| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 94, 4 April 2005
Welcome to this year's 14th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! This week we'll talk about Ubuntu Linux - the new leader in our Page Hit Ranking statistics, link to a couple of interesting articles about SUSE LINUX and Gentoo Linux, and bring you news about the first-ever live CD based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4. Also in this issue - is the Autopackage installer good for Linux? While its concepts might be sound, a Debian developer argues that its implementation has fatal flaws. Happy reading!
- News: Ubuntu Linux - the new number one distribution
- Software: Autopackage - a saviour or a villain?
- Released last week
- Upcoming Releases: KNOPPIX 3.8.1, DragonFly BSD 1.2
- Donations: BitTorrent receives US$300
- New distribution additions: AnNyung LInux, ATmission, Featherweight Linux, Frenzy, myLinux
- New on the waiting list: Boreas Linux, Iccaros Linux, Peachtree Linux, Poseidon Linux, PUD GNU/Linux, Slackintosh
Ubuntu Linux - the new number one distribution
As many of you noticed, Ubuntu Linux overtook Mandrakelinux in our Page Hit Ranking (PHR) statistics last Sunday. For those of you who are new to DistroWatch, the PHR statistics provide data about the number of times each distribution-specific page on DistroWatch is accessed - a very non-scientific way of gauging the popularity of various distributions. Over the last few months, the Ubuntu page has been consistently getting over 3,000 visits per day from unique IP addresses, twice as much as its nearest challenger. Of course, there have been concerted efforts by several Ubuntu user communities around the world to drive their favourite distribution to the top as fast as possible, so take the new ranking with a grain of salt.
That's not to say that Ubuntu does not deserve the top spot; in fact, with the current interest in the project it will be very hard for any distribution to get anywhere near Ubuntu's page view figures, let alone to beat them. Ubuntu has clearly won over many users of other operating systems and has quite possibly become the fastest growing Linux distribution of all times. What its competitors can do right now is to learn from Ubuntu's success and incorporate some of the project's ideas into their own work. Building solid support infrastructure (user forums, mailing lists, Wikis, translation framework) with active participation of the distribution's developers is absolutely essential for any project that intends to grow. Having a fixed release schedule and clearly stated support period (without changing them every few months) is equally important. It is amazing how many distributions neglect these two basic characteristics, then wonder why users start looking elsewhere!
Congratulations to Ubuntu. Not so much for rising to the top spot in our distribution ranking, but rather for their dedicated development effort and for devising what surely is one of the most exciting Linux projects ever created!
Ubuntu Linux - the new number one distribution on DistroWatch
(full image size: 635kB)
* * * * *
As we reported last week, Mandrakelinux is about to abandon its long-standing "Mandrake" brand and replace it with (possibly) a word that will represent a union between itself and its newly acquired subsidiary - Conectiva. But how about SUSE? With Novell now in charge of the project, it would make sense to drop the SUSE name and replace it with something that ties the product to Novell in a more obvious manner, not so? Well, not exactly, claims this article by CIO Today: "Enterprise products like the Novell Linux Desktop will carry the SUSE name in its documentation and on start-up screens, but not in its marketing pitches. In contrast, 'professional' products designed to appeal to more technical types and home users will tout the SUSE name." It looks like the SUSE brand is set to stay with us for some time to come.
In the meanwhile, the all new SUSE LINUX 9.3 should start shipping within the next two weeks. To wet your appetite, the Hungarian Unix Portal has posted a large number of screenshots from a current beta release of SUSE LINUX 9.3. Enjoy!
* * * * *
How would you like a live CD based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 4? Although there have been many successful attempts at rebuilding the RHEL source RPMs into complete RHEL clones, none of these projects have created a good RHEL-based live CD. Until now, that is: "During the last few weeks, I've been working to create a live distribution based on Tao Linux 4. I used the development tools of the ADIOS team to create Tao Live. Tao Live uses a Squash file system to fit 2GB of programs into a standard bootable CD. OpenOffice.org, Firefox, Gaim, XMMS, K3B and many other programs are included." You can find the announcement here. Tao Linux 4 is currently undergoing beta testing and the final version is expected to be released shortly. The live CD (which, incidentally, boots into KDE rather than GNOME) can be downloaded via BitTorrent: tao-live-4.00.torrent (635MB).
Tao Live - the first live CD based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
(full image size: 112kB)
* * * * *
Last week we reported about the release of Gentoo Linux 2005.0 noting that there seemed to be few ground-breaking new features in Gentoo's latest stable release. InternetNews.com agrees: "A Gentoo release is essentially a 'snapshot' of the stable packages that exist at a particular time in the stable Portage tree. The 2005.0 release updates most packages to the latest available stable version, though there was a particular impetus to make this release due to a number of security issues." On the subject of GNOME 2.10 and KDE 3.4 not making it into the release, a member of the Gentoo Release Engineering Team explained: "We do not include any packages that are not marked stable in the tree. Both Gnome 2.10 and KDE 3.4 were released after we made our snapshot." The full InternetNews.com coverage of Gentoo Linux 2005.0 release is available here.
* * * * *
Autopackage - a saviour or a villain?
What do you think about Autopackage? Since the release of version 1.0, several articles discussing the merits and technical qualities of the project have been published. In essence, Autopackage is an attempt to develop an easy, graphical installer for independent software developers who wish to create binary packages that will work on all major Linux distributions, irrespective of their file system layout or package management. As such, the idea sounds attractive, although the project still has a way to go before it achieves its goals.
While technical writers have been sufficiently impressed by Autopackage 1.0 - see these articles by OSNews and Linux Weekly News (subscribers only until 2005-04-07), some Linux developers were much less so. Here is why, by Joey Hess from the Debian Project: "An autopackage package cannot be reasonably extracted by anything except autopackage or a reimplementation of it. And you cannot extract a package fully without executing it. And they'll have to keep all these unspecified bits working the same way, forever, if they want to keep supporting old packages. Didn't we learn anything from shared libraries? Worst. Package. Format. Ever."
What are your views? Have any of you tried to use Autopackage to install software on your distribution? Any success or failure stories? Please comment below.
|Released Last Week
Annvix is a server-oriented Linux distribution based on Mandrakelinux, with many security enhancements. The first stable version was released today: "Roughly a year and a half since its conception, and 15 months after its first CVS commit, I am proud to announce that Annvix 1.0-RELEASE, the first non-beta release of Annvix, is available. ... Some of the features of Annvix 1.0-RELEASE include: 2.4.29 kernel with the Openwall Linux kernel patch and frandom support; GCC 3.3.1 with SSP support; glibc 2.3.2 with SSP and crypt_blowfish support; init services handled by runit rather than SysVinit and initscripts; services including MySQL 4.0.10a, PostgreSQL 8.0.1, Apache 2.0.53, Exim 4.50, OpenSSH 4.0p1." Read the release announcement and visit the project's web site for more information.
Berry Linux 0.56
A new version of the Berry Linux live CD has been released. The most significant change is that Berry has switched to Unionfs files system, which means that users can now "save" files while the CD is in use. Several packages have been upgraded to newer versions, including KDE 3.4.0, K3b 0.11.22, Mozilla 1.7.6 and Firefox 1.0.2 (English and Japanese editions). See the changelog for a complete list of changes.
