| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 110, 25 July 2005
Welcome to this year's 30th issue of DistroWatch Weekly. It is "shoulder season" in the distribution land. Apart from several minor distribution releases, it was a slow week, with only the launch of the Utnubu initiative and a new beta release from Mandriva providing some excitement. Prompted by a satisfied user, we have taken a closer look at StartCom MultiMedia Edition, an interesting distribution based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Apart from these topics, we have all the usual columns, complemented by a quick tip for using digital cameras, mobile phones and music players under Linux. Happy reading!
Utnubu, Mandriva 2006 0.1.1, why FreeBSD, Planner
Utnubu is a new Debian initiative that examines Ubuntu patches and applications missing from Debian in order to merge some of Ubuntu's ideas back into Debian: "I invite everyone interested to join the Utnubu Team. Utnubu stands for doing what Ubuntu does, just the other way around: we want to take the things Ubuntu does and that are missing in Debian, and - where applicable - put them in Debian." More information about Utnubu is available in this mailing list post.
A new beta version of Mandriva Linux 2006 appeared on the mirrors over the weekend. Like the first one a week ago, the new beta release, labelled as 2006 0.1.1, has not yet been officially announced, but the good news is that the mirroring problems we mentioned in last week's DistroWatch Weekly have been solved and the new release is now available from the usual Mandriva mirror sites. The differences between the two betas seem to be minor: a few package upgrades and bug fixes, but no apparent new features.
Why FreeBSD? If you are a Linux user wondering about that other big open source operating system, then this article, published by IBM developerWorks, provides some answers: "The FreeBSD operating system is the unknown giant among free operating systems. Starting out from the 386BSD project, it is an extremely fast UNIX-like operating system mostly for the Intel chip and its clones. In many ways, FreeBSD has always been the operating system that GNU/Linux-based operating systems should have been. It runs on out-of-date Intel machines and 64-bit AMD chips, and it serves terabytes of files a day on some of the largest file servers on earth."
The July issue of Red Hat Magazine was published last week. Brimming with well-written and to-the-point articles, Red Hat Magazine is a truly valuable productivity resource - and not only for Red Hat or Fedora users. Take this article on Planner, a project management application: "Project management software is a useful tool in planning and scheduling a project. Planner is an application that attempts to make project planning easier by presenting your information in easy-to-read charts and tables." The excellent article provides a step-by-step guide about creating and managing a project, accompanied by a number of screenshots.
|Featured distribution of the week: StartCom MultiMedia Edition
StartCom MultiMedia Edition
Last week, a reader sent us an enthusiastic email: "Just wondering why StartCom isn't in the [top 100 page hit ranking] list? This distro rocks over SUSE and Mandriva! I actually like it better than Ubuntu also. StartCom deserves to be known about as they are better than many other distributions!" As always, this is just a personal opinion of one user, but it still prompted us to download and install the recently released StartCom Linux 4.0.4 MultiMedia Edition, code name "Raam". Is it possible that a true gem is hiding behind a seemingly unimaginative name "StartCom Linux"?
First, a little bit of history. StartCom Linux is a relatively new Linux distribution, barely one-year old. It is developed primarily by Eddy Nigg, a coder from Eilat (אילת), which is the southernmost city of Israel. Initially, Eddy's idea was to create a "free" edition of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) by recompiling its source RPMs, thus duplicating the effort of CentOS, White Box and other similar projects. However, the difference between these and StartCom is that Eddy has also built several specialist editions, which further extend the capabilities of RHEL. Of these, the MultiMedia Edition is probably the most interesting.
We asked Eddy about the key differences between RHEL and StartCom Multimedia Edition and here is his answer:
In other words, StartCom MultiMedia edition is essentially Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is one of the best-tested Linux distribution available today, enhanced by a large number of open source tools and programs for the most demanding multimedia user - all integrated into one compact and pre-configured package. In fact, once you boot into your newly installed StartCom distribution, you will quickly notice that the "Sound & Video" GNOME submenu is the largest one by far - it contains no fewer than 37 applications! As such, StartCom MultiMedia Edition has to be one of the most complete multimedia distributions out there, and one that all audio/video enthusiasts should give a try.
