| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 119, 26 September 2005
Welcome to this year's 39th issue of DistroWatch Weekly. A slow start of the past week was followed by much activity during the weekend, with a new KNOPPIX live CD and DVD, an updated Ubuntu Colony CD set, and a number of other interesting development and final releases (but still no Mandriva 2006). Our featured distribution of the week is a little-known project called Hedinux GNU/Linux, while several new distributions have been added to the site's database, including Kororaa, a promising Gentoo variant with automated installation method. Plenty of news, comments, updated upcoming releases list and other regular columns complement this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. Enjoy!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in ogg (11.29MB) or mp3 (8.21MB) formats (courtesy of Shawn Milo).
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
KNOPPIX 4.0.2 quietly released
The much awaited new release of the KNOPPIX live CD and DVD finally happened last Saturday. Without much fanfare, both the CD and DVD images have started propagating to download mirrors, but because of the size (remember that there are separate German and English editions of KNOPPIX), it took the best part of the weekend before some of the mirrors could catch up, especially since the main server became flooded with requests soon after the release. The good folks at Unix-AG were quick to set up a BitTorrent tracker to take away pressure from the FTP sites.
Some of the early reports coming in tell us that, despite sorting out most of the earlier problems with Unionfs, some bugs remain: notably a slight problem with the MySQL configuration file and also a mysterious failure of KDE to pick up Dutch, French and Russian localisations. Otherwise, users seem mostly impressed by the improved speed of the live CD. Contrary to some earlier reports, the CD edition still ships with development tools (including GCC), as well as Emacs, so it seems that even after its "split" to CD and DVD editions, the good old KNOPPIX that we've learnt to love and appreciate is still here in its original format. Download it from one of the mirrors and give it a spin!
KNOPPIX 4.0.2 Live CD - continuing in the tradition of being the most popular and versatile Linux live CD on the market.
(full image size: 504kB)
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Update on Mandriva Linux 2006
It appears that the final release of Mandriva Linux 2006 is still a few days off. That's according to this message (in French), published on 22 September which dispels rumours circulating in the user community about the imminent final release. It also sets the release date to around ten days from the date of publication of the article. Looking at a calendar, it might as early as late this week or, more likely, early next week, possibly colliding with the release of SUSE Linux 10.0. The short story also explains that ISO images will initially be only available to members of the Mandriva Club.
What can we do in the meantime? Perhaps read the release notes! An excellent summary of new features present in Mandriva Linux 2006 has already been published and is available for your reading pleasure here:
"This page was developed because many people complained that major changes were not being explained properly, so users either didn't know how to use the new feature, or didn't understand the rationale behind it. As a result, they become upset (and close-minded) about it. Please fully explain the rationale behind the change and how to configure the machine with the change (or the difference between the old and the new way). It would be helpful also to point out where more info can be found. More info = better."
The page has a wealth of information ranging from topics which discuss upgrading an existing Mandriva installation to hardware and software issues. It also includes a few paragraphs about new technologies, such as the optional "smart" package manager. Certainly worth a read if you are planning to install or upgrade to Mandriva 2006!
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On Ubuntu naming and colour schemes
As many of our regular readers know, we maintain a list of what we consider to be the top ten distributions, complete with brief descriptions and a short list of their pros and cons. Lately, your DistroWatch team has had a bit of trouble coming up with good cons for the Ubuntu Linux distribution, which has been receiving rave reviews in all popular publications. Luckily, after perusing some of the recent reviews, user forums, blogs and other resources, we finally managed to uncover two major problems with Ubuntu; these are (in order of importance): 1. Ubuntu naming scheme, 2. Ubuntu default colours.
That's right. Warty Warthog, Hoary Hedgehog, Breezy Badger, Dapper Drake.... Somehow, it seems, that writers of just about every review and every article have a desperate urge to touch on the subject - as if it was the name that solely determines the success or failure of the release. Similarly, many users have found the excessive use of the colour brown in Ubuntu's default wallpaper and desktop quite revolting, or at least, worthy of a quick complaint on every forum or blog discussing the distribution.
Now folks, can't we all just lighten up a bit? Unlike the original Ubuntu wallpaper and login screen which would be considered offensive in certain cultures and religions, words like Dapper Drake and colours like brown would certainly not. Are these names silly? Perhaps. Are the default colours unusual? Yes, they differ from the standard blue that most distributions have seemingly adopted. But are these choices worth commenting about? Aren't reviews meant to test a product's features instead of discussing its naming scheme? After all, the Ubuntu names are intended mostly as a way of referring to a release internally (among developers, testers and early adopters) and not as a marketing trick expected to appeal to IT managers and drive sales! Can't we all just look at "Dapper Drake" as a fun way of calling a release?
