| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 63, 23 August 2004
Welcome to this year's 33rd edition of DistroWatch Weekly. After returning from his break, your DistroWatch maintainer has found that there is plenty to catch up on. Also, we are introducing a new section called "Featured Distribution of the Week". Enjoy!
Linux in Europe
Talking about Linux deployments in Europe, Red Hat's CEO Matthew Szulik was recently quoted by Linux Format as saying that "our best developers come from Europe - hands down". He continued: "I think Europe - because of the lack of legacy - is going to move forward, open-minded, towards Open Source software."
As the Thai Airways airplane slowly descended towards the Fiumicino Airport in Rome, my mind couldn't help but wondering: is Linux a commonly known term in Europe? Will I be able to find an Internet Café with a Linux machine? And what about the availability of Linux books, magazines, distributions? If I wear a Linux T-shirt, will I meet some like-minded folks? Although it was meant to be a holiday, I spent the last few years almost exclusively in Linux, researching and promoting Linux distributions, and I found it hard not to think about these things even while away from my computer. The thought of arriving in the scary world of Microsoft software and all its security problems and other ills was very unpleasant, to say the least. Only the Knoppix live CD in my back pocket provided some comfort.
Some six weeks have passed since then and I know the answers to all those questions. So how did Europe fare? In terms of finding Linux in Internet Cafés, Europe was a big disappointment. It soon became clear that the majority of businesses providing Internet access to travellers exist for one main reason - to make as much money as possible. It's all pay-first-surf-later, pop-up windows with reminders of remaining time, centralised password-protected terminals and other control measures. It didn't take me long to realise that all large Internet Cafés had to be avoided at all cost. In fact, it was the smaller Cafés that provided much friendlier environment, and although none of them offered Linux-powered terminals, at least they were aware of Linux and did not object to my using Knoppix on their boxes. It wasn't until the very end of the trip that I found an Internet Café with a Linux machine - in the eastern Slovakian city of Košice, of all places. There it was - a lone box in the corner, away from all the game playing kids in the main row, sporting a bright red desktop of Fedora Core!
The situation was much better in terms of availability of general Linux publications in news stands and book stores. It seems that every language area of Europe publishes several excellent Linux magazines and regular "distribution packs" with all the latest and greatest CDs readily available. In Italy, I enjoyed the excellent Linux Magazine, which comes with great content, as well as 3 CDs and a DVD for those who lack fast Internet connection. Two other Linux magazines were also available on the shelves of Italian news stands. Similarly, the news stands of the French-speaking part of Switzerland were offering several Linux magazines imported from France, including (once again) Linux Magazine and one or two others. Likewise the German-speaking part of Switzerland, which had several Linux magazines brought in from Germany - I liked linuxuser and easyLINUX, both of which had a good mixture of excellent content for beginners and advanced users.
Of all the countries I visited, Austria was about the best for Linux publications and distributions. The green SUSE LINUX boxes were widely available in most book stores and I even spotted a box of Mandrakelinux 10.0 PowerPack on a few occasions. A news stand in Vienna had two rows of Linux magazines in German and English, including Linux Format (my personal favourite) and a few American monthlies, as well as the German edition of Red Hat's Wide Open and Aurox Linux magazine with a full set of Aurox CDs. While in Vienna, I also met with Antonin Sprinzl, a system administrator at Vienna Technical University who maintains a very large mirror of many Linux distributions on the university's server at gd.tuwien.ac.at. Good work there, Antonin!
Apart from the above mentioned surprise of finding a Linux box in an Internet Café, Slovakia (now a member of the European Union) seemed somewhat behind the other countries in terms of home computer use and available Linux publications. The only magazine I found on news stands regularly was a fairly expensive monthly called Linux+ (in Czech).
Many thanks to Robert Storey and Dr Zhu Wen Tao for keeping DistroWatch going during my break. Robert did a great job by compiling DistroWatch Weekly, while Dr Zhu from Chinese Academy of Sciences (and a big fan of Mandrakelinux) was maintaining the news section. Despite our best efforts, we still missed a few important news (more on this below), so please accept our apologies if we didn't cover a release of your favourite project or distribution.
Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4 - released or not?
Have you had a chance to try out the brand new Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4 released last week? If not, then don't despair, you are not the only one. Judging by the posts on the distribution's forums, the much hyped latest version of Desktop/LX hasn't shipped, the existing Lycoris customers are unable to upgrade their products online, and DistroWatch has yet to receive the promised final package list of the product. Even the official press release went out two days later than scheduled. Has Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4 been really released? We have our doubts....
|Featured Distribution of the Week
Remember Kondara, a distribution with a logo of a penguin on a motorcycle? It was one of the earliest and most successful Japanese distributions and it even attempted to enter the US market in 2000 with the release of Kondara MNU/Linux 2000 (see this review). Unfortunately, the company behind Kondara collapsed over two years ago, leaving the highly motivated developers without a project to work on. Never mind, they said, let's start our own project. Out of ashes of Kondara a new distribution, called Momonga Linux, was born.
It took over two long years of development work, but the first stable release of Momonga Linux, code name "Kaede" was finally announced on 6 August 2004. Although built from its own package repository, the distribution is heavily inspired by Fedora Core, with similar development model and FTP file structure, the Anaconda installer, and RPM package management. Momonga Linux 1 comes on 4 CDs and includes just about every useful piece of open source software available under the sun.
Although developed mostly by Japanese programmers, the distribution supports English just as well and the Momonga web site provides English content, together with English-language mailing lists. One nice thing about Momonga is its support for 8 different Japanese input method servers, a selection of which is available directly from the GDM login screen. Best of all, these input servers work nicely even if you choose to keep your user interface in English (or any other language) - anybody who has ever tried to configure one of these input servers on a non-Japanese distribution and a non-Japanese user interface will surely appreciate the simplicity of Momonga's approach.