"The base is exactly the same. We kept all the server and development tools, which we used to remove from previous StartCom MultiMedia versions. Many users complained about that previously, so we left all intact. However there are many additions we made to our MultiMedia Edition:
- Media applications: Xine, MPlayer (with full MP3 and DVD playback)
- File sharing tools: BitTorrent, aMule
- Extra Office applications: AbiWord, Dia, QCad
- Special software for recording purposes: there is a whole recording studio with mixers, recorders, sequencers, synthesisers and many, many related effect tools and other stuff you need to run a production studio. This section is rather big, but well-integrated into the distribution.
- Other popular applications missing from RHEL: Blender, Kino
For more information about StartCom MultiMedia Edition, please visit the project's home and features pages. CD and DVD ISO images are available for free download from the distributions many mirror sites.
StartCom MultiMedia Edition with Audacity, BEAST, Kino, MPlayer, Sound Juicer, Rosegarden, Xine and other software for audio/video enthusiasts.
(full image size: 237kB)
|Released Last Week
Puppy Linux 1.0.4
A new version of Puppy Linux is out: "Puppy Linux version 1.0.4 is released. The great news for this release is the Puppy live CD now has Gnumeric, the premier Linux spreadsheet editor. This is version 1.4.3 and includes the full set of plugins. MUT (Media Utility Tool) version 0.0.5 is now in Puppy. This is a greatly enhanced drive mount/unmount alternative to Pmount. Printing support has been improved, with a patched AFPL Ghostscript version 8.51 and a patched AbiWord version 2.2.7...." Visit the project's news page to read more about the changes in Puppy Linux 1.0.4.
SLAX 5.0.6, complete with KDE 3.4.1 and KOffice 1.4.0, has been released: "It's my pleasure to let you know that SLAX 5.0.6 is available for download, together with all the special editions. The most important changes include: added Linux Kernel 188.8.131.52 with ALSA sound drivers 1.0.9b; added better default GTK2 theme, so all GTK2 applications will look nicer; module extension (.mo) is now integrated into KDE context menu; removed 15MB of pcf fonts, this drops Chinese support; fixed bug in configsave / websave, which caused each even session to be wrong. Many bugs have been fixed in Unionfs filesystem so I hope it will be more stable then before...." Read the rest of the changelog for more details.
Berry Linux 0.60
A brand new version of the Berry Linux live CD has been released. This is the first release based on Fedora Core 4, but with several updates, including kernel 2.6.12 with SMP support + devfs + bootsplash, and KDE 3.4.1. Other interesting package upgrades include K3B 0.12, GIMP 2.2.8, and MPlayer 1.0pre7. Besides a development version of OpenOffice.org 2, the distribution now also ships with the free editions of the TextMaker word processor and PlanMaker spreadsheet. See the complete changelog for more details.
Berry Linux 0.60 - the first Berry live CD based on Fedora Core 4
(full image size: 841kB)
StartCom AS-4.0.0 and ML-4.0.4 Update One
An updated set of ISO images of StartCom AS-4.0.0 (Enterprise Linux) and ML-4.0.4 (MultiMedia Edition) have been released: "StartCom released today updated versions of its newest operating systems StartCom Enterprise Linux (AS-4.0.0 Barak) and StartCom MultiMedia Edition (ML-4.0.4 Raam). These releases include security and bug fixes of over 170 updated packages each, including the latest updates of the kernel, OpenSSL and Kerberos. The updates include the very latest security and bug fixes including important security updates to ensure the best possible reliability." Find more information in the formal press release.
A new version of Devil-Linux, a Linux live CD designed for firewalls, routers and servers, has been released: "I'm proud to announce v1.2.6 of Devil-Linux. The changes include Kernel 2.4.31, various program updates and the addition of missing netfilter modules. See changelog for details." Many other packages have been upgraded to their newest versions; these include PHP 4.4.0, Postfix 2.2.4, MySQL 4.1.12, PostgreSQL 7.4.8, OpenLDAP 2.2.26 and OpenSSH 4.1p1, just to name a few. Read the release announcement and changelog for more information.
