| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 127, 21 November 2005
Welcome to this year's 47th issue of DistroWatch Weekly. There is no rest for the developers of most distributions - following new development releases of SUSE and Ubuntu last week, the first test release of Fedora Core 5 is also expected shortly. What do you think of the new Mandriva 2006 and how does it compare with other KDE-centric distributions, such as Kubuntu 5.10? A long-time Mandriva user offers his views. Also in this issue: a new release of TheOpenCD, a quick look at RR4 Linux and an observation about the changing attitude of Microsoft towards Linux. Last but not least, the GNU Image Manipulation Program, affectionately known as GIMP, is exactly 10 years old today. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in ogg (4.90MB) or mp3 (5.33MB) format (courtesy of Shawn Milo).
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
Miscellaneous news: Fedora 5, Mandriva vs Kubuntu, TheOpenCD 3.1, ten years of GIMP
While most of us are enjoying one of the recently released stable Linux distributions, there is no rest for most of the distribution developers. Last week brought us two new development releases: the third alpha of SUSE Linux 10.1 and the first snapshot of Ubuntu Linux 6.04. In the meantime, the first test of Fedora Core 5 is also expected shortly - already delayed by two weeks and now re-scheduled for today (Monday), there is still no sign of any new test directory on the Fedora download servers. Normally, the ISO images of any new Fedora release are distributed to mirrors several days prior to the official announcement, but this has yet to happen. (Update: FC5 test1 is now expected on Wednesday.) While you are waiting, you might find it interesting to learn about the design process that eventually led to a new Fedora logo.
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A long-time Mandriva user has posted an interesting message explaining the reasons for his decision to leave Mandriva for Kubuntu. Among his gripes were disappointment with the services offered by the Mandriva Club, frequently corrupt Mandriva repositories, and the half-broken development snapshot of X.Org 6.9 in Mandriva 2006. Although the author still believes that Mandriva Linux is not a bad distribution, after spending some time experimenting with Kubuntu, he concluded that the Debian-based distribution matched his needs better.
What are your thoughts? If you are a Mandriva user, have you considered moving on to greener pastures? Or do you intend to be a loyal Mandriva fan, no matter what? If you've tried both Mandriva 2006 and Kubuntu 5.10, what are your impressions? Let's be honest about it: if you want to take full advantage of Mandriva Linux you do have to join the Club - otherwise you won't get the latest software and non-free packages, and you'll be made to wait several weeks for the ISO images. But joining the Club is not cheap, especially when considering that there are other distributions, real alternatives that do not cost an arm and a leg, while offering pretty much the same functionality as the one that costs €120 per year. Any opinions? Please discuss below.
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TheOpenCD 3.1 has been released: "TheOpenCD team is pleased to announce the release of TheOpenCD 3.1. Core applications including OpenOffice, Firefox and Gaim have been upgraded to major new versions. The popular game Battle for Wesnoth has reached 1.0 and a range of familiar programs appear in minor version updates. The Live CD component is now based on Ubuntu 5.10 (the Breezy Badger). Blender has returned in version 2.37a and the MoinMoin Desktop Edition has been added." TheOpenCD is a project that provides a collection of the best open source applications for Windows. Version 3.1 is a bootable CD with a complete live edition of Ubuntu Linux 5.10 and the usual range of great free applications for those of you who still haven't been able to switch to Linux. Download from here.
The Open CD 3.1 - a combination of the Ubuntu live CD and a great collection of Free Software for Windows
(full image size: 819kB)
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Speaking about Windows, Microsoft has released an interesting video - a presentation by Bill Hilf, the Director of Platform Technology Strategy at Microsoft Corporation. This is probably the first reasonably objective comparison between Linux and Microsoft products coming out of the Redmond-based software company; it hasn't been long since the top Microsoft executives labelled Linux with tags like "virus", "cancer", "pacman", and other unflattering names. Times have changed and, as Bill Hilf tells us, Microsoft is now maintaining a farm of about 400 Linux servers running in the region of 50 - 60 (!) different Linux distributions. They even subscribe to Red Hat Enterprise Linux support service and test various aspects of interoperability between the two operating systems.