But even if you have no need to write in Japanese, Momonga Linux is a very nice distribution to play with. It is a completely free (both libre and gratis), community-based project with a lot of potential and determination. If you enjoy experimenting with different distributions, take your time to find out more about Momonga, the flying squirrel, at momonga-linux.org.
Momonga Linux 1 - the project's first stable version was released earlier this month
(full image size 408kB)
|Released Last Week
The Gnoppix Project is pleased to announce Gnoppix 0.8: "Gnoppix is a free operating system, with the GNOME desktop environment, features cryptographic software, is compatible with the FHS v2.2, and supports software developed for the LSB. Gnoppix 0.8-Series comes with GNOME 2.6 and Kernel 2.6.7, C++ 3.4, egroupware, Openoffice, see filelist for details. A full Mono Develop environment is also included. Now we have a nice GUI installation tool, you can install Gnoppix with 7 clicks to your hard disk. Gnoppix comes with 23 bootable languages." The full changelog.
The security-focused, Debian-based Adamantix project has released Adamantix 1.0.4: "Adamantix v1.0.4 has been released! With almost 3300 packages (against less than 1200 in v1.0.3), this release is a big step forward in the evolution of Adamantix. The most notable change is the inclusion of various X related packages like KDE 3.2.3, Mozilla, Firefox v0.9.3, Evolution, Gaim, Nessus, etc. XFree86 itself does not work, although the VNC server does. The X server needs more work to fix. Many packages have been updated, like Postfix, OpenSSH, PAM and Linux kernel v2.4.26. Some stuff which has been removed in this release: randomising kernel patches and the HostAP driver patch." Read the rest of the announcement.
Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4
The long awaited Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4 has been officially released: "Lycoris, the worldwide desktop Linux leader, today announced the immediate availability of Desktop/LX 1.4, the fifth release of its award-winning desktop operating system. Desktop/LX 1.4, formerly known as Desktop/LX Update 4, features an enhanced desktop powered by KDE 3.2.3, and combines all of the simplicity customers have come to expect from Lycoris with the power of the latest Open Source technology. Desktop/LX 1.4 is now available from all Lycoris resellers, and direct from the Lycoris Store." The full press release. Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4 is available in two editions -Desktop (US$40) and Deluxe (US$50); more details are available at the Lycoris Store.
This is a new release of SystemRescueCd, version 0.2.15. From the changelog: "Updated the kernelto Linux-2.4.27; added missing LVM tools (Volume Manager tools); added Oscar (build an advanced customized disc); updated Samba to 3.0.5;module 'cpqarray' loaded if required; updated ClamAV to 0.75.1; updated Memtest86+ bootdisk to 1.20; added bootdisk 'offline NT password and registry editor'; fixed a keyboard problem; fixed a problem in the partimage-ssl package; added mdadm (software RAID administrator program); added sleuthkit (file system and media management forensic analysis tools); added rzip (compression program for large files); addedudpcast (allows mulitcast transfers)."
QiLinux version 1.1 is out: "QiLinux1.1 stable release is available for download. ISO images can be downloaded by following this link. Please consider the mirror sites for faster downloads. The two ISO images to install from CD are available (about1.3GB). There is also an ISO image for network installation (about 80MB). Lots of fixes on the setup procedure should let you install QiLinux on more platforms than the previous version. Please, read the full article for detailed information on new features since 1.1beta1." See the release announcement and changelog for details.
Lineox Enterprise Linux 3.032 for AMD64
Lineox Enterprise Linux 3.0 contains all freely distributable packages from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0, and Always CurrentLineox™ Enterprise Linux is a series of versions of Lineox Enterprise Linux 3.0 which contain all the available bug and security fixes. "Always Current Lineox Enterprise Linux 3.032 is the first version Lineox released for x86_64 in addition to IA32 (known also as i386) architecture... The x86_64 release requires either AMD Opteron or Athlon64 CPU based computer. Some new Intel Xeon and Pentium IV CPU's that have EM64T (Extended Memory 64 Technology) should also be able to run this version. " The complete announcement.
The FreeBSD-based m0n0wall firewall, version 1.1, hasbeen released: "This second m0n0wall release adds several new features like captive portal support, 802.1Q VLAN and more, and fixes many bugs (not only in m0n0wall code, but also in software from other projects that is used in it)." See the changelog and the official announcement on the distribution's home page.
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Progeny Debian 2.0
Ian Murdoch has published a tentative roadmap towards the final release of Progeny Debian 2.0, scheduled for the end of September: "We're planning to do a Progeny Debian 2.0 Developer Edition Release Candidate on 8/30 or 8/31 that includes 'frozen' versions of our platform technologies, namely Anaconda and Discover, as well as a full complement of components, including some that will make their debut here in the next few weeks. Between the Release Candidate and the final release, only bug fixes will be introduced to the platform technologies, and there will be no changes to the components aside from bug fixes and updates from sarge, which by the first week of September should be minimal." The full story, as published on the Progeny mailing list.
|Web Site News
All the missed releases
One negative aspect of being away from DistroWatch was the fact that we missed some important releases. Among them was gnuLinEx 2004, released on 20 July (see the release announcement (in Spanish). The Kurumin project has also moved on and the latest release is version 3.11. The Knoppix-based Danix project from the Czech Republic released a new version, numbered 2004-08-12, on 12 August, see their brief announcement (in Czech). The Fedora-based live CD called Berry Linux is now on version 0.46, see the changelog on the distribution's home page. Version 2.0.2 of the Aurox-based Hakin9 project was released late in July and you can find a brief changelog on haking.pl. Finally, Israel's Kinneret project has also made a new release - version 0.7.3. Besides all the stable releases, we have missed a number of announcements of development and beta releases. These include the current betas of Yellow Dog Linux 4.0 and a number of other interesting distributions. Once again, our apologies for the missed news.