The upcoming release of Ubuntu Linux 5.10, is now available for order through the distribution's Shipit ordering system. As always, the CDs, as well as postage, are free of charge for delivery anywhere in the world. To avoid disappointment, however, please do not click on the above link if you happen to hate the word "badger" or the colour brown....
|Featured Distribution of the Week: Hedinux GNU/Linux
If you have never heard of Hedinux GNU/Linux, we certainly won't blame you - Hedinux is a new name of what used to be called Octoz GNU/Linux, an ambitious French project to create an easy-to-use Linux distribution for the "Joe Average" (or would it be "Jean Moyen"?). With the release of Hedinux 0.1RC1 over the weekend, we decided to take an early look to see how things are shaping up as they converge towards the stated goal.
We downloaded the 84 MB "netinstall" ISO image and burnt it onto a CD. This booted up to a text-mode installer with an option to choose the installation language from a short list of supported languages consisting of English, French and German, and a long list of supported keyboard layouts. The installer then automagically set up networking and started downloading base packages for Hedinux GNU/Linux. The first part of the installation program concluded with setting the root password and creating a non-root user account, then provided instructions for configuring the GRUB boot loader.
And this is where we spotted the first bugs. Although we did set up a new root password, we couldn't use it to log in; instead, we had to guess that the root password was still set to "root" to be able to log in and configure the boot loader. Once logged in, the installer also disregarded our earlier choice of keyboard so we had to replace the default French keyboard with a US one by issuing "loadkeys us" (if you are following us, just remember that the "a" and "q" keys are swapped on a French keyboard). Now we were finally able to set up GRUB, a procedure that was anything but intuitive and certainly not beginner-friendly!
After reboot, the installer continued with installation of the rest of the system, including a graphical part with the latest versions of GNOME, XFce, IceWM and Fluxbox (but no KDE). After an hour or so of downloading and installing, we were prompted to reboot one more time. On this occasion, however, we were greeted with a standard GDM login screen, a choice of languages and desktops, and other options. Disappointingly, we were unable to log in with the username and password we created during installation - perhaps it was due to the peculiarities of the French keyboard or some other reason unclear to us. The freshly downloaded KNOPPIX 4.0.2 came very handy here - we booted into KNOPPIX, chroot-ed into the Hedinux partition, and changed the root and user passwords.
Finally, we were able to login to the Hedinux desktop. The package set is highly up-to-date, inclusive of the very latest GNOME 2.12 and most other commonly-used desktop applications. The system, compiled for the i686 architecture, felt very responsive and we were immediately productive in the new distribution. Besides the "netinstall" CD, a live CD edition of Hedinux GNU/Linux, complete with the XFce desktop, is also available for download.
Hedinux is still very far from being an easy-to-use desktop distribution for beginners. Although the "netinstall" method we used did eventually complete, we spotted a number of all too obvious bugs, which shouldn't have been in a beta release, never mind a release candidate. Also, Hedinux lacks any user-friendly system administration and package management utilities. Perhaps the project needs more exposure, more beta testers and more quality feedback; luckily, with its Wiki, a bug reporting facility and user forums all set up on the Hedinux web site, there is no reason why this project shouldn't mature faster during the coming months.
For more information about Hedinux GNU/Linux please visit Hedinux.org (the web site is mostly in French, with some areas also available in English and a separate forum for English speakers).
Hedinux GNU/Linux 0.1 - a promising new distribution for Linux beginners.
(full image size: 341kB)
|Released Last Week
Wolvix is a new GNU/Linux live CD built from SLAX: "Wolvix is a desktop oriented distribution made to fit the needs from regular to advanced desktop users. With Wolvix you can surf the Internet, read email, chat with friends over ICQ, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, IRC, etc; watch movies in various file formats, including DVD; listen to your favorite music; create graphics and web pages; hook up to Windows networks with Samba; transfer files over FTP or BitTorrent. And the best of all, it's free." The new version 1.0.2 is the distribution's first public release; highlights are: IceWM, X-CD-Roast, cbrPager and a few other new applications. Visit the project's home page for more details.
