| 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 18.104.22.168, 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 22.214.171.124 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 (126.96.36.199); 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 188.8.131.52; 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 :-)
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Issue 695 (2017-01-16): Zorin OS 12, Peppermint team fixes installer bug, Debian refreshes Jessie media, Ubuntu improves low graphics mode, Exciting things coming in 2017|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Exe GNU/Linux is a Debian-based desktop Linux distribution. Its primary goal is to provide a Debian variant that ships with a slightly re-themed Trinity desktop environment (a fork of KDE 3), as well as several useful scripts and utilities. It offers LXDE as an alternative desktop. It uses the official Debian repositories, as well as the Trinity mirror for updating the desktop environment. In late 2017, the distribution re-based itself on Devuan, using the official Devuan repositories.