Puppy Linux 1.0.0
Puppy Linux 1.0.0 has been released. From the release notes: "The big news item for this release is Scribus, version 1.2.1. This is the premier Linux desktop publishing application. It is really great and extremely easy to use. Of course, it is big, hence the size jump in the ISO files. The second big news item is VYM, an acronym for View Your Mind, version 1.6.0. This is a fascinating visual 'brainstorming' kind of outliner. I have removed Knowde, which was in earlier Puppies. TuxCards, another outliner, is not in the prebuilt ISOs but is in Unleashed. VYM is most intriguing - try it and give us your thoughts on the forum."
IPCop Firewall 1.4.5
IPCop Firewall has been updated to version 1.4.5: "This is v1.4.5 release version. As usual, this version can be installed as an update from previous v1.4.x versions or with a ready-to-go ISO for a fresh install. Install update and restart connection to make the new dnsmasq version run. Short changes summary: fix pulsardsl by using the correct gcc3 lib; fix vpn missing lines in ipsec.conf; fix dhcpc.cgi with start and end address comparison; upgrade dnsmasq to 2.21; update snort sid URL; start a new online help system in portfw.cgi." Find more details in the release announcement.
Ark Linux 2005.1 SR1
This is a bug fix release of Ark Linux 2005.1: "Ark Linux 2005.1-SR1, a bugfix release of Ark Linux 2005.1, has been released. Mostly due to our lack of test hardware and testers, a couple of bugs worth fixing immediately managed to get into Ark Linux 2005.1 - based on user feedback, we have made a Service Release to address them and add some commonly requested features. ... The following features have been added: newly installed machines automatically retrieve network settings from DHCP servers (if there is one); DHCP enabled network interfaces no longer delay the boot up process if no DHCP server is found; support for Zeroconf support has been added; the X.Org Composite extension, allowing to use real transparent windows, is now enabled...." See the release announcement for further details.
A new version of ParallelKnoppix has been released. What's new? "R parallel Monte Carlo example - thanks Luke Tierney for help with this; Parallel bladeenc provides a more complicated example for C++; additional examples for Octave (now at version 2.1.67), including kernel regression; tutorial has been expanded a bit; PVM does not work; automatically deletes any NTFS partitions found (April fools)." Read the full announcement on the project's home page.
Beyond Linux From Scratch 6.0
Beyond Linux From Scratch (BLFS) 6.0 has been released. "The BLFS Development Team is pleased to announce the release of BLFS 6.0. Version 6.0 is a major milestone in the evolution of BLFS. It is specifically designed to build upon LFS 6.0. This version provides installation instructions for 357 packages and an additional 21 sections covering configuration and customization of different aspects of your system." The book includes compile and install instructions for most major open source packages, including X.Org 6.8.2, GNOME 2.8 and KDE 3.3.2. More information is available in the release announcement and changelog.
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
ISO images of the new KNOPPIX 3.8.1 are expected to hit the download mirrors "in a few days": "In a few days, KNOPPIX Version 3.8.1 will be available on the mirrors. It's an update for the 3.8 CeBIT 2005 Edition, featuring: kernel 2.6.11 as default, write support for all virtual directories (i.e. live-installation of software without writable media is possible) in a running live system, made possible through Unionfs, native Support for ipw2200 (Centrino2) WLAN chipsets, permanent home directory on hard disk (even on NTFS), KDE 3.3.2, Gimp 2.2.4, OpenOffice.org 1.1.4 and many updates." See the KNOPPIX home page for more information.
DragonFly BSD 1.2
Matt Dillon has re-thought the issue of DragonFly BSD version numbering. This means that the next DragonFly BSD release will be version 1.2, and not 1.5, as announced earlier: "Matt Dillon decided on an official version numbering scheme for DragonFly BSD releases. First ruling out the usage of dates in each release, he settled on using odd numbers to denote a work in progress, and even numbers to denote releases. For example, 1.0, 1.2, 1.4, and so on would be considered releases, whereas 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, and so on would be considered works in progress." More details are available in this article at KernelTrap.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
Donations: BitTorrent receives US$300
Few of our regular readers need an introduction to BitTorrent. Although there are many peer-to-peer file sharing utilities in use on the Internet, BitTorrent has become a de facto standard application for downloading and sharing large ISO images. The cross-platform, Python-based application is developed by Bram Cohen who maintains BitTorrent for living. If you appreciate his work, you can send him a small donation via PayPal, or buy a BitTorrent T-shirt on the project's donations page.
As always, our donation programme is a joint initiative between DistroWatch and LinuxCD.org, which contributes US$50 every month. 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.
Here is the PayPal receipt for our donation:
This email confirms that you have paid donate at bitconjurer.org $300.00 USD using PayPal.
Transaction ID: 3VS16910509644128
Total: $300.00 USD
Item Title: BitTorrent
Message: Hi, this is a donation by DistroWatch.com as part of our programme to support the development of open source software. Keep up the good work :-)
This is the list of projects that received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme:
New distributions addition
New on the waiting list
- Boreas Linux. Boreas Linux is a new Turkish Linux distribution based on Knoppix.
- Iccaros Linux. Iccaros Linux is a Linux live CD based on the Linux-Live scripts by SLAX.
- Peachtree Linux. Peachtree Linux is a new Linux distribution being developed by several students or former students at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Since it's inception in the fall of 2002, Peachtree Linux has aimed to be a small system for the seasoned Linux user. You won't find GNOME or KDE among Peachtree Linux's packages, so it might not be the system for you. The distribution supports i586, PPC and Alpha processors.
- Poseidon Linux. Poseidon Linux is a new Brazilian distribution with the aim to build a user-friendly desktop for statistical and scientific computing. It is based on Kurumin Linux and inspired by the Quantian project.
- PUD GNU/Linux. PUD, which stands for Penk's Underbred Distro/DSL, is a desktop-oriented, live CD Linux distribution which takes up under 180MB and with support for Traditional Chinese (zh_TW). It is based on LAMPPIX.
- Slackintosh. As the name suggests, Slackintosh is a port of Slackware Linux to processors powering Apple's MacIntosh computers. Slackintosh 10.1 was released last week.
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 399
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 10
- Number of discontinued distributions: 49
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 102
That's all for today. See you all next week!
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Your doin it on purpose huh... (by sn0n - rob douglas on 2005-04-04 11:56:58 GMT from United States) |
Making it go back a few hours each week.. making me stay up later.. :-p
Did you just wake up late? :-p
2 • On AutoPackage... (by sn0n on 2005-04-04 12:06:19 GMT from United States)
As a user.. i love it.. im not much of the developer.. just tinker here and there.. as a ArchLinux user.. eh.. no need.. i got pacman.. LoL..
I would love to see new programs goin this route.. and then when distros start picking up and making packages for said program.. ok.. kewl.. but there is still the installer for the other guys.. :-)
i think thats the windows user in me talking thou.. :-x
note the word USER in this post.. im not a hard core terminal only vi pushing programmer.. im a gnome desktop user who prefers the freedom of free software outside the windows world.. :-D (i am a bit of a geek thou.. :-X)
so yeah.. i like it..
3 • autopackage (by pp on 2005-04-04 12:10:50 GMT from United Kingdom)
The little that I understand form autopackage, I think it is a very good and promising idea that should be supported.
