| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 64, 30 August 2004
Welcome to this year's 34th edition of DistroWatch Weekly. As summer holidays in northern hemisphere countries come to an end, there is a lot to look forward to in the coming months!
The next release wave
After the traditionally uneventful months of July and August, September tends to bring substantial increase in web site traffic on DistroWatch, together with many exciting release announcements by major Linux vendors. Let's take a brief look at what we can expect to see in the next few months.
We'll start with the Debian project, which is, according to this schedule, expected to announce the release of stable Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 "Sarge" on the 15th September. Since Debian releases are exceptionally rare (the current stable release 3.0 "Woody" is now more than 2 years old), this should bring relief to all users itching to upgrade their Debian servers to something less "ancient" than Woody's default kernel 2.2.20. But will Sarge come out on time? As the tried and tested Debian policy of "release when ready" takes precedence over schedules, there is always a possibility that Sarge will be further delayed. But whenever it comes, one thing remains certain: the release will indeed be stable, in the true sense of the word.
In the meanwhile, the big three commercial distributions (Red Hat's Fedora, Mandrakelinux and SUSE) will likely continue in their twice-per-year release cycles. Mandrakelinux tends to be the first of the three with a new release and, with the recent second beta of Mandrakelinux 10.1, it seems to be the farthest down the beta testing road at the moment. However, the developers haven't been able to keep up with the original release schedule falling behind by about a month already. The final release of Mandrakelinux 10.1 Community has been re-scheduled for the 7th September, but don't be surprised if it this date is postponed again.
By contrast, Fedora's release schedule seems a lot more realistic, with test1 already out in July, test2 scheduled for the 13 September, test3 for 3 October, and the final release of Fedora Core 3 expected on mirrors on the 21st of October. As for SUSE, the company normally announces their upcoming release about a month before the boxes ship to retailers in Germany. If it continues in its usual release cycle, we can expect a big Novell/SUSE release announcement during September. Will the upcoming SUSE LINUX include the much hyped new Novell Desktop, a GNOME/KDE hybrid containing the best features of each of the two leading desktop environments? We shall patiently wait for this one....
On the BSD front, one of the most eagerly awaited FreeBSD releases ever is the upcoming first production release of FreeBSD 5. The first two betas are out with only a couple of days behind schedule. Two more betas and two release candidates are still expected before the final release of FreeBSD 5.3 on the 3rd of October.
Of course, several smaller distributions are also preparing new releases. Lycoris should start shipping their Desktop/LX 1.4 any time now (the release was postponed due to last-minute bugs found after the press release announcing the product), while Linspire and Xandros are also rumoured to be working on new releases - both Linspire 5.0 and Xandros Desktop 3.0 should be out before Christmas. A press release announcing the final release of SimplyMEPIS 2004 is also expected shortly, while the never-ending stream of new distributions will no doubt brighten up many rainy autumn days of those of us living north of the equator.
Exciting times ahead, no?
Linux distribution chooser
Our friends at tuxs.org have sent us a link to their newly developed Linux distribution chooser, a wizard that can suggest the most suitable distribution for you based on your answers to a sequence of questions. This is a great concept, especially for those new to Linux, who are often overwhelmed by the number of available choices. Try it out and give the maintainers your feedback and suggestions for improvements.
|Featured Distribution of the Week: Conectiva Linux
Conectiva Linux celebrated its 9th birthday last Saturday. Founded in 1995 by Arnaldo Carvalho de Melo in Curitiba, Brazil, the distribution is not widely used outside of the largest Latin American country; yet it is one of the dark horses of the Linux distribution world, worthy of your attention.
Why is Conectiva an interesting distribution? Firstly, it has been an ardent supporter of Free Software since the very beginning of its existence. At one time or another the company employed several prominent personalities of the Free Software world; among them Marcelo Tosatti, the current maintainer of the Linux kernel 2.4 series, Alfredo Kojima, the lead developer of WindowMaker, and Everaldo Coelho, the designer of the widely used Conectiva Crystal icon set. The company is also well-known for developing APT for RPM, a Debian-style package management front-end for RPM packages, as well as Synaptic, a graphical RPM management utility. It is worth noting that, unlike many other commercial companies, Conectiva has always released all of their software and artwork under the GPL.