AnNyung LInux 1.2
AnNyung LInux is an i686-optimised Korean server distribution, originally based on Red Hat Linux 7.2. Despite its relatively old code base, the distribution includes many updated packages and provides timely security updates. Version 1.2 was released today. The main changes are: updated kernel 2.4.31; support for SATA drives; support for remote network boot via PXE; new boot splash screen. Besides the update kernel, the new version also comes with the latest OpenSSH (4.1p1) and PHP (5.0.4). Read the full release announcement (in Korean) for further information.
* * * * *
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Minislack, Rubyx renamed
The developers of Minislack have announced a new name of the project, which will come into effect with the upcoming new release: "A new version of the distribution is under testing at the moment. Many packages were updated (more than 100), as the current changelog shows. A new hardware discovery service has been added, along with GNOME System Tools and CUPS configurator. We've decided to change the name of the project, many thanks all fair users that contributed to this difficult choice. The name and new release will be announced at the same time." Read more in this announcement.
A reader has also informed us that the source-based distribution formerly known as Rubyx now operates under a new name - Heretix. The project's new web site can be found at h-e-r-e-t-i-x.org.
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
New distribution additions|
DistroWatch database summary
|Tips and tricks
Digital cameras, mobile phones and music players under Linux|
These days, if you buy a digital camera, mobile phone or a digital music player, it is likely to come with a CD containing applications that make it easier for your new device to interact with a personal computer. Invariably, though, the software can only be installed on a system running a recent version of Microsoft Windows and, in case of a few broader-minded companies, on a Macintosh. But what about us, Linux users?
Luckily, we can still use many of these gadgets. That's because they often act as ordinary USB storage devices, which means that you can simply plug them into the USB port, then mount them to browse the directories, photo images, media files, etc. If you are using one of the recent distributions with hotplug and udev, this is a very simple process - first create a new directory, then mount the device like this:
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/usb
Now you can browse the content of the mounted device in Konqueror, Nautilus or any other file manager you prefer.
Some distributions make things much easier. For example, the latest Linspire will detect a digital camera in your USB port and will automatically launch Lphoto, an application designed for managing digital photographs. Besides Lphoto, there are several other image viewers, including the GTK+-based GQview (this is our favourite, with great zoom options and configurable slide shows) or the QT-based KView, among many other choices.
That's all for today. We hope that you enjoyed this week's DistroWatch Weekly!
|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 184.108.40.206, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Issue 767 (2018-06-11): Android-x86 7.1-r1, transferring files over OpenSSH with pipes, LFS with Debian package management, Haiku ports LibreOffice|
|• Issue 766 (2018-06-04): openSUSE 15, overview of file system links, Manjaro updates Pamac, ReactOS builds itself, Bodhi closes forums|
|• Issue 765 (2018-05-28): Pop!_OS 18.04, gathering system information, Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie|
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Issue 763 (2018-05-14): Fedora 28, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, malware found in some Snaps, Debian's many flavours|
|• Issue 762 (2018-05-07): TrueOS 18.03, live upgrading Raspbian, Mint plans future releases, HardenedBSD to switch back to OpenSSL|
|• Issue 761 (2018-04-30): Ubuntu 18.04, accessing ZFS snapshots, UBports to run on Librem 5 phones, Slackware makes PulseAudio optional|
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu or Linux Mint pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
Quantian Scientific Computing Environment
A Knoppix/Debian variant tailored to numerical and quantitative analysis, Quantian was a remastering of Knoppix, the self-configuring and directly bootable CDROM that turns any PC or laptop (provided it can boot from CDROM) into a full-featured Linux workstation. The most recent version was based on clusterKnoppix and adds support for openMosix, including remote booting of light clients in an openMosix terminal server context. Quantian was an extension of Knoppix and clusterKnoppix from which it takes its base system of about 2GB of software, along with fully automatic hardware detection and configuration. However, Quantian differs from Knoppix by adding a set of programs of interest to applied or theoretical workers in quantitative or data-driven fields.