergency situations, as well as for carrying it around and using it to load a familiar operating system on computers when away from home or office.
To re-iterate the above point, take this message as noted on the PCLinuxOS mailing list, a developer's response to a query about the distribution's continuous upgradability after the initial installation. Would each new release have to be re-installed or are the developers planning a regular upgrade path for the users of the distribution? Will it be easy to keep it up-to-date with new software?
"That is the goal is a continual update path for PCLinuxOS. Install once and update often as new programs become available. I just hate having people do a clean install everytime a new release comes out."
The above makes it quite clear that PCLinuxOS is not just a live CD. It is a distribution in its own right, a product that serves a double-purpose of being a full distribution and a live CD.
How long before all the major distributions start re-writing their Anacondas, YaSTs or (heavens forbid) Boot Floppies to include a live CD functionality? Somehow it doesn't seem very likely. Still, with all the extra benefits they would provide to their users, it might some day become a reality.
|Released Last Week
K12LTSP Linux 4.0.1
K12LTSP Linux 4.0.1 has been released: "K12LTSP v4.0.1 is officially available for your downloading pleasure. Apt, up2date, and yum repositories have been updated. If you have K12LTSP v4.0.0 already installed, these fine utilities can update you to v4.0.1 without much fuss. Known issues. Reports of serious stability problems with SMP kernels continue. Mission-critical sites are still encouraged to stick with K12LTSP 3.1.2. The Enterprise version of K12LTSP in testing, please help out if you can..." Read the rest of the release announcement.
Damn Small Linux 0.6
Version 0.6 of Damn Small Linux has been released. From the release notes: "New kernel and modules supporting more hardware (based on Knoppix 3.3); implemented space saving busybox; implemented space saving by dpkg-restore now restores not only package structure but also related programs; improved backup/restore to a specific device (hard drive, etc); improved ppp dial scripts (no more manual edits); improved hard drive install script to pass fb800x600 screen size, also improved speed of installation; menu reorganisation for easier navigation; new /opt/bootlocal.sh for user required misc system startup commands..."
This is a new release of clusterKNOPPIX, based on the version of Knoppix released earlier this week. From the changelog: "clusterKNOPPIX_V3.3-2004-02-16-EN-cl1 - 2004-02-17. Sync with latest Knoppix release; upgraded to gomd 0.2beta; fixed openmosix restart script; fixed terminalserver bug (chown problem); fixed atmel wlan drivers; added french openmosix terminalserver translation and a new parameter that allows to export the Knoppix image from disk instead of running from CD-ROM (to allow speed-ups) both patches by lbdan."
A new version of SystemRescueCD is now available. Changes: "SystemRescueCD 0.2.11. Updated EVMS to 2.2.2 patched; added Dban bootdisk (tool that wipes all data of a computer); added pppconfig (configure PPP); added BashBurn (script that make CD burning easier); put the manual (PDF, HTML) on the CD-ROM; updated partimage to 0.6.4 final; updated Clam-AntiVirus to 0.66; updated Samba to 3.0.2a; updated Reiserfsprogs to 3.6.12; many minor updates."
Feather Linux 0.3.6
Feather Linux continues with a rapid release schedule. From the 0.3.6 changelog: "Added bvi, isapnptools; changed some USB detection on USB boot; changed emelfm settings so they suit Feather; changed Opera download site; reinstalled some Debian packages so apt-get works a little better; changed Scite colour-coding; removed Busybox vi and added elvis-tiny; added Thunderbird and Java scripts; edited HD install script so Feather doesn't autologin; removed winbindd."
A bug fix version of KnoppiXMAME, a bootable CD for playing MAME games, has been released. From the release notes: "This release should be no different from 1.2 if you have used that version. Press F1 for help at the boot prompt. Type in 'addroms' to try out the new automated CD remastering utility. It works with ROMs on all filesystems. NTFS is still experimental, but should work thanks to captive. This is a small interim point-release. Some people had problems uncompressing the .bz2 file, so I returned to a regular .iso. A bug was also fixed with home directory settings not persisting when a remaster of a remaster was made with 'addroms'."
The first stable release of cAos is out: "Finally... cAos-1.0 has been released. All of the blocking/showstopping bugs have been resolved, and many of the developers are already using it in production. With that said, keep in mind there are many packages outside of the core that are still stabilizing (thus you may see frequent updates). Please post bug reports to bugzilla so that they may be resolved quickly and don't fall between the cracks." To install cAos, you will need to download its installation ISO image, called "Cinch", and follow these instructions to install a core system. Additional packages can then be installed with 'yum'. cAos is a Red Hat-based distribution with the goal to provide a stable operating system for enterprises; find out more at caosity.org.
Buffalo Linux 1.1.4
Buffalo Linux 1.1.4 has been released: "Highlighted in this release are: added kernel 2.6.3; new automatic patch and upgrade feature; over 30 package upgrades, including gcc-3.3.3, module-init-tools-0.9.14 (supports 2.4 and 2.6 kernels), samba-3.0.2a, perl-5.8.3. The new 1.1.4 ISOs are available on the Buffalo web sites. Additionally, users of 1.1.3 can upgrade to 1.1.4 by installing a 45MB package." See the full changelog for additional information.