Three distribution have been placed on the list of discontinued distributions due to prolonged unavailability of their respective web sites; these are Aleader, Polar Bear Linux and Zeus Linux.
New distribution additions
New on the waiting list
- DebXPde. DebXPde is a Knoppix-based Linux distribution which integrates the XPde user interface into Linux in order to give new users a familiar, WindowsXP-like experience. The distribution also provides users with many useful tools for everyday tasks.
- DNALinux. DNALinux is a live Linux distribution based on SLAX and bundled with bioinformatics applications, such as EMBOSS, Primer3, and other software.
- KoreLinux. Kore Linux is a Korean Linux distribution based on Fedora Core.
- Linare Linux. Linare Linux is a desktop-oriented, commercial Linux distribution based on Fedora Core technology. Features of Linare Linux include a full office suite compatible with Microsoft Office, which includes word processing, spreadsheet, drawing and presentation software. It also comes with a full Internet suite, bundled with a GAIM messenger that can be used with Yahoo, MSN, AOL and ICQ protocols. Linare Linux includes Mozilla mail software, the increasingly popular Outlook-styled email program, and the Mozilla Internet browser. (Many thanks to Thierry Thévoz, who has supplied the information about Linare Linux; it's unfortunate that the distribution's web site still does not provide much technical information about Linare's products.)
- Momonga Linux. Momonga Linux is a Linux distribution developed in a "bazaar" model style among its user community. Why momonga? you may wonder... A momonga (aka Pteromys momonga) is a flying squirrel found both in Europe and Asia. It's an animal known for a self-asserting behaviour, despite its small size. We, at the Momonga Project, like the momonga, may be small and not well-known, but we do express ourselves without fear or favour, so hopefully a new user can feel our enthusiasm and belief from the Momonga Linux. Also, an installer for Momonga Linux is also called momonga. Taking over its name, it does the job quickly and efficiently, just like a momonga.
- Nature's Linux. Nature's Linux is a Linux-based operating system developed by Japan's Nature's Linux Alliance. Its main focus is security.
- Octoz GNU/Linux. The goal of Octoz GNU/Linux is to create a simple and reliable Linux distribution accessible to the beginners and to the people having little or no knowledge in data processing. The system will be designed for the beginners so that the access to this OS is a real pleasure and not another "OS created by engineers for engineers". Octoz GNU/Linux will be mainly directed at multi-media, office automation, customer networks and Internet.
- Specifix Linux. Specifix is a privately held open source company founded to take on the challenge of producing open source products and distributions that can be tailored efficiently to match client needs. The product lines cover both the GNU tools system, and Linux based systems. Specifix has built a Linux distribution around the Conary system to both showcase the abilities Conary provides and to provide a starting point for customisation. This distribution is still immature, but we encourage anyone interested in Conary and flexible Open Source solutions to give it a try.
DistroWatch database summary
- Securinix. Securinix is a customised Linux distribution based on Slackware 10, which runs directly from a bootable CD without the need to install anything on a hard disk. In addition to the standard tools and stability Slackware is known for, Securinix contains the latest stable versions of variety of Open Source network security tools for network monitoring, scanning, OS fingerprinting, vulnerability analysis, sniffing and sniffing detection, intrusion detection, packet generation/injection, backup and data recovery, computer forensics, and incident response.
- BIG LINUX. BIG LINUX is a new Brazilian Linux distribution based on Kurumin Linux.
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 323
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 7
- Number of discontinued distributions: 35
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 76
|DistroWatch in the News
Why is Gentoo declining
The last section of DistroWatch Weekly was originally reserved for reader feedback; however, with most readers opting to express their views in the forums, it has become increasingly hard to fill the section with insightful comments. As a result, the reader feedback section has been replaced with "DistroWatch in the News". It will be filled with quotes and links to sites and forums discussing DistroWatch and distributions in general, with the goal of triggering interesting discussions and helping to improve the site. This week we will link to a discussion on Gentoo forums entitled DistroWatch - Why Is Gentoo Declining?, where a reader was wondering about the reasons why Gentoo is dropping in our page hit ranking statistics:
"I have my own theories (binary package integration, portage dictating downgrades and other similar changes), but I'd like to here from others why they think what was the best source-based hacker-friendly Linux distribution has been on a steady decline in popularity?"
Anybody else wants to comment on the subject?
That's all for this week, see you all next Monday :-)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Linux direction? (by atang1 at 2004-08-23 10:46:33 GMT) |
We at motherboards.org are pioneering Linux standards in drivers and other aspects, such as interface(socket and plug-ins), faces(add-ons and drop-ins), skins(by internet webpages) and self stripping on bloated core kernels during boot. this of course promotes Knoppix linecd OS and neglects legacy Linux distros.
2 • Gentoo in decline?? (by Life at 2004-08-23 11:41:54 GMT)
I'm suprised by the decline in Gentoo popularity assumed by the forum poster (Gentoo forums are down at the moment, so can't read the thread), as Gentoo does seem to be the "in thing" lately, every man and his dog seems to be jumping on board.
They do have an excellent support and documentation community, and it is highly customisable, can't see why its overall popularity is declining.
However, maybe it is because the general users checking out distribution pages on DW.com lately are primarily those new to Linux, and are steering clear of Gentoo and opting for the distributions that have a reputation for being highly user-friendly, such as Mandrake, SuSE, Fedora etc, or perhaps its just sheer coincidence? Could be down to a few different anomalous factors.
I love the DW.com stats rankings, and they can provide a nice insight into whats hot and whats not, but I don't think they should be taken as 100% proof of a decline or rise in a distributions popularity.
Would be more accurate to check out activity on Gentoo.org's site, forums, and download mirrors, if it were possible, to get statistics from them all for the last few months before claiming the distro is in decline.
