| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 65, 6 September 2004
Welcome to this year's 35th edition of DistroWatch Weekly. If you had trouble reaching us during the past few days, please accept our apologies - the combined effect of a unannounced DNS change by our DNS provider and a power cut caused by Hurricane Frances over the weekend has put the server beyond the reach of many. Everything should be back to normal now.
- Mandrakelinux, Fedora prepare new releases, Apache and Debian reject Sender ID
- Featured distribution of the week: Feather Linux
- Released last week
- Upcoming releases: Vidalinux 1.0, L.A.S 0.6, Rocks Cluster 3.3.0
- Donations: Vidalinux and Fluxbox receive US$200 each
- New distribution additions: CCux Linux, DARKSTAR Linux, ZerahStar, TrianceOS
- New on the waiting list: OpenIDS, Pollix LiveCD, Skippy Linux, ZoneCD
- DistroWatch in the news: a press release by Conectiva
Mandrakelinux, Fedora prepare new releases, Debian rejects Sender ID
The first week of September proved to be no more eventful on the distribution scene than much of July and August - the proverbial calm before the storm? Of the major distributions, Mandrakesoft brought out the first release candidate of Mandrakelinux 10.1 and the announcement indicated that this would probably be the last test before the 10.1 Community Edition is released to Mandrakeclub members. Many readers were happy to see that the Mandrake Control Center has been reverted to its original design with a side menu for easy navigation (see this screenshot, as part of a 142-page slide show by LinuxBeta.com).
Voices of disappointment appeared too, however - this time because Mandrakelinux 10.1 will not include the latest KDE 3.3. The decision here is purely pragmatic - it has turned out that KDE 3.3 is one of the buggiest KDE releases in recent history. Klaus Knopper of Knoppix has decided to stay with KDE 3.2.3 in Knoppix 3.6, because "[KDE3.2.3] is still more stable than 3.3 in Debian", while Slackware's Patrick Volkerding has placed it into /testing, due to "...a few problems I've had with it (like crashes on logout, and no anti-aliased fonts no matter what kpersonalizer settings are chosen). I think it's a good idea to test it for a while and wait for patches (or for kde-3.3.1)." In short, if you haven't upgraded to KDE 3.3.0 yet, you'll save yourself some frustration if you wait for KDE 3.3.1.
On the Fedora front, we should be able to download Fedora Core 3 Test 2 (version 2.91) at about this time next week. In fact, some pre-release builds have already appeared on a public mirror, as per this mailing list announcement: "I've just started uploading the latest 'release candidate' for FC3test2. This is _NOT_ the final FC3test2 tree. If you're interested in helping with testing for the FC3test2 milestone, wait until it finishes uploading." The "release candidate" has been uploaded here and the tree also includes these release notes.
Following the Apache Foundation's rejection of Microsoft's Sender ID Patent License Agreement, the Debian GNU/Linux project has also issued a formal statement explaining their position: "We believe the current license and resulting encumbrances are incompatible with the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG), unlike other Internet standards that Debian is able to support. Therefore, we cannot implement or deploy Sender ID under the current license terms." The full press release is available here.
Discontent is brewing among loyal supporters of Lycoris Desktop/LX due to company's unwillingness to update their users and customers on the progress of its yet-to-be-released Desktop/LX 1.4. The company started taking pre-orders for their brand new product in early June, promising the final release before the end of July. This date was later postponed to 16 August and the release of Desktop/LX 1.4 was formally announced on 18 August. Yet, the product never shipped. The usually good-mannered and loyal supporters of the distribution have turned to the Lycoris Greenhouse to vent their frustration; some claimed to have pre-ordered the product and had their credit cards charged as early as beginning of June. However, the company is still tight-lipped about the status of Desktop/LX 1.4 and about the "real" release date.
A communication break-down? Lycoris would go a long way towards eliminating their users' frustration if the company released an open and honest statement about the status of the product. Is there more to the delay than just a few last-minute bugs? Then tell us about it! Nothing contributes more towards discontent of users and customers than the endless waiting with no information about the reasons behind the delay. This is the world of open source code and open communication should be an integral part of it.
An advertising board spotted in South Africa.
|Featured Distribution of the Week: Feather Linux
Judging by the feedback of visitors and also by the number of page hits on several light-weight distributions, the ability of Linux to be deployed on old hardware is one of its great advantages. Do you have an old laptop stashed away in a cupboard? Take it out, it's time to revive it with one of the small distributions designed specifically for this purpose. One of them is Feather Linux, a distribution that fits on a less than 64MB media, be it a CD or a USB pen drive. As such, it was originally designed to be used as a live CD, but the developers have also created a simple hard disk installation script for those who want to give it a permanent place on their hard disks.
Feather Linux is developed by Robert Sullivan. The project was derived from ideas found in Damn Small Linux, but Feather Linux is slightly larger, contains a different set of applications and has a distinct look and feel. One advantage of Feather Linux over Damn Small Linux is its ability to boot from a 64MB USB pen drive (correction: not true, Damn Small Linux boots from a USB pen drive as well), provided that the computer's BIOS supports it. Failing that, it can be burned to a CD, which is more likely to boot on older computers. With Fluxbox as its chosen desktop environment, the performance of Feather Linux is decent, even on something like a 100MHz Pentium machine.