Conectiva Linux 10 was released in July 2004 and is available for free download from the distribution's mirrors. At about once per year, the official releases don't come as often as those of other major distributions, but those who prefer living on the cutting edge of Linux development can easily keep their software up-to-date. That's because Conectiva maintains a publicly accessible RPM package repository called "snapshot" which is updated frequently. Besides its native Brazilian Portuguese, the distribution also supports Spanish and English.
Next time you feel like installing a new distribution, give Conectiva Linux 10 a try - you won't be disappointed. Alternatively, try one of their frequently updated live CDs.
Conectiva Linux 10 - a great distribution, not only for Brazilians
(full image size 435kB)
|Released Last Week
Knoppix 3.6 has been released. From the changelog: "V3.6-2004-08-16 ('aKademy Release'). First release after LinuxTag 2004; kernel 2.6.7 (as an option) and 2.4.27; memtest86+ as boot option; captive-ntfs update; FreeNX-Server package from Fabian Franz; hardware detection updates and fixes; KDE 3.2.3 (which is still more stable than 3.3 in Debian); lots and lots of packageupdates from Debian/testing and unstable."
A new version of the Slackware-based Minislack Linux distribution is out: "The new version of Minislack comes with kernel 2.6.7 and GCC 3.3.4, following the release of Slackware 10.0. At desktop level: the X server switches to Xorg, and default graphical environment becomes KDE with an elegant look inspired from Gnustep. WindowMaker is provided in CVS version with new antialiased fonts support. Of course Minislack provides essential tools for coding (Python 2.3.4, Perl 5.8.4, Vim 6.3.004, Kdevelop 3.0.4, Quanta 3.2.3, Kate), office production (GIMP 2.0.2, Koffice 1.3.1, CD burning tool K3B 0.11.12), as well as Internet software (Mozilla 1.7, Kmail 1.6.2), and more..." You can find the announcement on thedistribution's home page.
Feather Linux 0.5.7
Feather Linux 0.5.7 has been released. From the changelog: "Midnight Commander now has vfs support, and an internal editor with syntax highlighting; added scripts to easily switch window managers; made some small changes to X settings autodetection; added ability to restore configuration from the Internet - boot with 'restore=net url=<url>'; fixed Opera startup glitch; added ReiserFS support to HD install script (still experimental - you may have problems on bootup); added udhcpd, a tiny DHCP server; updated Dillo to 0.8.0...."
Yoper Linux 2.1
Yoper Linux 2.1 has been released: "The 'fastest out of the box' OS, Yoper Linux V series, continues its global climb with the next stable release of V2 tagged 2.1.0, a powerful OS built upon the proven speed technologies that have made its predecessors famous. Known to be a commercial strength desktop solution at 0 cost, this release provides the power user with many new features, encompassing Reiser4 support for the root file system, new non-destructive NTFS resizing, graphical partitioning, option to use GRUB or LILO boot loaders, a new clustered control panel, KDE 3.3.0 final, Linux kernel 22.214.171.124, default firewall and the OpenOffice.org office suite, all provided on 1 CD." Read the rest of the announcement here.
Kurumin Linux 3.2
The developers of Brazil's Kurumin project have released Kurumin Linux 3.2. Several packages have been updated to synchronise Kurumin Linux with the current package set in Debian Sarge and to facilitate future updates. Other changes include updates and bug fixes to Clica-aki, Kurumin's centralised system administration utility; several new "magic icons" for installing RealPlayer and for providing support for some proprietary audio and video formats; upgraded the QEMU processor emulator to version 0.6.2; removed Dillo... More details are available in this release announcement (in Portuguese).
Buffalo Linux 1.4
Buffalo Linux 1.4.0 has been released: "The final release of Buffalo Version 1.4.0 is now available for download. Changes from 1.4.0rc2 include: IceWM 1.2.16, two graphical login options (XDM/GDM), GNOME-pilot added to the GNOME package, and many bug fixes including fix for sound using ALSA-1.0.6. Threewindow managers are now available: Buffalo IceWM, XFce, and GNOME. Version 1.4.0 is the first to use Xorg and the new 126.96.36.199 kernel. An update of the base install package from 'rc2' is available here. Refer to the Update_Notes in this directory for other update info." The announcement, changelog.