Btw, I don't actually use Gentoo, I am a diehard Slackware user, so I'm not trying to defend it for the sake of argument, just my opinion. What does everyone else think on the matter?
As a side note to Ladislav, there is a relatively small computer store near my residence in England, imaginatively called "Computer Cellar", they stock alot of Linux distributions and "alternative" software, and the owner is also very pro-OSS. It seems to be the bigger chain stores that just stock Windows and mainstream software, presumably because there is more cash in it for them, and the chains often have contracts going with vendors like Microsoft which are about as messy as the EULA... maybe this situation will change as demand for supply increases?
3 • Welcome back (by Jose Marcio Batista Borges at 2004-08-23 11:54:33 GMT)
Welcome back, Ladislav.
I´m a frequent visitor of Distrowatch, 2 or 3 times a day, everyday.
I wish you had apreciated your trip, but now I´m happy, because this site will be the best site about Linux Distros again.
Sorry my poor english. I´m a brazilian guy.
4 • Gentoo & The Trees (by Nick on 2004-08-23 12:05:34 GMT)
I'm all for conserving bandwidth (save the trees, etc). I can't use a net-based distrobution such as Gentoo, Debian.. unless they have a clear way to save the downloaded stuffs to discs for later use (again, other machines, for coasters). My current strategy is to use Slackware and keep source code of major packages on disc. Does anyone know a way I can do this in Gentoo so I can play with it some more? Suggestion / Links, please.
5 • The trees are safe (by Neil Bothwick at 2004-08-23 12:17:00 GMT)
Gentoo keeps all downloaded files for re-use, and they can be transferred to another machine or kept on an NFS-mounted partition. There is no reason to download the same package twice.
6 • In debian too! (by fiksve at 2004-08-23 12:31:07 GMT)
The downloaded packages are stored in both debian and gentoo. And you can specify the existing ones as the source on both distros as well...
I was a happy Gentoo user a while ago, but I cant get the damn thing stable enough for my work as a developer, it tends to break too often, I got bored of the ridiculous long builds, nor did I achieve the famed superspeeds. I changed into Debian Sarge a couple of months back, and I couldnt be happier. Its fast, has binary updates and is dead stable.
Dont get me wrong, Gentoo is a very good distro, its just a little imature -- I will probably check it out when they got a couple of more years on their backs.
7 • Gentoo and the tree huggers (by crawancon at 2004-08-23 12:40:21 GMT)
Welcome back ladislav.
Certainly some of the decline is rooted in gentoo's deficiencies..one is the dreaded install. A few gentoo variants have surfaced, the most notable in my head being Jollix. A few of these gentooian distros offer the power and source based goodness of gentoo, with the easier install. Im sure there's more to it. but hey , its monday morning :-P
8 • SourceMage GNU/Linux (by KaZe on 2004-08-23 13:11:10 GMT)
Looking for a sourcebased distro, which saves the compiled package, and can do distributed and cross compilation ? SourceMage GNU/Linux is good for you.
I was a redhat/fedora user for 3 years, and learned a lot of things using it.
Now I use SMGL (for about 3 months), and learned another lot of things. It is simple to use/maintain.
For example, 2 days after the kde 3.3 release, a "sorcery system-update" compiled for me kdebase, kdelibs, ... using the same options as I used with the 3.2.x release.
Wanting Samba ? "cast samba", and answering "simple questions" (for people who know a litte about linux), and a after compilation you get stuff to share with the windows world.
Sourcebased distros have the advantage of making the distro looking like the way you want it to.
And people on the IRC chan #sourcemage are really good, and patient with newbies. Don't be afraid to ask questions on it ;)
The hardest step was to first install the system. But using the forum and the wiki made it easy finaly.
Ps : sorry for my bad english :(
9 • Gentoo increase in populatary (by Nick at 2004-08-23 13:33:54 GMT)
I don't know about everyone else, but I just converted to Gentoo . It's a fantastic server and an "OK" desktop. The fourms are great and the documentation is the best I've ever seen from any Linux distro.
It does require you to get a little more hands on than most distros, but in retuen you get complete controll of you system and quick, easy, and free access to the lattest software updates.
I think Gentoo will increase in populatary as more people get sick of the bloat in Fedora, SuSE, and Mandrake. Thats why I switched.
10 • Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4 - released or not? (by Lycoris User on 2004-08-23 13:55:21 GMT)
I get the feeling Lycoris has managed to screw things up and is using the release announcement to buy some time. How can you release something and not make it available at the same time to paid users? Their Website has not even been updated. It still links to the old Desktop LX Tour. I think they will loose lots of business with this type of action. Enough is enough, fess up Lycoris!
11 • Gentoo popularity and updating woes (by Jonathan at 2004-08-23 14:49:22 GMT)
I have used Gentoo off and on (currently off) since pre-1.0. The installation, though tedious, is straight-forward. The difficulty I run into is more my fault than Gentoo's. I update my software packages readily, and before I know it I have several hundred files in /etc I need to manually update. I then realize that I do not have enough time to manually resolve all of them and switch back to Slackware.
If emerge could automatically call a diff program on all changed config files to encourage users to 'do the right thing.' I prefer emacs ediff, but I supose such a thing should be customizable.
12 • gentoo (by Anonymous on 2004-08-23 15:00:25 GMT)
For what it's worth: I have noticed a lot of interest in Gentoo on the VIA mini-itx boards.
13 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2004-08-23 15:21:19 GMT)
One of the reasons the stats may be declining for Gentoo is that it's already achieved peak popularity. For an existing gentoo user, there is no reason to get another install disk. So the downloads have declined, even if the actual installs may have been the same.