Feather Linux is based on Knoppix, complete with excellent hardware auto-detection. Like Knoppix, the entire distribution can be loaded into RAM for faster performance and it can be used on computers with no (or faulty) hard disks. The set of included applications is carefully chosen to comply with the distribution's goal to be as light as possible; on Feather Linux one can find Dillo for web browsing, Sylpheed for email,Ted and ABS for word processing and spreadsheat calculations, and other similarly low-resource programs.
Find out more about Feather Linux on the distribution's web site and on our Feather Linux page.
Feather Linux: simple, but elegant, a perfect mini distribution for old computers
(full image size 73kB)
|Released Last Week
Burapha Linux 5.4
A new version of Burapha Linux, a Slackware-based distribution from Thailand, has been released: "Burapha Linux is a distribution of Linux originally derived from Slackware Linux. Burapha Linux has a completely different installation system, and contains additional packages, some Thai language related. Burapha Linux is a product of Burapha University Computer Science Department. This is the 5.4 release of Burapha Linux. Burapha Linux is theoutput of our research on building computer systems for use within the Burapha community and for other Thai people such as like teachers and students in school, computer administrators, network administrators, etc." See the announcement and changelog for details.
Following the recent release of Knoppix 3.6, the developers of clusterKNOPPIX have also updated their openMosix-based live CD. From the changelog: "Sync with latest Knoppix release; openmosix 2.4.27-om-20040808 from tabs patches; openmosix-tools 0.3.6-2; tyd 1.5; added: openswan 2.1.5, ipw2100, drbd, fuse, bcm4400 (Debian package); new feature: option to boot 2.4.27-om-migshm-20040808, type migshm after the boot prompt; new feature: option to boot chaos nodes as PXE clients (chaos kernel upgraded to openmosix 2.4.27-om-20040808 and 2.4.27-om-migshm-20040808)."
Feather Linux 0.5.8
Feather Linux 0.5.8 has been released and here are some excerpts from its changelog: "Replaced udhcpd with dnsmasq; added a script to eject the Feather CD while Feather is running, without loading anything into RAM; updated the Monkey webserver to 0.8.5; fixed an fpkg bug relating to /etc/skel and HD installs; made loading of custom packages quieter; added 'exclude' boot option: simply create a file called exclude.list in the root directory of your CD or USB drive, and inside place the files and directories you wish toexclude, one per line; added script to change the background easily - found in the Tools -> Scripts menu...."
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Vidalinux Desktop OS 1.0
If you enjoy Gentoo Linux, but hate its installation routine, you'll be pleased to know that Vidalinux Desktop OS 1.0, with its port of Red Hat's Anaconda to Gentoo, will be released later this month: "We want to announce that on September 30 2004 we will publish the first release of Vidalinux Desktop OS." You can find more details in this list of features. The project has also appealed for financial help; if you think the project is worth a few pennies, pre-order the Vidalinux 1.0 CD from the distribution's online store or give a small donation to reward the developers.
Local Area Security (L.A.S.) Linux 0.6
The developers of Local Area Security (L.A.S.) Linux have published details about their upcoming release, version 0.6: "Just a quick update for everyone in regards to the status of the upcoming 0.6 versions of L.A.S. Linux. We are currently rebuilding the base OS framework to allow for many new features. Along with the 210MB and 185MB versions of L.A.S. Linux. we will also be introducing a larger 400+MB 'Auditor's Desktop' version to round out our offerings." More details here.
Rocks Cluster Distribution 3.3.0
A new beta version of Rocks Cluster Distribution is in the works: "We are planning on releasing a beta of Rocks 3.3.0 in the next few weeks. If there are any bugs (or features) from 3.2.0 that are troubling you please post something on our mailing list and let us know. Thanks." Visit the distribution's home page for further details.
|Web Site News
Donations: Vidalinux and Fluxbox receive US$200 each
Continuing with our programme under which 10% of DistroWatch.com's income from advertising and sale of merchandise is donated to various Free Software projects, the recipient of the July 2004 donation is the Fluxbox project and the recipient of the August 2004 donation is the Vidalinux project. The donations programme is now a joint initiative between DistroWatch.com and LinuxCD.org, which contributed US$100 towards the programme. LinuxCD.org is an online store selling low-cost Linux/BSD CDs - they have the largest selection, inclusive of all the latest releases, and they offer the lowest prices. Next time you need to order your favourite Linux or BSD CDs, get them from LinuxCD.org.
As for Fluxbox, it is an increasingly popular, light-weight desktop environment, excellent for older computers with low amounts of memory. It was originally based on Blackbox, but it has surpassed its parent's popularity. Many of the specialist distributions for older computers now ship Fluxbox as their preferred desktop environments, these include Damn Small Linux, Feather Linux and many others. Find out more about Fluxbox on its project page.