Damn Small Linux 0.8.0
This is a new release of Damn Small Linux, a very light, business card-size live CD with support for hard disk installation. From the changelog: "Change log for 0.8.0: updated kernel and modules; new boot floppy; new uci single file cloop extensions; call powerdown.sh from reboot; updated Xsnapshot; new xcuriser; updated myDSLgui; updated frugal_install; updated dsl-hdinstall; updated mkmydsl; updated frugal_lite.sh more cloop devices."
The Slackware-based business-card size Austrumi live CD project has produced an updated release, version 0.8.8. What's new? "Added gv - a PostScript and PDF previewer; added xwhois - an graphical whois client for the X; updated AbiWord, beaver, iptables, Opera, front end installer to hard disk (beta); updated kernel (188.8.131.52); fixed same bugs." You can find the full changelog and other details on the distribution's project page.
Navyn OS 2004.08
The Gentoo-based Navyn OS project has released a new version of its distribution. New in 2004.08: "new kernel 184.108.40.206; now Xorg instead XFree86;; completely rebuilt fromscratch; added porthole, program with GUI for installing programs from portage; now there are 3 installers; you can choose which packages to install from CDROM to hard disk; new drivers for WiFi cards; added two games: abuse and jumpnbump; digital cameras are supported by program gtkam; added hard disk and CPU temperature monitors to GKrellM; added vixie-cron and syslog-ng; added xPDF for reading PDF files; added Flash plugins for Opera and Firefox web browsers...." More details in the changelog.
SLAX 4.1.4 is out: "SLAX 4.1.4, the 180MB live CD with KDE 3.3, was released today! It features a lot of bugfixes and news, for example: added Linux kernel 2.4.28-pre2 with SATA (libsata) support compiled in; added KDE 3.3.0, K3B 0.11.14; added cheatcodes.txt to CD's root directory; added MPlayer 1.0-pre5, recompiled with many options; fixed GUI script to better handle X auto-configuration; the Czech version of SLAX is available at slax.cz. Some other languages for SLAX are available as modules on this page." See the full changelog for details about otherchanges and improvements.
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
The OpenBSD web site has published details about the next release - OpenBSD 3.6 due on 1st November and activated pre-orders: "We have just activated pre-orders for the OpenBSD 3.6 release, which will be released and start shipping Nov 1, 2004. As always, those who pre-order will receive their CDs first. There is a new 3-CD set and a new poster which can be ordered from here. An OpenBSD 3.6 T-Shirt will be added in the coming weeks. OpenBSD 3.6 contains numerous improvements over previous releases - most notably SMP support on i386 and amd64. Please keep in mind that this project is completely funded by CD sales and donations from our user community." For details about new features in OpenBSD 3.6, please see the product's release page and the current changelog. The 3-CD set of OpenBSD 3.6 costs US$45.
Vector Linux 4.3
Expect a new Vector Linux stable release later this week: "Version 4.3 is about to go final based on the rc-1 release. If anyone has any issues that haven't been already covered under the rc-1 release please let me know now. I am looking at September 1 as a release date." The above quote comes from the distribution's message board.
Impi Linux 2.0
Tectonic provides some interesting information about the upcoming release of Impi Linux 2.0, expected shortly: "Impi Linux 2 is the next generation of original South African-developed open source software. Unlike Impi 1, version 2 is not based on any existing Linux distributions such as Red Hat and Debian, but is built from the ground up. Ross Addis, chairman of the Gauteng Linux Users Group says Impi 2 is a 'purely South African-developed open source technology'." The full story.
|Web Site News
New distribution additions
- The Athene Operating System. Athene is a commercial operating system developed by Rocklyte Systems for use in the home and office. Athene combines years of Rocklyte's R&D with the latest Linux technology to create one of the fastest operating systems available today. With boot times as fast as four seconds and advanced graphics technology not available in standard Linux distributions, Athene may be the best low-cost alternative to Windows for your computer desktop.
- Càtix. Càtix is a Linux live CD based on Knoppix and with support for the the Catalan language.
- PilotLinux. PilotLinux is a thin client live CD. This means that when you boot from a PilotLinux CD your PC has been temporarily transformed into a thin client machine. If a settings file is supplied booting from a PilotLinux CD will automatically connect you to your terminal server. Otherwise the PilotLinux GUI will be displayed and give you the ability to manually enter the server address.