14 • Gentoo popularity and updating woes (by motub on 2004-08-23 15:36:02 GMT)
Jonathan, have you never heard of etc-update? It gives you a list of all the changed config files, and diffs them when you select them by number. It also automatically merges "trivial" updates, reducing the list to only the files that need human intervention. If you've done a large, system-wide update, it can still be a lot of files, but you can also choose to ignore the updates (thus leaving both the original file and the new file intact until you want to deal with it).
You can even configure etc-update to use the diff mode of your choice; regular diff (the default), colordiff (available in Portage), or a GUI diff editor, such as vim, meld or one of the others available in Portage.
So, while Portage does not do this itself, at the end of the emerge, it will tell you that several config files have the potential to be changed, and suggest that you run etc-update.
15 • 1. Gentoo & source distros 2. European net cafes (by Penguin on 2004-08-23 15:58:50 GMT)
Gentoo & source distros:
The truth is that the source-based distros were just a very fashionable and much hyped thing some time ago. Everybody and your grandma wanted to try them out. However, as time went by, people noticed that running a source-based distro was, after all, not necessarily the best thing since sliced bread. For example, the superior speed benefits of compile optimizations were much exaggerated, there were stability problems etc.
However, for experienced people, who know their way around problems and who want to have as much control as possible, a source-based distro like Gentoo may be an excellent choice.
So, I think that what has happened, is simply that Gentoo and other source distros have found their own faithful user-base. There may not be so many people anymore just trying things for the sake.of trying (and only browsing Gentoo web pages...), but more real faithful, loyal users. Nothing wrong with that, is there?
As to European Internet cafes, maybe Ladislav should have had his holidays in the Nordic countries (oh, well, ok, it may rain even in summertime, and beer may not be as good as in central Europe, except Denmark...;-). Especially the Nordic public library system is excellent and advanced. Nowadays most (all?) public libraries have free to use Internet PCs, and quite many have Linux PCs too. Lots of organizations etc. have free/cheap to use Internet PCs in their public places too. (maybe not so good a situation everywhere in the Nordic countries either though?)
16 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2004-08-23 18:57:37 GMT)
I hope the declining gentoo stats are because the fad is dying.
Source based distros are a hobbyist niche, not suitable for mass consumption. (or in other words "leet".) Gentoos popularity is, I suspect, a side effect of the community's tendency to point newbies at bloated, RPM-hell distros.
gnubies who try gentoo right away will think that gnu/linux is hard. source isn't something they should have to dick around with. gentoo deserves to be about as popular as slackware: the other distro for masochists, and it is.
It can't rise in popularity forever. Its not gonna take a chunk out of windows market share, its just not a mainstream type of distro. Its something sorta neat to do for bored computer geeks.
And yes I am biased toward .DEB. But thats because I've tried all the branches on the family tree (.DEB .RPM .TGZ) and .DEB is the one that didn't suck. I'm pissed the community didn't point me at .deb and apt-get sooner. As a newbie I shouldn't have had to play musical distros, dependency hell is a solved problem!
17 • Gentoo on the decline (by Reverend at 2004-08-23 19:15:49 GMT)
I have no luck with any source build. Even in the cases where there was an installer available, the source build just doesn't fly on my system. I would love to have a source build distro running just to say I have a runing source build. In the end though...Does it matter ? After all a distro is the Linux kernel pluss software packaged by some one else. The kernel remains the same regarless of who is boxing the thing. Kernel x.x.x is going to be kernel x.x.x no matter who shoved it in a box.
I love distrowatch and any time something new pops up then I just have to try it. So far , I find that RedHat based distros are the best. I like Fedora and ASP.
18 • Too difficult to install. (by BTdown on 2004-08-23 20:52:20 GMT)
I like the idea, but Gentoo is just too hard and tedious to install. Something "so wonderful" shouldnt be so complex to install.
19 • Gentoo Declining (by Marcel at 2004-08-23 21:22:48 GMT)
I agree with Anonymous. I guess we are finally getting to the stage where Linux is becoming more popular and the masses are discovering it. No more geek-stuff is needed and I'm happy with that.
There is no more need to recompile the stuff to get it working or to gain 10% performance. The PCs used nowadays are fast enough to be used without the hassle.
And to become a serious option for use within companies a few day installation is out of the question where desktop use is concerned.
20 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2004-08-23 21:28:22 GMT)
welcome back ladislav!
21 • GoboLinux Gone? (by Anonymous on 2004-08-23 21:59:55 GMT)
What's up with GoboLinux. Are they gone?
22 • Gentoo Installation (by Stefan Ilivanov at 2004-08-23 23:34:22 GMT)
Gentoo is easy to install, the installation in Gentoo is better than LFS, Lunar Linux. It's the best distribution I ever used. I've start in 95 with Debian, it's a nice distribution, with perfect deps tree (missed in RH/Fedora), but when I found Gentoo before 6 months, I dont want to change it with anything else. Documentation in Gentoo is numer one, no one have docs like Gentoo. Gentoo is useable for Server and Workstation, easy to use and faster. I cant understand ppl who says Gentoo install is hard, why u should not try Lunar or LFS. Gentoo will move up again, very soon.
23 • Gentoo/Why the decline (by Lord Necropolis on 2004-08-23 23:59:00 GMT)
I have now attempted to install Gentoo a total of 33 times on one of my servers and 16 on my laptop. I have never succeeded. I do not blame Gentoo for my failure to install it though, i do beileve it to be user error. I currently use Mandrake 10, Puppy, FreeBSD, Freesbie, Mandrakemove, SystemRescueCD, & Slackware. My favorites are the first 3. I have tried dozens of others and continue trying them as they hit distrowatch.
I will continue trying to install Gentoo until such time as i do get it right. And that is why i think it is on the decline. Here at fort hood Tx. (i'm a soldier) i am considered a computer geek. this is because i love playing with computers, building them, fixxing broken ones, ect. I fix my friends computers for them. The only guy in my Battalion more of a geek than I (we call him spaceman) won't even try Gentoo.