Here is the receipt for US$200:
This email confirms that you have paid Vidalinux.com $200.00 USD using PayPal.
Total Amount: $200.00 USD
Transaction ID: 87885050UA585293N
Item Title: Vidalinux Desktop OS
Vidalinux Desktop OS is a new Gentoo-based distribution that has been climbing rapidly up our page hit ranking - it seems that many people appreciate the developers' efforts to port the Anaconda installer to Gentoo and allow for fast and easy Gentoo installation. The project is scheduled to release its first stable version at the end of this month. Find out more about Vidalinux on the distribution's home page and on this site's Vidalinux page.
Here is the receipt for €160:
This email confirms that you have paid fluxgen at fluxbox.org 160.00 EUR using PayPal.
Total Amount: 160.00 EUR
Transaction ID: 5NJ490573E064293S
Item Title: Fluxbox
And this is the list of projects that received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme:
Readers are welcome and encouraged to nominate a Free Software project for the next donation.
New distribution additions
- CCux Linux. CCux Linux is a free i686 distribution optimised for speed. All packages are built from scratch and not derived from any other distribution. It features a graphical QT/X11 based installation to provide an easy installation procedure even to unexperienced users. CCux Linux is especially designed for desktop use.
- DARKSTAR Linux. DARKSTAR Linux is a Romanian Linux distribution based on Slackware Linux.
- TrianceOS. The TrianceOS operating system is a full-featured, open source, UNIX-like operating system descended from FreeBSD 5. Currently, TrianceOS runs on Intel i386 architectures. TrianceOS is a highly integrated system. In addition to its highly portable, high-performance kernel and derivation from FreeBSD, TrianceOS features a complete set of user utilities, compilers for several languages, the X Window System, kernel firewall software and numerous other tools built especially on top of GUI (Graphical User Interface), all accompanied by full source code. The TrianceOS Packages Collection contains over 175 pre-compiled open source software binary packages and thousands of softwares available around the world.
- ZerahStar Zesktop. ZerahStar Zesktop is a research and development project of ZerahStar, a Singapore-based Linux company. Its goal is to achieve a totally automated computing system that is capable of maintaining and fixing itself without any need for human intervention. Other possible features would include a highly portable and virus-free environment. Zesktop is still a project and concept under development; currently, only a simple, Gentoo-based live desktop CD exists.
New on the waiting list
DistroWatch database summary
- OpenIDS. OpenIDS is a OpenBSD-based operating system with Snort and ACID to demonstrate intrusion detection.
- Pollix LiveCD. Pollix is a live CD with many programming tools (for Java, Python, Perl and Tcl/Tk). Based on Knoppix, Pollix boots from the CD and detects hardware automatically - there is no need for installation. Features: includes many programming tools: J2SE SDK (full with documentation), Jikes, Netbeans, Eclipse, BlueJ, JGrasp, JSwat, Tomcat, JBoss, Boa-Constructor, IDLE, SPE, VisualTcl, SWIG, SciTE, etc, and several Java, Python and Perl libraries; includes XCIN to support Chinese character input; updated software from Debian testing/unstable.
- Skippy Linux. Skippy Linux goal is to become a base for Linux desktop distributions by using a file system structure that is easy for users as well as administrators to understand. The file structure is based on the ideas of LinuxSTEP, MacOS X, as well as NextStep using GNUStep as a desktop.
- ZoneCD. If you are searching for a free free WiFi access solution for your location... you can stop here. Public IP's ZoneCD is freely distributed open source software that has been created to help implement safe, free, WiFi hotspots. The ZoneCD can be used by all levels of free WiFi providers, from experienced programmers to coffee house cashiers. Setting up a free WiFi Hotspot can be as easy as hooking up an access point, popping in a CD and rebooting....
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 331
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 8
- Number of discontinued distributions: 35
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 81
|DistroWatch in the News
A press release by Conectiva
Our last week's "Featured Distribution of the Week (Conectiva Linux) story attracted plenty of attention and feedback in Brazilian Linux media: see BR-LINUX.org, Guia do Hardware, LinuxDicas, Comunidade Conectiva and other web sites, while Conectiva itself published a press release about our coverage:
"This week, Conectiva, a leader of Linux solutions in Latin America, received a compliment from DistroWatch.com for the company's achievements in their nine years of existence, dedicated to the development of Free Software. The site recommends that users try Connectiva Linux 10 and its live CD, mentions some of the prominent personalities of the Linux world formerly employed by Conectiva, and praises the company for releasing all of its software under the GPL."
It looks like we've made some friends in Brazil :-)
And this is where we'll end this issue of DistroWatch Weekly. See you all next week!
|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|
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|Random Distribution |
StartCom Enterprise Linux, which was based on the Red Hat AS source code, was the ultimate solution for middle-size servers to large data centres. The current version supports the largest commodity-architecture servers with up to 16 CPUs and 64GB (on x86 systems) of main memory, Global File System - for highly scalable, high performance data sharing in multi-system configurations. Included in this distribution was a comprehensive collection of open source server applications like mail, file (SMB/NFS), DNS, web, FTP, and a complete desktop environment.