Maybe Ladi should have linked to their FAQ:
4 • about AutoPackage (by Peter on 2005-04-04 12:31:12 GMT from Romania)
Could someone comment on why do people talk sooooo much about AutoPackage and not at all about 0install?
why is there no distribution based on 0install?
why is it so overlooked?
5 • Autopackage (by Jack Malmostoso on 2005-04-04 12:34:00 GMT from Switzerland)
As stated in their FAQ, I see autopackage very suitable for distributing commercial software or any software that stays almost on its own (i.e. Nerolinux, for example). It is just not a good idea for distributing software that relies heavily on system libraries or worse, that provides those libraries. That stuff should be handled exclusively by the distro's package manager.
My 2 cents.
6 • ranking (by Roland on 2005-04-04 12:49:47 GMT from United States)
Is it possible to make rankings by downloads? Downloads indicate intent to use, which may be more accurate than mere views.
7 • Unbuntu (by magictang on 2005-04-04 13:17:14 GMT from China)
A great system,I hope I can input Chinese on it someday......
8 • AutoPackage vs. 0install (by *v* on 2005-04-04 13:21:37 GMT from Germany)
One interesting thing in the AutoPackage-FAQ can be found in the last paragraph:
Q: This approach feels way too complicated. Is there a simpler alternative?
A: Sure. Check out Zero-Install.
I know, of course, that these are two quite different approaches to solve two similar - but not identical - problems. It just sounded funny, when considering 0install as an alternative to autopackage.
9 • is this mandrake/conectiva new name?? (by pp on 2005-04-04 13:33:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
"whois mandriva.com provides some interesting results:
owner-address: Mandrakesoft SA
owner-address: 43 rue d'Aboukir
owner-e-mail: email@example.com <<<=====
nserver: ns1.moondrake.net 184.108.40.206 <<<=====
nserver: ns2.moondrake.net 220.127.116.11
reg_created: 2005-02-28 07:11:42
expires: 2006-02-28 07:11:42
created: 2005-02-28 13:11:42 <<<=====
changed: 2005-03-24 12:03:37
Considering the timing:"
Paris, France; Curitiba, Brazil; February 24th , 2005 - Mandrakesoft, today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Conectiva.
And another points this out:
"and it seems Mandrakesoft has been busy registering many names
that may be used since mantiva.[com/org] are also registered
the same day as the above...
there is more movement on the "mandriva" front...
Mandrakesoft now has registered even more versions of mandriva,
either directly or indirectly...
They currently owns atleast: at, be, biz, ca, ch, cn, co.nz, co.uk,
co.za, com, com.tw, cz, dk, fr, info, net, nl, li, org, pl, .info
and most of them are registered around 25 march 2005...
10 • RE: ranking (by SFN on 2005-04-04 13:42:24 GMT from United States)
No distros are downloaded from Distrowatch so there's no simple or even simple-ish way to keep track of that.
11 • RE: Ubuntu Linux - the new number one distribution (by SFN on 2005-04-04 14:31:22 GMT from United States)
Here's a nifty little tie-in to this story:
12 • To the "Debian" with them... Autopackage an the like... (by Big Moron on 2005-04-04 14:45:09 GMT from Puerto Rico)
I don't know why, BUT it ANGERS me a lot that some developers from many diferent distros see's Autopackage like an evil thing. WHY?
Have any of them made any attemps to get comercial software developers in to Linux? Few have tried. I understand their (those against this types of proyects) fears thougt, but I feel they should get involve in it wile they can, because if they don't they will regret it...
Why you may ask?
Because then we could make "those who say linux is a mess and not standarize, shut the @#$% up" by helping proyects like this and making shure that those proyects stay secure, keep secure and work in tamdem with any system... fork them if need be, but give us that choice or you will be let out one way or the other...
Help the users, help your selves (developers)...
13 • RE: To the "Debian" with them... Autopackage an the like.. (by ladislav on 2005-04-04 15:09:14 GMT from Taiwan)
I don't know why, BUT it ANGERS me a lot that some developers from many diferent distros see's Autopackage like an evil thing.
I don't think you've read Joey's explanation very carefully. He is not opposed to Autopackage per se. He simply points out some glaring deficiencies in its implementation, that's all. He has been a Debian developer for 10 years so I'd imagine he knows a thing or two about package management. Ignore his advice at your peril.
14 • ubuntu (by ray carter at 2005-04-04 15:09:58 GMT from United States)
I've found ubuntu to be an interesting development. I first installed it on my P4 tower system some time ago. I evaluated it and was nearly ready to make it my main system. About that same time, I developed an interest in doing panoramic pictures (made from overlapping several photos to 'stitch' together for a panorama). In downloading the panorama tools and supporting software, I hit a dependancy issue on Ubuntu which I didn't feel like expending time to resolve. The same packages installed on Mandrake with no problem, so Mandrake 10.1 became my new 'standard'. Somewhat later I attempted to install Ubuntu to my old Compaq 7470 and found that the install hung on attempting to install the NIC driver - happened with the downloaded version as well as the officially delivered Ubuntu. I filed a trouble report, but that was never resolved. I recently tried the Kubuntu offshoot, and found that it installed cleanly. It also detected not only the Win98 which I keep on that machine, but also the five or six linux distributions I've installed (the linux distros are on another drive, by the way), and offered to set up the complete multi-boot scenario - must say I was impressed by that - it's a feature I've not seen before, and one I felt was badly needed.
Anyway, in a few months, I'll get the urge to explore again, and Ubuntu/Kubuntu will be at the top of my list - hopefully the panorama programs will install this time.
15 • ubuntu (by paul at 2005-04-04 16:01:47 GMT from United States)
i though of a idea... why cant the admin of distrowatch block/drop the requests to use distro watch to help fix the poles and to help YOU so ur not paying for useless bandwidth useage....... just a thought
16 • autopackage: I'll use it whenever possible (by dukeinlondon on 2005-04-04 16:12:01 GMT from United Kingdom)
A lot of the objections are about installing system stuff. I don't see it that way. I see it as an opportunity to have things like oo.org and other self contained application as a USER !
It also resolve the nonsense of a whole distro community forever repackaging the same things !
Also, a lot of the objection circle around the location of the files and libraries but I am sure that it they can be adressed in later releases.
17 • ubuntu (by tdjokic on 2005-04-04 16:29:43 GMT from Yugoslavia)
Ubuntu is OK, nothing against it. But, this is diferent project, it is sponsored by one man (whom I wish long and healthy life!) who can change his mind tomorrow.
18 • Why not a real "core" linux + autopackage (by Dara Parsavand on 2005-04-04 16:29:44 GMT from United States)
Not having tried autopackage, I can't comment on its potential to install more than a few add ons to big distro, but I'd much rather use a very small Linux distro that has no character and add all my programs from a repository that is common to all distros. I know there are lots of technical details about library versions that I don't understand (nor will I make any effort to), but if a large amount of software such as openoffice, firefox, gnome, kde, etc. were all more commonly used from a single point of distribution, this would help in terms of reducing user confusion and avoid the whole issue of deciding if bug reports go "upstream" or not.
Of course Windows is a completely different type of system, but I often (not always) have an easier time installing certain apps in Windows than Linux. My guess is that something like autopackage will soon negate this difference (for me anyway).