So if the guys the mainstream guys think are geeks can't get it right, then the mainstream thinks how could we get it right? i have convinced 11 users to switch to different linux distros in my 7 months of using it so far, none will try Gentoo.
24 • Gentoo and other distros... (by Linux User on 2004-08-24 00:03:28 GMT)
I ahve tried to install Gentoo, in spring 2004 ago, and did not find it so easy.
I reconizze humbly that I did not try very hard, and should I, I would expect success.
The documentation looked to me very good, possibly one on the best, for a LInux distribution.
But the point may be:
In the Linux paradigm, there should be room for at least two types of distros:
1-The distro for "the regular Linux user" who is just that: a user.
This kind of distro should have a very consistent user interface (KDE for now, possibly KDE+Gnome), and be as simple to use as practical. Lot of "geeky stuff" should be mostly hidden to the user, and automated. An automated version of Gento would well fir there, and I like the concept: install on the hard-drive only what you need, with eventually capability to save the configuration you like, (as often as desired!). Saving a set of scripts files would be ok with me, and should allow an easy rebuild of the system, if necessarry (dammage, hard disk scatch, of just clonning elsewhere).
2-The "geek" (software engineer) distro, who's purpose is to try new things, and achieve break through, later integrated in somme regular distro.
With all the energy available, Linux could eventually tap in the good will available, and be able to provide the easiest, and prettiest OS user interface, as well as new powerfull applications.
3- Possibly a version of Linux for a given field, like engineering, but so far I am not sure this is necessarry: it already somewhat exist, with sets of packages for almost everyone.
But surprisingly no one as either though or endavored to do this.
But the fundations are there, and none prevent to add a new group of applications for systems installers as "Yast" and its Fedora counterpart, or Synaptic, or Yum.
It would be nice to be able to have such a script for EDA tools, medecine, law, architects, etc...
And within an industry, exchange of data in standards and Open formats should be possible, more that today: if PDF, HTML, etc... are Open (documented) many formats are still undocumented or proprietary.
Open source, make more sense with open data format.
25 • Tagline (by Vince on 2004-08-24 00:47:15 GMT)
off-topic i know, but i was just wondering whether DW plans to change its tagline now that it covers the different BSD flavors and all.
"Distrowatch.com: Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux and BSD."?
i've got too much time on my hands...
btw, welcome back ladislav.... things just haven't been the same without you.
26 • should be (by anon on 2004-08-24 01:07:47 GMT)
"Distrowatch.com: Put the fun back into computing. Use SCO UNIX based derivative."?
27 • RE: Tagline (by ladislav at 2004-08-24 01:37:48 GMT)
"Distrowatch.com: Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux and BSD."?
You are right, the slogan should be modified. The trouble is that we have that slogan in many different languages and it is just too much tedious work to modify the graphic for each language. Maybe some day -- during Christmas or some other holiday -- when there is not much happening in the distro world :-)
28 • Debian-plus-Gentoo distro? (by Knoppix user on 2004-08-24 04:05:16 GMT)
I began using Linux when I first came across with RH5.2. I also switched distros like SuSE, Mandrake, Slackware, Gentoo, LFS...I am currently staying with Debian (more precisely Knoppix). I fully agreed ".DEB is the one that didn't suck". But there is one problem with Debian and its derivatives. Debian is only optimized for i386 on x86 platform. This implies it is slow. Kanotix is slightly better by offering a i586 optimized kernel. If there is a distro exists that operates like Debian but packages optimized in Gentoo sense, that would be great. DFS does not really do the job.
29 • 1 word for the gentoo decline (by EEDOK on 2004-08-24 05:07:51 GMT)
archlinux.. Lots of gentoo refuges seem to use it..
30 • Red Hat to Debian to Gentoo (by Ed Borasky at 2004-08-24 05:13:06 GMT)
I started with Red Hat at the 7.0 level. I stayed with them through 9.0, then switched to Debian (Woody) when Red Hat announced they were splitting into RHEL and Fedora. Then I discovered Knoppix. Aside from the inconvenience of keeping Knoppix updated after installing to hard disk, which the Knoppix folks have fixed, I was happy with Knoppix.
Then I discovered Gentoo. I'm now running Gentoo on all but one of my systems. The big selling point for me with Debian was the number of packages -- there must be 18,000 by now in "sid". Gentoo, however, has some things in the 7,000 packages that Debian lacks. The main reason I left Debian for Gentoo is that Gentoo has much better support for Java and has more Java-based applications.
My "dream distro" would be a merging of Debian and Gentoo. Both are community based and have similar "social contracts," although the died-in-the-wool free software types cringe in horror when I tell them I want to run Java applications. I think Debian's and Gentoo's package management systems are more or less equivalent in convenience -- it's easy to update a Debian system from source if you want to, for example.
Why is Gentoo declining in the ratings? Well ... I think the main reason is that momentum is building for Fedora and Knoppix. But I'm happy with Gentoo, and, after all, a distro is only Linux and GNU and a package management system. I still run things directly from source or binaries outside what comes with any distro -- the PEPA performance modeling program, Protege and a number of Java-based (non-free) sound packages.
31 • the same (by sanitys3j at 2004-08-24 07:23:20 GMT)
It's all the same....... I've been using gentoo since the 1.2 days, still have 2 boxes running it. All current of course. The reason for the decline is this. It boasts outstanding speed, but, it's not much faster (a few milliseconds) than SlackWare or Debian. Fact is, you can configure all of them to be identical for all practical purposes. Plus, it's less stable than the other 2 and takes longer to upgrade if you don't believe in automation for some production environments.
The #$@#'n money chasers in IT just jump on the Linux bandwagon with Novell or Fedora, both good in their own rights, but just average comparatively.