Kurumin Linux 2.20
A new release of Brazil's Kurumin Linux is out. The main highlight of version 2.20 is the newly developed "Clica-aKi", a central control panel integrating various configuration tasks, including network setup, magic icons, installation and management of servers, configuration of keyboards, mice, sound cards, printers and other hardware. Detailed explanation, together with screenshots can be found in the official release announcement (in Portuguese).
Screenshot: Kurumin Linux 2.20 with "magic icons"
(full image size 640kB)
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
The fans of the Ximian Desktop will be pleased to learn that the developers of LGIS Linux are planning a new release, based on Fedora Core: "LGIS GNU/Linux is a Ximianized version of Red Hat Linux, you can see some screenshots here. You can find the ftp, http and BitTorrent links on the project page. Yes I'm working on the Fedora based version already :)" More in this story on FootNotes.
|Web Site News
Order your own official DistroWatch T-shirt from Hackerthreads.
New on the waiting list
- UserLinux. UserLinux is a GNU/Linux distribution based from Debian, but streamlined to a smaller set of default applications. The UserLinux variants (server, desktop, etc.) will be freely available in both source and ISO formats. Application specifics are being worked out right now. The desktop environment will be GNOME featuring OpenOffice.org for word processing. The server configuration will include Apache and Postfix. UserLinux will be complemented by a network of service providers offering certification, support, and professional services.
- QiLinux. QiLinux is a Linux distribution completely made from scratch in Italy. Its ambitious aim is to integrate the work of the vast community of free software developers in order to create a modern, high-performance, safe and easy-to-use operating system for system administrators and desktop users.
DistroWatch database summary
- Ed's Xbox Debian GNU/Linux. Ed's Debian is an Xbox-enabled version of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. It is based on the standard x86 Debian, but the install process - and naturally the boot loader, the kernel and the kernel modules - are all customised for the Xbox.
- PHP Solutions live. PHP Solutions live is a bootable Linux distribution which makes working with *.php files a breeze. It was created for people who want to run and test scripts in a new environment (PHP Solutions live version 0.9.5b3 contains PHP 5.0.0 beta3) without modifying an existing platform.
- De2. De2 is a community-developed Indonesian Linux distribution based on Debian (web site in Bahasa Indonesia).
- Tupiserver Linux. Tupiserver Linux is a Brazilian server-oriented distribution based on Kurumin Linux (web site in Portuguese).
- Debian-Extra-CD-Project. The Debian-Extra-CD-Project (DECP) is trying to provide an offline system with some of the newest Debian packages for desktop systems.
- slavix. slavix is a GNU/Linux distribution based on Morphix, Knoppix and Debian. It is intended for desktop users new to Linux. Slavix is a live CD, which means that it is very easy to try without having to install anything on your computer.
- Bioknoppix. Bioknoppix is a customised distribution of Knoppix live CD. With this distribution you just boot from the CD and you have a fully functional Linux OS distribution with open source applications targeted for the molecular biologist. Beside using some RAM, Bioknoppix doesn't touch the host computer, being ideal for demonstrations, molecular biology students, workshops, etc.
- Kannery. Kannery is a Knoppix-based Hebrew distribution, with several deployment options: hard disk installation from a boot server, thick client, thin client with grid server, and live CD.
- Kazit. Kazit is a Knoppix-based live CD with support for Hebrew (web site in Hebrew).
- Dizinha Linux. Dizinha Linux is a Brazilian Linux distribution based on Kurumin Linux (web site in Portuguese).
- Number of distributions in the database: 261
- Number of discontinued distributions: 31
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 66
On downloading ISO images
With all the interesting new distribution releases coming out just about every day, it happens on occasion that I get an email from a developer asking me to remove the download links from the news. The request usually comes as a result of the users having consumed the developer's entire monthly bandwidth allocation in just a few hours after the news was published. Thus begins the panic-stricken victim's mad rush to find mirrors or to set up a BitTorrent download.
Let me make one thing clear: DistroWatch is a news site. If you develop a distribution and release it to the public by publishing news about it on your web site, it will be reported on DistroWatch. If you publish a link to an ISO image on your own web site, it will also be mentioned within the news item. That's how news has been reported here for 2.5 years and I have no intention to change that. As several developers have found out, once the news is out, there will be a bandwidth problem.
It's best to be prepared, either by providing a BitTorrent tracker or a several FTP/HTTP mirrors. BitTorrent can solve the problem to some extent, but you need to realise that many users are behind firewalls, where BitTorrent cannot be used. Mirrors are not always easy to find, but places such as ibiblio.org, tuwien.ac.at, sunet.se or planetmirror.com already host a large number of distributions, so a polite request for hosting yours is unlikely to be refused. Another alternative is not to publish the news on your own web site, in which case it will not be published here either (yes, projects with this attitude do exist - take Sorcerer as an example).
The bottom line is: if you are offering ISO images for download, prepare for the onslaught in advance. Don't ever assume that most users will give your product a miss. They won't.
That's all for this week, see you next Monday :-)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
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|Random Distribution |
BRLix GNU/Linux (formerly Famelix GNU/Linux) was a distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux. Its peculiarity lies in the adaptation of the user interface so that it resembles Windows Vista (or optionally Windows XP) as much as possible.