19 • No April fools this year? (by EEDOK on 2005-04-04 16:44:08 GMT from Canada)
I'm disappointed :(
even I made something for AF http://eedok.voidofmind.com/linux/af_fakereview.html
20 • "concerted efforts by several Ubuntu user" (by Anonymous on 2005-04-04 17:40:34 GMT from Germany)
I read that as forged statistics by polling the Ubuntu page once per day/per dial-in, right?
21 • Puppy 1.0.0 (by Scott on 2005-04-04 17:43:50 GMT from United States)
Anyone tried the new Puppy?
The Opera Version is OK but the other two (Mozilla, Firefox), have a broken link to Opera and and a Opera logo on the desktop. I've tried 3 different mirrors and checked the puppy site for any problems.
22 • Change his mind (by poofyhairguy on 2005-04-04 18:11:20 GMT from United States)
"Ubuntu is OK, nothing against it. But, this is diferent project, it is sponsored by one man (whom I wish long and healthy life!) who can change his mind tomorrow."
True. Mark could change his mind tomorrow and the party is over. But why would he? He is the founder of one of the fastest growing distros of all time. He is successfully doing what he originally planned to do- save Debian from oldness and bring excitement back to the Debian community. Mark could pull the plug whenever he wants, but instead he seems to REALLY like the way this thing is going. So much that he has throw his own resources at getting Kubuntu on the ground so the biggest gripe about Warty can go away. If you don't like Ubuntu- hey thats your business. But for many it is the distro that we have been waiting for. A reborn Debian.
23 • @Big Moron (by Gustav IV on 2005-04-04 18:51:58 GMT from Singapore)
You call yourself most appropriately there I must say. I bet you have not even taken a look at what Joey Hess (man behind the D-I) finds problematic about Autopackage. I suggest you critically examine and evaluate the techical bits he raised again. Thanks.
Blog Entry in Question:
Mon, 28 Mar 2005
autopackage: designed by monkeys?
Please note that this weblog entry concerns itself only with the autopackage file format, and not the software used to build or install autopackages. It would help to keep this distinction in mind when reading it.
From my point of view, the autopackage format is mainly notable for being an executable shell archive type format with as far as I can see, no formal design documentation. So to extract it without running it (for something like alien, or just because I didn't feel like trusting random code downloaded from the net today) will mean looking for magic values in a shell script and hoping they've not changed the shell script layout too much. Yuck. Didn't we learn anything from shar files?
The other interesting bit is that since they do full relocatability, the binary payload itself contains no path information.
joey@dragon:~/tmp/data> tail -c 98791 ~/autopackage-qt-1.0.x86.package | tar jvxf -
Where is the path info hidden? Why, in another shell script, deep in the package metadata, of course:
joey@dragon:~/tmp/meta> grep autopackage-frontend-qt *
apkg-install-script:installExe ./autopackage-frontend-qt ./autopackage-manager-qt
apkg-install-script:installDesktop ".hidden" ./autopackage-frontend-qt.desktop
apkg-install-script: copyFiles --silent ./extractinfo "$PREFIX/share/apps/autopackage-frontend-qt"
Of course there is no formal design for how any of these shell functions work, and no guarantee that they'll not change the names or add new ones later. Therefore, an autopackage package cannot be reasonably extracted by anything except autopackage or a reimplementation of it. And you cannot extract a package fully without executing it. And they'll have to keep all these unspecified bits working the same way, forever, if they want to keep supporting old packages. Didn't we learn anything from shared libraries? Worst. Package. Format. Ever.
In summary, autopackage is not a real package format, it's a bunch of shell scripts that depend on other shell scripts in the autopackage program to work, and Alien will never, ever support autopackage unless at least this last bit is changed
24 • Re: Puppy 1.0.0 (by Guest on 2005-04-04 19:04:49 GMT from Canada)
Puppy doesn't mess with your desktop icons if they are already setup. If you ran the Opera version of Puppy, and it setup a desktop shortcut to Opera, that shortcut, and all your other shortcuts will still be there if you switch to Firefox or Mozilla Puppy.
25 • Ubuntu (by GWJ Mateo on 2005-04-04 19:48:29 GMT from United States)
After trying the Hoary Arrays, I felt like Ubuntu was going in a wrong direction. Seemed like it was mem-leaking somewhere, because it ran like a dog on my normally Ubuntu friendly laptop.
Then I tried the RC. Nice. Runs like a charm, has lots of nice features, and you can cross install Kubuntu. That's like 2 distros in one.
I'm dual booting it on all my machines. Windows XP for gaming and the missus, Ubuntu for everything else.
If the Ubuntu team ever does change their mind and want to charge, I have to say, I wouldn't mind plonking down some money for it. First distro I can say that about.
26 • Beatrix claim to be more popular than Ubuntu (by Galen Thurber on 2005-04-04 20:37:21 GMT from Canada)
Seems like Beatrix has been claiming to be the fastest growing distro, even surpassing it's mother Ubuntu. Under closer observation those claims are of course fraudulent; but why isn't anyone writing about the fraudster's claims, not to mention his bogus credentials. Beatrix is worthy of community scrutiny and scorn!
As far as Ubuntu goes, frankly, Mepis and Vector outclass, outperform it
27 • Slax 5.0.0 (by Ariszló on 2005-04-04 20:37:24 GMT from Hungary)
Slax 5.0.0, based on Slackware-current with KDE 3.4, has just been released.
28 • Re:... Replies (by Big Moron on 2005-04-04 20:44:54 GMT from Puerto Rico)
Well... I din't spesefy anyone actually... and I gues I used the word "distro" is out of contex in my critical tinking :P...
Plusss... the thing of "to the "debian" with them" was just a bit of lame joke... my bad...
Asides from that... you migh understand my meanning...
Yes thats why I have not made a review out of a linux... I write BAD... but I ponther the posibilities... it is just that I migth not make sence... or sentencess for that matter... :)
"Ignore his advice at your peril." ... Good one! I think? I like it when I get heard, even if it is because I made a fool of myself...
29 • Ranking by Downloads of Distros, autopackager (by Antonio on 2005-04-04 21:36:04 GMT from United States)
I second the motion of Roland. Which distro is the most downloaded? And also from Linux CD's, SpiderTools.com, all Online CD vendors? Which distro(s) is/are sold the most? In reality the number one distro is kind of meaningless because if you take other factors under consideration, like get the communities involved (Fedora, Mandrake, Slackware, Debian, Mepis, Ubuntu,etc,...), they would vote for thier distro to be number one. It would just create chaos and unrealistic results. The real number one is simply Linux!!! I love linux. I like Fedora, Slax, Kanotix, Knoppix, SystemRescueCD, etc, ...
Autopackagers can be nice and easy, but some may say that they already have it: apt-get, yum, etc., rpm -ivh packagename.rpm, etc, ... .
The old fashioned way of tar -jxvf, tar -zxvf, ./configure, make, make install, work pretty nicely for me so why should I worry about it.