Hikarunix is an entertaining live CD featuring a comprehensive selection of the ancient Asian strategy game called Go. Version 0.4 has been released: "Announcing Hikarunix 0.4 - the free, portable Go workstation. Changes: Firefox updated to 1.0.6 with support for Chinese, Japanese, Korean fonts; Kogo's Joseki updated to 27.Mar.2005; local snapshot of Sensei's Library updated to 3.Jan.2005; GNUGo updated to 3.7.4; Jacoto 1.2.15 added as primary SGF manager; Quarry updated to 0.1.14; CGoban updated to 2.6.12; sgf2misc updated to 2.9.2; simple GUIs for easier access to sgf2misc, sgfmerger, and sgfsplit; simplified and traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean locales and fonts (experimental)." Read the full release announcement for further details.
Hikarunix - an entertaining live CD for fans of "Go"
(full image size: 194kB)
Taprobane GNU/Linux 0.4.1
Taprobane is an ancient name for the Indian Ocean island of Sri Lanka and a Debian-based Linux live CD built by a group of developers at the Lanka Linux User Group (LKLUG). The new version 0.4.1 is the project's first public release. What's in it? "X.Org 6.8.2; official NVIDIA driver support out of the box; KDE 3.4.1; OpenOffice.org 2; Linux 220.127.116.11; SquashFS and Unionfs; Apache, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Zope, started and stopped from the K-menu; excellent hotplug support; saving data to persistent media; educational software such as Stellarium and Octave." More details can be found in the announcement on the project's home page.
KNOPPIX 4.0.2 Live CD/DVD
A bug fix version of KNOPPIX 4.0 has been released and is currently propagating to download mirrors around the world. From the changelog: "V4.0.2-2005-09-23 (bug fix release). Updated Unionfs to 20050921-1507 with stability patches; fixed 'noeject' and 'noprompt' boot options; fixed 'xdepth=' boot option; fixed permissions of /usr/bin/cdrecord*; fixed translation error of 'Festplatte' in English edition; fixed OpenOffice.org siesta on loading old documents; fixed ATP8* SCSI controller recognition; removed glibc dependency of sysvinit; added 'units' converter; updated read-write libntfs CVS version; security updates for xserver-xfree86, xlibs, mozilla-firefox...."
Ultima Linux 4-SP1
An updated version of Ultima Linux 4 has been released: "Ultima Linux 4-SP1 has just been made available to the world. This is a minor release, containing primarily security updates and that kind of fun stuff. Also included are Subversion and MPlayer, which are new in this release. If you already have Ultima 4 installed, you don't need to upgrade - the same updates are now on ulupdate, and in the case of the new packages on the packages page of our web site. However, because there are so many updated packages - around half the system - we have decided to update the ISO download to include everything pre-configured for your convenience." More details can be found in the changelog.
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Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
SUSE Linux 10.1
The openSUSE project has published further details about the development of the next version of SUSE Linux - 10.1. Testing will start with an alpha release later this week, followed by three more alpha releases in roughly 4-week intervals. Beta testing will commence in the middle of January, with four beta releases coming out in weekly intervals. The release candidate of SUSE Linux 10.1 is scheduled for 16 February 2006. For more details please refer to this roadmap.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
New distribution additions|
New distributions on the waiting list
- ExTiX. ExTix is a Swedish variant of the KNOPPIX live CD.
- Tina KNOPPIX Live CD. TINA is an open source environment developed to accelerate the process of image analysis research. TINA provides functionality to assist in all areas of image analysis including handling of image, image feature and geometrical data, statistical and numerical analysis of data, GUI development, as well as transmission and containment of data. TINA also provides a range of high-level analysis techniques for both machine vision (3D object location, 2D object recognition, temporal-stereo depth estimation, etc) and medical image analysis (MR tissue segmentation, blood flow analysis, etc).
- SLAMPP Live CD. SLAMPP is a generic Linux distribution which can boot and run directly off a CD-ROM and can also be installed onto a hard disk. It is designed to be used as an instant home server. Just like any other Linux live CD, SLAMPP gives a Linux newbie a chance to test Linux without messing up the user's existing system. What makes SLAMPP different is the fact that it comes with pre-configured tools and applications that can turn a personal computer into a home server.
DistroWatch database summary
That's all for this week. We hope you've enjoyed this issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• 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 18.104.22.168, 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
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|Random Distribution |
Quirky, a sister project of Puppy Linux, was a Linux distribution built with a custom tool called Woof. The underlying infrastructure, such as boot-up and shut-down scripts, setup tools, hardware detection, desktop management, user interface, speed and general ease-of-use are common across all distributions built with Woof, but a specific build will have a different package selection and further customisation (even totally different binary packages). Quirky was developed by the founder of Puppy Linux and Woof to push the envelope a bit further, to explore some new ideas in the underlying infrastructure -- some of which may be radical or odd, hence the name Quirky.