Gentoo does have about the best documentation around, it's better (and easier to find) then stuff on www.tldp.org .
32 • RE: Debian + Gentoo = Dream Distro (by JoeLinux at 2004-08-24 07:30:35 GMT)
Ed, a distro that marries the best of both Debian and Gentoo would be a "dream distro" you say...I cannot but most whole-heartedly agree, if this do come about, it could be just what that is needed for GNU/Linux to finally .do MS Windows in i.e. combining the ease of installation (The Sarge Installer is already very awesome even though it is but still RC 1 and can only become better, you literally can walk through the whole install blindfolded!) + excellent hardware identification of Debian derivatives like Knoppix and Mepis + the architectual optimization and control afforded by Gentoo....mmmmmm...now that is sexier than sex I say! :)
- Just your average Debian + Slackware user -
33 • Optimized Debian packages? (by Anonymous on 2004-08-24 13:02:15 GMT)
Knoppix user wrote:
"Debian is only optimized for i386 on x86 platform. This implies it is slow. Kanotix is slightly better by offering a i586 optimized kernel. If there is a distro exists that operates like Debian but packages optimized in Gentoo sense, that would be great."
If one doesn't dare to compile her own personally optimized kernel, Debian does offer kernel binary packages optimized for almost any CPU architecture, from K7/athlon kernels toi686, i586, Amiga, PowerPC, SMP and what ever: http://packages.debian.org/cgi-bin/search_packages.pl?keywords=kernel-image&searchon=names&subword=1&version=all&release=all
Besides, via http://www.apt-get.org/ you can find some repositories that offer e.g. Debian testing packages optimized for AthlonXP etc. However, maybe I could tell that I tried the Athlon XP optimized Italian repository, but didn't notice any significant software speed improvement.
Compile optimizations do give small speed benefits but those advantages may often be too much exaggerated and hyped in my opinion. On the other hand, things like trimming down distro bloat and making the installed software work well together have much more effect on distro speed in general. The source-based distros like Gentoo can shine in those repects too, but really only in the hands of relatively experienced computer users.
34 • Gentoo Decline (by Borgmeister at 2004-08-24 15:40:23 GMT)
Gentoo to me seems like alot of work, i mean, i run Yoper, its fast install, owns Gentoo's, Community is good, there is no 'elitist attitude' and it uses APT-GET, ok, so the repository isnt vast, but its good enough for 'humble' me. Ok, so gentoo is fast, but i gota be twiddling my thumbs for a long time to make up for teh time wasted at install.
And, who cares? Linux is about CHOICE, i can use whatever I want to use, not what everyone else is doing, and yes i still run windows. m$ have got game support spot on imho.
35 • Gentoo Decline (by jmirles at 2004-08-24 21:10:06 GMT)
Maybe Gentoo's perceived decline is due to VidaLinux and NavyNOS climbing through the rankings. Both are Gentoo based but offer easy installation. I have tried Vidalinux and like it very much. I will try it again once it is gold. I couldn't bring myself to try a distro with the word Navy in it. I'm an Army retiree! By the way, the Portage system really is good! I can't decide which I like better between apt-get and Portage. For those wondering about Vidalinux, it is Gnome-based. NavyNOS is Flux based.
36 • Lycoris- Is it really released? (by Janis E. Deater at 2004-08-24 21:10:29 GMT)
Thank you DistroWatch for speaking openly about this delay. Lycoris keeps saying, if they say anything, words such as "soon".
1.4 was to have been shipped in July. September now looms and not a single copy of this "release" has actually been seen in public.
No one has received a pre-paid copy to date.
How is this "released"? It remains a genuine mystery. No downloads are available, even to those who "pre-oredered".
The lack of real communication concerning the specifics of this "release" has absolutely frustrated the loyal Lycoris supporters. The leadership of this company has done very little to engender respect from it's customers during this botched "release".
37 • Lycoris Release (by William McNeill at 2004-08-25 02:30:57 GMT)
So DisroWatch wonders aloud regarding the veracity of Lycoris release 1.4?? You have doubts? Imagine the users' frustration. Lycoris has yet to show anyone that this release is genuine. They may intend to actually release 1.4, but obviously, the entire matter has been manipulated. Prepaying customers provided the front money allowing Lycoris the funds to go into production. A more fiscally solvent company probably wouldn't use such a process, they wouldn't need to. Remember, 1.4 is hardly seems cutting edge to begin with. 2.6 kernel will be offered, when? Lots of eye candy built on rather conservative (older) base features.
It matters little that much of the Lycoris community begs for answers. All they are given is meaningless promises and vague responses. One wonders if anyone would be foolish enough to ever again front Lycoris money. What will people do next year when Lycoris promises "release" 1.5?? Hopefully, everyone will remember the summer of discontent that has been 2004
38 • RE: Debian + Gentoo = Dream Distro (by MstbZalle at 2004-08-25 15:40:24 GMT)
Just a hint.... I've only read a review of it but never used it myself.... but I suggest that Arch Linux may be worth a try. HTH.
39 • Gentoo decline (by killfire on 2004-08-25 19:24:16 GMT)
personally, i havent found a better distro than gentoo.
i started out with red hat 6.2, flew through caldera, tried debian, have tried slack, and settled with gentoo.
the main reason is the package management and the community.
i think the decline is because gentoo has a very live community, as in people dont check distrowatch as much, because they find it in different ways. i used to read distrowatch all the time, and then i found gentoo and i havent been back until now, when i saw a link to this on the post quoted. other distros are checked all the time, to see if slackware 11 is out, or suse 10, or whatever, btu gentoo isnt, because the updates arent a big deal.
also, the dificult install is completely a myth. there is a very descriptive guide to installing it, and the only dificult hting to do is compile your own kernel, which you can avoid with a handy tool they provide. another words, if you think the install is dificult, then you cannot read and follow directions.
gentoo's install was more friendly than any other install id done before, for a couple reasons. you can pick up from where you left off, and keep going. you can do it from another computer, in an xterm via ssh. you can install it inside another distro, or from a live cd.
also, since im running on ppc, i dont have to bother with finding optimized binary packages when compiling from source.