30 • ranking, ubuntu (by im_ka on 2005-04-04 22:19:17 GMT from Sweden)
you can't really make a scientific ranking. how do you measure how many times let's say gentoo has been downloaded from its many mirrors? dw's phd is one way of measuring popularity, and it's a good one, at least not less scientific than anything else...
i've just installed hoary on my ibm thinkpad t23 (my laptop just got fixed and i couldn't wait for the release :)) and i'm impressed. everything works well. power management, x, ndiswrapper... all the usual laptop stuff works. even the thinkpad specific buttons like sound volume. and before i forget to mention: gnome 2.10 rules.
ubuntu doesn't come with non-free stuff but everything you need is installable without much hassle. i prefer having a FREE os that i can extend with non-free stuff i really need (java), and leave the rest for linspire, xandros, pclinuxos, mepis...
respect FLOSS! if there wasn't free software, there would be no distrowatch, remember that.
31 • Autopackage (by Kanwar on 2005-04-04 23:29:17 GMT from Australia)
As apparent from apt, yum and urpmi, a covergence towards apt-like package management is the future.
The key is to build on these technologies rather than "invent" a new package format, no matter how user friendly. Smart companies and communities do not alienate existing customers to get new ones!
On the other hand, I found autopackage's user mode install convenient. It is a good way to try out a piece of software on your desktop before asking your sysadmin to install it system-wide.
Maybe the existing package managers can take this leaf out of autopackage and add it to their features.
A unified front-end, such as Synaptic (of course you'd have to de-jargonise it from technical names etc), is the ideal solution.
32 • No subject (by Marc at 2005-04-05 01:54:30 GMT from Canada)
With the addition of Kubuntu's release, the Ubuntu team
should start a Xubuntu project base on XFCE4, so we the
owners of low cpu machine can share this well done distro.
Just a wish !!!
33 • Re: No sbject ...err oh well (by Big Moron on 2005-04-05 02:02:41 GMT from Puerto Rico)
Read the recent interview that distrowatch links to Slashdot, interviewed Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu Linux and be happy cuz it might happen...
sweet dreams... and Xubuntu is a better name than the XFCE-buntu or something he said... have not read it all...
34 • RE:Marc (by GWJ Mateo on 2005-04-05 02:11:44 GMT from United States)
Xubuntu? Not sure it needs a dedicated distro, since XFCE 4.2.1 and the XFLD files are in the Universe repository. It's my primary desktop.
Maybe you are thinking somthing like SAM (mandrake + xfce), but even then, sooner or later, you are going to be installing KDE or Gnome libraries to run some app.
35 • Re: Ranking by downloads? (by Ed Borasky on 2005-04-05 03:44:32 GMT from United States)
"• Ranking by Downloads of Distros, autopackager (by Antonio on 2005-04-04 21:36:04 GMT from United States)
I second the motion of Roland. Which distro is the most downloaded?"
Well ... an easy way to do a variant of this would be to fire up the Azureus BitTorrent client, open up torrents for Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, Gentoo, Mandrake, etc., then sort by number of seeds/peers. What I've seen is a burst of activity for a particular distro immediately after release, but on the whole, during non-release periods, Fedora and Mandrake seem to be the most popular, rather than Ubuntu.
36 • Why Gentoo 2005.0 Took So Long (by Ed Borasky on 2005-04-05 03:54:58 GMT from United States)
I've been tracking Gentoo 2005.0 more or less since 2004.3 had its second release. Much of the extra effort was required to make the transition from the 2.4 to 2.6 kernel as seamless as possible. And, as is widely known, a few hours before the scheduled release, the Gentoo team discovered serious vulnerabilities in both FireFox and GAIM, two of the most popular packages. It was unthinkable to release something like that to Gentoo newcomers, and the Gentoo regulars simply updated their systems and went about their day.
I now have two machines running 2005.0. One of them was squirreled up enough that it was faster to rebuild than to try to debug, and the other I did just to see how much the install process had changed.
I'm running KDE 3.4 on one of my systems. I'm not sure what it offers over 3.3.2. And I'm really starting to get used to XFCE4 :).
37 • Kubuntu Xubuntu / RE: no subject (Marc) (by Another Ubuntu user on 2005-04-05 04:16:48 GMT from Malaysia)
If I'm not mistaken Kubuntu was started by the grassroot level. Seeing the genuine effort done by this group (rather than complaining in the forum/mailing-list) Canonical later decide to support Kubuntu.
I think if XFCE users, developers, fanboys and etc put the same effort. I'm sure Xubuntu will become a reality one day and a fine addition to the Ubuntu family.
38 • Re: ranking & broadband (by Leandro on 2005-04-05 04:47:06 GMT from Argentina)
The download-based ranking would be just perfect ...if it was the only way to get your distro. (Remeber: not everybody has access to broadband - there is also life beyond the first world :-)
39 • misguided effort (by Another Ubuntu user on 2005-04-05 05:32:37 GMT from Malaysia)
I'm a user of Ubuntu. But I believe that every distro has its own strength and weakness. As a user we choose the one that suits us best for our situation.
Now, I'm delight to see that Ubuntu has reach #1 ranking. But I am not delighted about the rumours about "concerted efforts by several Ubuntu user communities around the world to drive their favourite distribution to the top as fast as possible".
If this is true. I wish and plead these communities to stop this misguided effort. Doing so will only tarnish the good name and image of the distro. And diminish the value of the ranking.
Maybe your efforts manage to increase the hits only by few percent. But still it is enough to destroy the credibility and integrity of such ranking. And all that has been achieved is worthless... the image and effort done by the developers, MOTU, forum moderators, and even other fellow users to create such a wonderful distro will have gone down the drain.
I don't mind if the hits for Ubuntu goes down after this. But please, lets play fair and keep it clean. Remember, our dream is in the "software" not in this ranking.
40 • Wake up Linux developers! (by vega on 2005-04-05 05:38:54 GMT from United States)
I'm getting real tired of Linux developers making it hard for software companies and average users to enter the Linux market. They don't embrace installers such as autopackage,Zero install, klik, etc.
Oh no, apt get, rpm, deb, command line, etc does it fine is what they say. Such stubborn people who insist programs be made available that way, but it's REDUNDANT to package programs for each flavor of Linux. Does a software company really want to have a build for each one? Or do they want to provide it on some repository?
If you find something wrong with easy to use installers, then stop barking and do something about it. Help it so you can make it better.
I can't believe there are great developers in Linux, but they can't provide an efficient and easy to use installer.
OS X seems to be doing it better. Oh where art thou easy to use Linux?
41 • Ubuntu success (by Scott on 2005-04-05 07:28:50 GMT from United States)
I don't understand all the hoopla and hype surrounding Ubuntu. Yes, it's nice, but it's not THAT nice. I really don't think they're doing anything different than any of the other scads of distributions out there. Maybe I'm wrong. Nevertheless; any new operating system that is getting as much attention as Ubuntu is can only be a good thing. ;-)
42 • No reviews anymore on main news page? (by Anonymous on 2005-04-05 07:32:39 GMT from Germany)
Why are all reviews now only hidden in the small "Latest Reviews" box?
43 • Ranking (by Mike on 2005-04-05 10:53:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
I think you should change the whole distro ranking thing. It is always being manpiulated and even when it isn't, the stats it provides are fairly random. With that in mind it seems ridiculous to me to have such a powerful tool for handling it. I can examine stats over periods from a month to years, I get exact HPD figures for every distro, and a chart showing whether a distro has risen or fallen recently. Stats are updated (daily?). There's no point in all of this - it's like running a statistical analysis of the picture from an untuned TV. Just update weekly, show only stats for the last few months and remove the HPD column. Then people might not bother about trying to manipulate it, and visitors will get an idea of how accurate it really is. Seriously - the DW hit counter has become a bizzare source of fascination in the distro community and a great friend of the troll. It's high time you took steps to reduce it's importance in peoples minds.