- Santa Fe Linux. Santa Fe Linux is a commercial desktop distribution with advanced hardware auto-detection and some of the best desktop applications open source has to offer. Santa Fe Linux is a Debian-based live CD and features X.org with automatic binary driver configuration for NVIDIA and ATI video cards.
- Xfld. Xfld provides an alternative operating system for common i386 machines which are able to boot from CD-ROM. Xfld provides approximately 2GB of (transparently compressed) software. Among those you can find tools like the GIMP, OpenOffice.org, which is partly compatible with MS Office, Mozilla for browsing the web, Apache web-server, and many more. Xfld features XFce as its default desktop environment and therefore enables the user to test-drive this extensive and fancy desktop enviroment at will.
Xfld 0.1 comes with the latest cvs snapshot of the upcoming XFce 4.2.
(full image size 175kB)
New on the waiting list
DistroWatch database summary
- BeatrIX. BeatrIX is a less-than-200MB distribution based on the latest Linux kernel, GNOME 2.6, Firefox, Evolution, GAIM and several other useful programs. It is aimed at people who just want to get the job done with the minimum amount of hassle and it does that with a plomb. It is designed to run on any Pentium-class computer with at least 128MB of RAM and will run on Via's small-footprint motherboards, which it was compiled on. The goal of BeatrIX is to make a distribution that is simple enough for anyone to use on any computer. 0.1 is a live CD, 0.2 will be a hard-drive install, if desired.
- MostlyLinux. MostlyLinux is a Linux distribution based on Fedora Core and developed in India.
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 328
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 7
- Number of discontinued distributions: 35
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 77
|DistroWatch in the News
Tune-up: letting in Linux
CNET was one of our biggest referrers in recent weeks thanks to its Tune-up: Letting in Linux feature:
"If you're new to UNIX-like OSs, pick a distribution that focuses on easy installation, such as Mandrakelinux or SUSE LINUX. For informative reviews of various distributions, check out DistroWatch. Once you've selected one, go to the web site for that distribution and check the list of supported hardware against your component list. If you can't find a distribution that supports your hardware, you're better off not installing Linux, unless you're ready to spend serious time learning more about it."
That's all for this week, see you all next Monday :-)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 843 (2019-12-02): Obarun 2019.11.02, Bluestar 5.3.6, using special characters on the command line, Fedora plans to disable empty passwords, FreeBSD's quarterly status report|
|• Issue 842 (2019-11-25): SolydXK 10, System Adminstration Ethics book review, Debian continues init diversity debate, Google upstreaming Android kernel patches|
|• Issue 841 (2019-11-18): Emmabuntus DE3-1.00, changing keys in a keyboard layout, Debian phasing out Python 2 and voting on init diversity, Slackware gets unofficial updated live media|
|• Issue 840 (2019-11-11): Fedora 31, monitoring user activity, Fedora working to improve Python performance, FreeBSD gets faster networking|
|• Issue 839 (2019-11-04): MX 19, manipulating PDFs, Ubuntu plans features for 20.04, Fedora 29 nears EOL, Netrunner drops Manjaro-based edition|
|• Issue 838 (2019-10-28): Xubuntu 19.10, how init and service managers work together, DragonFly BSD provides emergency mode for HAMMER, Xfce team plans 4.16|
|• Issue 837 (2019-10-21): CentOS 8.0-1905, Trident finds a new base, Debian plans firewall changes, 15 years of Fedora, how to merge directories|
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
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 |
The Debian Project is an association of individuals who have made common cause to create a free operating system. This operating system is called Debian. Debian systems currently use the Linux kernel. Linux is a completely free piece of software started by Linus Torvalds and supported by thousands of programmers worldwide. Of course, the thing that people want is application software: programs to help them get what they want to do done, from editing documents to running a business to playing games to writing more software. Debian comes with over 50,000 packages (precompiled software that is bundled up in a nice format for easy installation on your machine) - all of it free. It's a bit like a tower. At the base is the kernel. On top of that are all the basic tools. Next is all the software that you run on the computer. At the top of the tower is Debian -- carefully organizing and fitting everything so it all works together.