40 • Slackware sources saved - Debian can do that too (by Jari Aalto on 2004-08-26 09:19:03 GMT)
"• Gentoo & The Trees (by Nick on 2004-08-23 12:05:34 GMT) ... My current strategy is to use Slackware and keep source code of major packages on disc. Does anyone know a way I can do this in Gentoo so I can play with it some more? Suggestion / Links, please."
Debian based distributions can do this quite easily
$ apt-get --download-only install
This will retrieve all dependencies as well and you can pretty much build your Debian installation from scratch if you save all the *.debs (or at least the latest versions of the programs). I do that for
1) Installing basic Libranet CD
2) doing "upgrade"
3) putting all upgrade *.debs to my own CD
Nest time you reinstall Libranet, you do not
need Network connection at all. just install
the official CD + my own *.deb CD and ask "apt-get" to use it as a source.
41 • Lycoris has been delayed (by lycoris user on 2004-08-26 14:13:18 GMT)
42 • gentoo decline (by helix_r at 2004-08-26 19:57:02 GMT)
I used gentoo for a while. It made a nice stable workstation but it was a real pain to deal with sound card drivers. Also, I dreaded having to think about updates and dependencies.
I spent a _very_ long time installing gentoo, X, XFCE and various applications. I don't want to spend that much time installing an OS ever again unless there is some learning goal to it.
As for learning, I think LFS would be better, albiet more painful (someday I will try LFS).
For having a workstation that just works and does what you want a mainstream distro is easier. The additonal time you spend customizing it is much less than the time you would spend installing gentoo + X.
The gentoo community is very helpful however, I wish all distributions had such a community.
43 • No subject (by JusKickNit at 2004-08-27 01:17:27 GMT)
Gentoo's Awsome, What make's Gentoo so good is not gcc optimization's. It's "USE" flags. You'll never get them in a non-source distro.
44 • Debian, Mepis. (by SFSouthpaw at 2004-08-27 03:11:26 GMT)
While every distro I've tried has it's advantages, it wasn't until I tried out MEPIS linux that I felt I could ditch windows completely (as opposed to the dual boot setup I'd been running for years and years).
While distro's like Gentoo are great for hardcore geeks, IMO it's the ease of installation (MEPIS) and updating (DEB) that makes the best case for Linux on the desktop. You don't have to get "into the guts" of the OS unless you want to.
I found personally, that the commercial distro's tend give you lots of software on the install CD/DVD's, but provide little assistance in updating and installing new software (including dependancies).
45 • ...what? (by silentbob at 2004-08-27 15:22:33 GMT)
Why are there so many comments about the Gentoo install being both hard and long? I was a linux noob last year and managed to get Gentoo running 1st time around by reading the excellent install docs *thoroughly* and following them to the letter. (This was on an SMP system as well).
How often do you need to re-install an OS anyway? With Gentoo a simple emerge -u world will bring your system up to date.
I wouldn't have me Gentoo system any other way.
46 • Gentoo, Debian & Linux in general... (by Trevor at 2004-08-28 23:26:49 GMT)
Firstly, the distrowatch hits do not tell you what distro someone is actually running - it shows where the interest is.... I am currently dual-booting Debian & Gentoo to decide which will be my main system for the next... well, until something else catches my eye :-)
Whenever I want to know what a distro is/does/etc, my first point of call is DistroWatch (thanks heaps for a great website!!), but I don't hit on Debian or Gentoo... only distro's I don't know yet.
So saying Gentoo is in decline because of less hits on distrowatch just says to me everyone knows what it is now and don't need to look it up no more :-)
As for the "best" linux distro... I started with RedHat 5.2 back in '98 & have tried lots since... for a few years I ran Mandrake...
But I tired of the "update every 6 months" cycle - both debian & gentoo are always up-to-date as long as you use apt-get or emerge regularly. But both have less than acceptable installers & hardware detection - Knoppix & MEPIS show what Debian is capable of - and as they exist and are open source, there is no excuse for the hell that you have to go through to get either a pure Debian or Gentoo install running. Yes - the doc's are excellent, and if all goes well it is easy - but Debian does not autodetect my video and Gentoo fails with my sound card, and my current nightmare with both distro's is getting usb memory devices to auto-detect & mount upon insertion - especially devices that have multiple LUN's!!! Since you have to compile the Gentoo kernel at install time, I made sure that it had the right options - but so far only Knoppix does it right "out of the box" - I have found no other distro that handles them - and I've tried lots!!!
I particularly need them because I use a usb card reader to access my digital camera's card - new model, no linux support as yet :-( - and most card readers seem to assign each slot as a separate LUN - most distro's only see the first slot :-(
SilentBob asked "How often do you need to re-install an OS anyway?" - I average at least once a week! and if we are ever going to convert all those M$ boxes out there to Linux we are going to have to up the pace dramatically!!!!!!! :-) so a linux install HAS to be quick & easy & work without manual tweaking.
47 • ...yes, you only install once but... (by helix_r at 2004-08-30 18:59:12 GMT)
Yes, an install does not happen very often, but it _really_ is a pain if it literally takes days to set-up a machine (at least it does on a 500MHz machine).
What's the time to install gentoo +X+ window manager + mozilla on a modern machine? It must be the better part of a day at least.
Also, "emerge -u world" is kinda scary if you have software whose configuration you can't afford to scew up (or at least can't afford to lose the functionality of for an indefinate amount of time). So saying that keeping up to date is as easy as a one-line command is disingenuous.
48 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2004-10-05 00:13:50 GMT)
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