44 • Installers (by Mike on 2005-04-05 10:56:48 GMT from United Kingdom)
We don't need a special installer for commercial programs. Just stick your prog in it's own subdirectory of /opt and symlink it's executable in /usr/local/bin. That's what all the commercial games I've got do.
45 • @Dara Parsavand (by gnobuddy on 2005-04-05 16:56:14 GMT from United States)
[quote]... but I'd much rather use a very small Linux distro that has no character and add all my programs from a repository that is common to all distros.
Gentoo comes as close to this as any Linux available today. Unfortunately the repository isn't common to all distros - which I agree would be much better than the current mess of incompatible packages and package formats - but it is huge, and contains almost anything I've ever wanted to install. In fact, the one major reason why I continue to use Gentoo is the Portage package management system, and the Gentoo repositories.
46 • FreeBSD RC1 - heads up (by Anonymous on 2005-04-05 19:59:46 GMT from Finland)
FreeBSD RC1 has hit the mirrors.
47 • ubuntu & universal installer (by Franky on 2005-04-05 20:21:25 GMT from Belgium)
Hi, i have been testing the last years several distro's from suse, redhat, caldere, etc. on different machines but got tired to download in most case more then 1 CD and stopped working with linux due to the disappointed overall speed of the GUI linux system compared to windows. Since summer of 2004 I tried opensource soft like firefox and openoffice for windows. I enjoy working with those prg's and I decide to give linux a second try. So I tried last summer LIMA which is good and since a couple of months ubuntu. I like the basic idea of just 1 (live)-CD to setup a simple workstation version of Linux. Ubuntu warthy works smoothly and fine but when it comes to the latest available software (and this is the same problem with most popular distro) I can't give the maximum points.
I am used on win systems to update my opensource software every time it needs and I find out that this is difficult on linux, because the repository doesn't contain the latest update or because of dependency problems. What I want to say is that a universal package system like autopackage or zero install or maybe a new one is really needed to convince win users to choose, install and use a linux distro (ubuntu, lima or something else) and that he should have not worries about chosing rpm, deb, ... packages but just one universal linux package file.
A linux and opensource lover.
48 • RE: • Ranking (by Mike) (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-04-05 21:05:21 GMT from Italy)
I am not sure if your suggestions are the best way of going about the issue of rankings, but what I know is that something needs to be done.
DistroWatch rankings seem to reflect either the hype of some new, fashionable distro, or some other reason even more difficult to understand. Do you people remember when Yoper was #1 here a couple of years ago? At the time I found it only a wasted download and CD.
Then came Gentoo: now it has been in constant decline.
Next came Arch, although it was never really ranking very high.
And now Ubuntu. I want to second what Scott from the United States says about it: "I don't understand all the hoopla and hype surrounding Ubuntu."
Neither do I: it is just a slightly modified Sarge installer with a (heavy) modified DE on top of it: nothing else.
Now if I want Debian I'll use Debian Proper, if I want something nicely modified I'll either use Kanotix (very undervalued, IMHO), Mepis or, when released, Libranet 3.0.
Mandrake has ironically lost its #1 spot when it is getting better: try 10.2 RC2 if you don't believe me.
And then we have rock solid, very complete distros which have always been there and never failed us in any way: Debian, SUSE.
In an ideal ranking where every possible factor was taken into account, those two should always be first and second (or both first), IMHO.
49 • rankings (by Gnobian_Ken00bie at 2005-04-05 23:29:51 GMT from United States)
I think that any rankings system needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but I'm not sure what alternative would be superior.
As for Ubuntu just being a slightly modified Sarge installer, etc. ...
Um, X.org, Gnome 2.10, KDE 3.4, all with security updates and support, as of tomorrow's Hoary release. You get that in Debian? I think not. Official support for amd64? Nope. And building a live CD infrastructure that works with the Sarge installer - one that has been adopted by two other projects already, something Debian has wanted for awhile but got stalled with the Debix project... Plus they give their bug fixes IMMEDIATELY back to Debian. Comparing this to MEPIS, et al, is just absurd.
That said, Kanotix is VERY good, I agree.
50 • a bit more (by Gnobian_Ken00bie on 2005-04-06 00:02:37 GMT from United States)
I don't want my previous remarks to be taken as denying that MEPIS is a suitable distro for some, much less that Debian is a magnificent distro and project. There wouldn't be an Ubuntu - or a MEPIS - without Debian.
But there's a distro out there for just about anyone's needs - with a bit of tweaking perhaps - and there's always the option of building your own. (Of course, I'd say Debian - or Gentoo or Slack - are a good place to start for something really customized. But you can always go the LFS route.)
Of course, the great thing about true community based distros, like Ubuntu and of course Debian (as opposed to certain "community" distros that are little more than free QA for "enterprise" versions) is that you can always participate and contribute and guide it more toward something you like. That's part of what FOSS is all about. Responsibility as well as freedom. Look at Kubuntu growing out of Ubuntu because enough people liked ubuntu but wanted KDE and you'll see a perfect illustration of that.
51 • Ranking (by John Coombes on 2005-04-06 03:10:33 GMT from Australia)
Ranking (by Mike on 2005-04-05 10:53:17 GMT from United Kingdom) wrote
the DW hit counter has become a bizzare source of fascination in the distro community and a great friend of the troll. It's high time you took steps to reduce it's importance in peoples minds
I would like to add my vioce of support for this comment - however you want to do it - some thing should be done to reduce the sence of importance of the hit rate counter
NOTE: no matter how may time it is said "read hit rate counter with pinch of salt" or what ever fancy way you write it. The fact is that many have elevated it to some thing that it is not (EG: elevated it to imply "my distro is better than your distro")
There for I agree that "if" DistroWatch wants to remain a creadible source of info to many people ? Then some thing must be done to reduce the Hit Counters sence of importance in peoples minds.
Just my 2 cents worth Lav ? think good and hard about it
52 • Ranking (by John Coombes on 2005-04-06 03:16:39 GMT from Australia)
Sorry - to stop any confusion in my message above
For where I write " hit counter " = read = " Page Hit Ranking "
53 • RE: Gnobian_Ken00bie (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-04-06 05:06:46 GMT from Italy)
I suppose what really upsets me is that Ubuntu and Debian are not fully compatible with one another.
I suppose that if I could install Ubuntu and dist-upgrade it to Debian or, on the other hand, install Debian and add the Ubuntu repositories without any fear of compatibility issues, all my objections to Ubuntu would disappear.
54 • Ubuntu for anon penguin in Italy (by Gnobian_Ken00bie on 2005-04-06 05:40:40 GMT from United States)
Actually, there is an upgrade path from Woody to Ubuntu but just pinning to Ubuntu would require replacing so many libraries that you'd pretty much be running an Ubuntu system before long. Full compatibility with Sid or Sarge would be great, but those are moving targets, whereas Ubuntu is a snapshot with refinements, some of which get taken back into Sid. The basic development model makes full compatibility impossible. I don't know what alternative there is though. And of course, as Warren has regularly advised. dist-upgrade will break a lot of things in MEPIS too.
