| 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 :-)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 184.108.40.206, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Issue 767 (2018-06-11): Android-x86 7.1-r1, transferring files over OpenSSH with pipes, LFS with Debian package management, Haiku ports LibreOffice|
|• Issue 766 (2018-06-04): openSUSE 15, overview of file system links, Manjaro updates Pamac, ReactOS builds itself, Bodhi closes forums|
|• Issue 765 (2018-05-28): Pop!_OS 18.04, gathering system information, Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie|
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Issue 763 (2018-05-14): Fedora 28, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, malware found in some Snaps, Debian's many flavours|
|• Issue 762 (2018-05-07): TrueOS 18.03, live upgrading Raspbian, Mint plans future releases, HardenedBSD to switch back to OpenSSL|
|• Issue 761 (2018-04-30): Ubuntu 18.04, accessing ZFS snapshots, UBports to run on Librem 5 phones, Slackware makes PulseAudio optional|
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• Issue 754 (2018-03-12): Reviewing Sabayon and Antergos, the growing Linux kernel, BSDs getting CPU bug fixes, Manjaro builds for ARM devices|
|• Issue 753 (2018-03-05): Enso OS 0.2, KDE Plasma 5.12 features, MX Linux prepares new features, interview with MidnightBSD's founder|
|• Issue 752 (2018-02-26): OviOS 2.31, performing off-line upgrades, elementary OS's new installer, UBports gets test devices, Redcore team improves security|
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
OpenLab GNU/Linux was an easy-to-use Slackware-based distribution featuring innovative and user-oriented design. Developed in South Africa since 2001, the product takes shape in the form of an installable live CD. It also includes OLAD (OpenLab ADministration tool) and many other innovations ranging from backend systems, such as the hyperdrive suite which simplifies the handling of removable media, to user-level enhancements, such as the highly integrated desktop theme complemented by the award-winning Nuvola icon set.