Ubuntu does have Universe and Multiverse though, so most of Sid is available and much else besides. And just as KDE is now in main with hoary, one can expect that a lot of other Universe packages will be in main with the next release.
55 • Ubuntu Ranking on Distrowatch (by Travel Agent on 2005-04-06 09:08:34 GMT from Philippines)
Congratulations to the Ubuntu Team!
56 • RE: Ranking (by ladislav on 2005-04-06 10:29:35 GMT from Taiwan)
I am not going to make any changes to the ranking, for the following reasons:
1. Last time I tried to implement major changes or even remove the ranking from the main page, many complained.
2. It's just page hit ranking, that's all. If anybody takes it for more than that it's his/her problem, not mine.
3. The ranking ads spice to the site. Even if I don't consider it a serious barometer of popularity, I can't deny that I feel a sense of achievement every time I learn of someone referring to the ranking. As an example, it was mentioned in a major Austrian daily newspaper a just few days ago. If it helps driving traffic to the site, it would be foolish of me to remove it.
4. Ranking is a big help to those who are coming to the Linux world for the first time - at least they can see all the major distributions and start evaluating one of the top ones. Imagine if I replaced the ranking with an alphabetical list of all 400+ distributions! If that wouldn't scare of newbies then I don't know what would.
In short, ranking is going to stay. If you don't like it, tough!
57 • Rankings complaints (by Anonymous on 2005-04-06 12:18:01 GMT from United States)
Let's quit whining about the 'Ranking' column. Ok, it is not 100% accurate. So what? It's meant to be an interesting sidebar, not the gospel truth.
I often flip back and forth between the 'views' (1 month, 6month) to get a general feel for trends. And sometimes I pick a distro from the rankings to try if it looks like it is getting some activity.
Feel free to put up your own website with your own rankings if you don't like it here. Be sure to let us know the link. I'll take a look when you're done posting it.
58 • RE: Ranking (by Mike on 2005-04-06 16:49:23 GMT from United Kingdom)
Maybe the problem is that there's nothing else like this available, so when lazy journalists who don't really know much about linux want to produce some stats, they turn to DW. I'm not sure who else would be in a position to do something like this. I guess it's the old F/OSS problem - you may not like how something is done but unless you're prepared to produce your own replacement, you're stuck with what you've got.
I disagree that it's helpful to Linux newbies, who would be better directed to the section on "Major Distros".
I still like this site though. :)
59 • ranking (by im_ka on 2005-04-06 18:30:34 GMT from Sweden)
well written, ladislav. i absolutely agree with your every word.
60 • RE: Ranking (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-04-06 18:42:03 GMT from Italy)
Nobody said that you should get rid of the rankings altogether.
We were just wondering if there was some way they could be improved so that they were a more accurate reflection of a distro popularity, also considering that you have repeatedly said that they are pumped up by overzealous fans.
Evidently you feel that nothing could or should be done, so end of story: it is your site after all.
61 • mandriva (by im_ka on 2005-04-07 16:48:26 GMT from Sweden)
62 • Linux Weekly News Article (by William Roddy on 2005-04-07 20:14:36 GMT from United States)
Ladislav wrote an extremely interesting article about Red Hat-based distributions in this week's Linux weekly news. Thank you, Ladislav.
63 • Scientific Linux (by William Roddy on 2005-04-07 20:27:06 GMT from United States)
If you need a rock-solid distribution, in use on thousands of computer, with a proven track record, use Scientific Linux.
This Linux has been around for a long time, but has made no effort to become widely know. Only a recent announcement on DistroWatch brought it to the attention of a wider community.
What is now called Scientific Linux began as Fermi Linux, a vendor-cleansed version of the latest Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The latest version of the 3x tree is called Scientific Linux and still bears all the earmarks of the Fermi craftsmanship.
The new and exciting aspect of this Linux is that the world-famous CERN Lab in Switzerland is now a direct part of the development and maintenance of the very Linux both these major scientific facilities use as the primary operating system of their facilities.
Of late, a number of leading U.S. and European university physics research laboratories have joined in the project.
The latest stable version is 3.04. It is made and used in both i386 and x86_64. At CERN, at least 100 the x86_64 version. Fermi's entire facility, "banks and banks" of computers, run on this Linux and it is used in servers and workstations.
When the ITs first receive a new distribution, or new ERRATA, from the vendor, they check the code thoroughly for any problems that might be inherent in it, and fix them. In general, this means that every stable release, or subsequent ERRATA addition, leaves the distribution rock-solid. After all, this is the tool that is part of the driving force behind the largest linear accelerator in the world (I understand CERN is building, or has built a larger one).
The nature of the facilities at which this Linux version is used is such that security is of paramount importance, so that is something you can count on with this distribution. It is built with the purpose of being functional and secure for years to come.
The latest test release is 4.0-rc2, both i386 and x86_64, and with the speed at which Fermi and CERN work, the final release is expected quite soon.
Red Hat is aware that this Linux version exists. Fermi, nor CERN, pays not one dime to Red Hat, though it is used on banks and banks of machines, a fact that nonplussed the SuSE salesman when he took a tour of Fermi. The developers of Scientific Linux have been fastidious in their removal of vendor identifiers, and precise about using open source program. They feel they have created a stable base that can be easily customized by pointing at one's own repositories, or by using it "out of the box."
They are the first to say that many of the vendor's codes do not work "right out of the box." So they fix them. I would imagine the vendor is or could be helped by such precision.
I am a disabled home user of Linux, with relatively little scientific or programming knowledge, but I have followed with great fascination Fermi/Scientific Linux as best I could, because I admire scientists and the scientific approach to problems. Their Web site is immaculate, simple, straight-forward. Their mailing lists are useful, intense, and absent the deviations from the project at hand that result in other distributions' attempts to move forward. Their servers are blazing fast, for download and updates.
The latest release candidate features the latest Firefox, and Thunderbird can be "yummed." OpenOffice.org and Helix media player is also included. Scientific Linux also recognizes the usefulness of APT, and has included it in stable versions. I suspect that the 4x versions will, at some time soon, also include this feature, making it possible to apt, yum, or up2date.
For me, it was immediately useful, right after a simple, quick installation. The addition of five easy-to-find xine-related rpms to my Scientific Linux allows me watch any DVD I chose, and stream media. I know that's an indulgence, but heck, I'm an old shut-in.
If you want a rock-solid Linux that has undergone the scrutiny and use of some of the world's foremost scientists, you could do no better.
My advance apologies for such a long post, and to the people at Scientific Linux for any errors I might have induced into it. They have been warm and encouraging to me.
64 • RE: Scientific Linux (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-04-07 21:05:30 GMT from Italy)
Thanks for your very informative post, William. You have made me extremely interested :)
65 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2005-04-07 22:55:04 GMT from United States)
Hello I am a "one man army" (sinks into thought) possibly with one buddy lol to create a distro. I have printed the manual for linuxfromscratch. I am thinking of using autopackage instead of rpm - apt-get (Distro). Want to try athene desktop instead of kde, gnome, xfce not sure on licensing. (we might use gnome though if athene is out of reach)
Right now we both have some plans on some things. But it is all thought now and not totally well thought out yet. What would you all think on my idea? btw I visit distrowatch often and lurk not comment. This would be my first public post outside of emailing distrowatch.
At this point is not an established idea in life.
66 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2005-04-07 23:11:19 GMT from United States)
to add reasoning behind possibly using athene is for its "3" GUI's support.
1. minimal similar to xfce GUI ( guess for barely passing machines)
2. Clean desktop version GUI where no icons are on desktop. All shortcuts are to your right (bar like) on the desktop leaving big wallpaper area.
3. Windows look we all know how it looks.
67 • Handhelds (by Alistair Baty on 2005-04-08 14:10:25 GMT from South Africa)
I try hard to follow the developments of the Linux OS and DistroWatch is unmatched as a source to do so. Because of time constraints I use plucker to download various weekly news issues (Mandrakenews/Mandiva, Ubuntu ...). Due to the setup of your Distrowatch news page I can't download it without additional mess. Is it possible to have a link to a single page DWW (Include the Logo, the DistroWatch Weekly title and the Issue details, but no width-wise tables/ or no tables). This will make for a really great mobile accesible page. (See http://www.mandrivalinux.com/en/fnews.php3 versus http://www.mandrivalinux.com/en/pda/ as an example)
Thanks again for an excellent resource!!
PS. I have Pluckered the current page as is and it's actually not that bad! The links in the top right cell ("HomePage" "DistroWatch Weekly" ... "Related Links") just clutter the top of the page and you need to manually scroll down to get the start of the News articals and the respective hyperlinks. A bit frustrating, but I can live with it until something better comes along. Thanks again
68 • Ranking Method and Ubuntu/Linspire?Mandriva (by Robzilla-L.A. on 2005-04-08 16:31:27 GMT from United States)
I just want to say that I echo some of the sentiment that the best way to determine a ranking of distro's would be by counting the number of downloads-even just from distrowatch. I do feel that is probably a harder number to actually quantify and think all linux distros are better than the other choices out there so as long as new distros are getting press than I think distrowatch deserves a pat on the back. Regardless of ranking new distros get a shot on the front page when there is a new release.
Ubuntu to the top. What is all the bickering about? Yes Ubuntu spends money on this or that and markets their product. Isn't that what any company does to be successful-part of a business plan? Ubuntu is still free and a damn good distro. Maybe they have more resources but is that a bad thing. What ever moves the community in a good direction is positive. I think Ubuntu is a great distro. It is not my favorite but they have come a long way and are a solid choice. Who knows the day may be coming where I will switch. Debian based distros seem to be all the rage. Mepis 3.3 Linspire and many others all use Debian which I commend Mepis for acknowledging that fact.
As far as package management it is hard to beat the Debian repositories!! Apt-get and bam a new package installed and ready to go! If autopackage is close to apt-get but standardizes packages for all Linux distros it has to be a good idea, Just don't know if it is feasable??
Linspire Five O.
I have read a lot of positive reviews of Linspire and I have to say I am not impressed. I really do not think that they are moving in a direction that will get people to switch from M$. Their ideas, some of them, are good, but I think the cost involved is not really justified. I can use just about any Debian based distro and get all of the software offered on Linspire and many more for free? Not $89.99 for a year and $49.99 a year after that. And then if you want additional sowtware say to play a dvd then you will have to pay more. Now I do not mind paying for a linux distro at all but having to pay around $130 or more for a fully functional distro is pretty close to and in some cases more than the compitition. Until Linux is established as a popular supported widely alternative to windows or apple then the price should be one of the motivating factors to get you to try Linux. And I think Linspire has got to have about the slowest boot time of any distro I have ever used!! Sure click and run is nice but apt-get or synaptic are just as easy. And in other Debian based newbie friendly distros you don't have to sacrifice security by running as administrator-Haven't we learned from the Windows security failures that runnings as the administrator is not the best idea. Yes there are only a few virili now but if Linux gets as popular as lets say Apple or Windows then you know there will be more. The main security advantage that Linux has is the use of password protection for key system settings. Lets not get rid of that?? Linspire just ins't all that and to take a whole year to develop it?? Why?? So lets summerize, not free or even close, limited software, less security does this equal new and improved??
Now to make more people angry-got the Linspire crowd upset and now to MAndrake or I mean Mandriva?/ What kind of name is that? Linux distros need to think about the names they use and think about users saying hey I am running ,blah blah. I don't really like the sound of MAndriva- sounds like a disease or a condition I need to get rid of. No complaints about the distro just think they need a better name. There are more I could name and even the distro I use has a pretty bad name. I know it is not the name but the function of the O.S. but can't we have both? I mean Apple is cool. Windows at least describes at the time it came out the new type of system that was icon based-got to give it to them there. But Mandriva?? Come on guys lets put our heads together and come up with some cool names to with our cool systems and make em catchy so people will remember them and not be afraid to say them. I know we are mostly focused on the system and results but most for people a name will go a long way in peaking interest.
69 • Libranet New Release (by Mike Mack on 2005-04-09 10:35:00 GMT from United States)
You indicated a few months back that Libranet would be introducing a new release. Have you received any indication when this might be. Earlier thoughts suggested early April. Everyone is very "Hush-Hush" about the new release.
I was just woundering if you had an idea of when the new distribution would be released, or what the hold up is?
70 • libranet release... (by im_ka on 2005-04-09 10:51:47 GMT from Sweden)
it will be released when debian sarge goes stable. noone knows when.
71 • About Download Boten Linux (by China Linux on 2005-04-11 12:35:49 GMT from China)
I can't download Boten Linux at
Could anyone tell me a site to download BotenLinux?
72 • Good Article (by Wesley Hamel on 2005-04-11 15:32:45 GMT from United States)
It was a very good read
73 • Is this the same one from last week? (by Abel at 2005-04-11 17:25:07 GMT from United States)
Isn't this the same Distrowatch weekly as last week?
74 • Kate Linux code name ZYKLON. (by Andre-G on 2005-04-11 17:49:03 GMT from United States)
you must know that Zyklon B, was a hydrogen-cyanide gas used by the 3rd reich to gas to death millions of jews... and other "unter-men" (under-men) and women.
So I find it offensive that you publish about the Kate Linux Zyklon version....
Would you please consider to remove this reference?
Also after this is done, I suggest you also remove this posting after a day or two, to gather some more reactions...in order to put this issue to rest.
It could make sense to keep Kate Linux out of your very good web site, which I am sure never intended to offense anyone.
75 • This is issue 94 (by Keffin on 2005-04-11 19:05:04 GMT from United Kingdom)
76 • Re: This is issue 94 (by Keffin on 2005-04-11 19:10:12 GMT from United Kingdom)
I mean to say that you have linked this again today as issue 95. When I saw no comments as I scrolled down I assumed the whole thing hadn't been linked and my post would make sense, but no it just decided not to show them because there are too many already. I assume.
77 • Kate Linux (by mikkh on 2005-04-11 23:20:14 GMT from United Kingdom)
I really don't think anyone would be so mindless to name a distro
such knowlingly. I'd never heard of it, and one of the main hits in google reveals a heavy metal band of the same name, which is probably where the name comes from.
I was going to post about this distro myself, but not for that reason
This so called light distro, doesn't contain KDE or Gnome
but needs 2 CD's to install it - what's that all about?
Number of Comments: 77
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