Although the speaker does present the usual Redmond line about the total cost of ownership and maintains that Microsoft has a better security record than Red Hat Enterprise Linux (based on "independent" studies), one does get a feeling that Microsoft no longer sees Linux as just an inferior operating system that some kids hack on in their spare bedrooms. On the contrary, it is trying to learn from the success Linux has enjoyed among many developers and incorporate certain ideas into their own products. There is an interesting passage towards the end where the speaker unveils a new Microsoft command line application - complete with UNIX-like commands, command piping, and a few unusual tricks.
If you have an hour to spare or if you are interested to see the change in Microsoft's perception of Linux, here is the direct link to the video (you will need a pre-configured MPlayer browser plugin with support for Windows media format to be able to view it).
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The GNU Image Manipulation Program, affectionately referred to as The GIMP by many, is exactly 10 years old today. Considered to be the first real killer application for Linux and UNIX, GIMP has evolved into the most widely used open source graphics manipulation program, covered by hundreds of tutorials on the Internet as well as several printed books. The software was first announced by Peter Mattis on 21 November 1995: "The GIMP: the General Image Manipulation Program. The GIMP is designed to provide an intuitive graphical interface to a variety of image editing operations." You can find some interesting information together with some screenshots from the early days of GIMP in this weblog.
Happy birthday, GIMP, and many happy returns!
|Featured distribution of the week: RR4 Linux
Gentoo Linux, with its ground-up approach towards building a Linux operating system, should be an excellent base for creating new distributions and live CDs. Disappointingly, we haven't seen many of those and the number of Gentoo-based distributions certainly trails behind those based on Debian, Fedora or Slackware. But things might be changing and it is possible that we will soon start seeing more projects that choose Gentoo as their starting point. One of these new distributions is an excellent live DVD called RR4 Linux, developed by Fabio Erculiani.
The biggest advantage of RR4 Linux over, say, the Knoppix live DVD is that the former comes with much more up-to-date applications. The latest version of RR4 Linux has kernel 2.6.14, X.Org 7.0 from CVS, KDE 3.4.3, GNOME 2.12.1, and Firefox 1.5rc, just to give an indication about how cutting edge (even bleeding edge) the distribution is. The major disadvantage of the live DVD is that, despite its size, it lacks both Emacs and Vim. Besides KDE and GNOME, the XFce and Fluxbox window managers are also available.
But perhaps the best reason for downloading RR4 Linux is to avail oneself of what is possibly the easiest way to install Gentoo Linux on a hard disk. Using the official Gentoo Installer (currently in beta), users have the option to copy the content of the live DVD to their hard disk from within the comfort of a graphical installer (see screenshot below). Once done, RR4 will become standard Gentoo, with all the conveniences and features of the popular source-based distribution, including the Portage package manager.
Next time you need to install Gentoo Linux, but don't feel like going through the tedious installation process from "stages", give RR4 a try. And even if you don't intend to switch to Gentoo, RR4 Linux is worth the download - it makes for a very nice live DVD with a good set of highly up-to-date applications.
RR4 Linux - a cutting edge Linux live CD and an easy way of installing Gentoo Linux on a hard disk
(full image size: 918kB)
|Released Last Week
Kalango Linux 3.2
Kalango Linux is a nicely designed Brazilian distribution based on Debian and Kurumin. After some seven months in development, version 3.2 was announced yesterday. The new release includes Linux kernel 2.6.11, OpenOffice.org 2.0, KDE 3.4.3, GNOME 2.10, as well as a number of popular applications, such as the amaroK media player, K3b CD/DVD burning utility, Azureus BitTorrent client, GIMP graphics manipulation software, Inkscape vector drawing application, Firefox web browser and Thunderbird email client. Read the full release announcement on the distribution's home page for further information and join the discussion at BR-linux.org (both links in Portuguese).
SLAMPP is a Slackware-based Linux live CD designed primarily as a pre-configured home server, although it also includes a minimal set of desktop-oriented applications for office and multimedia use. The project's second stable version has been released: "I proudly announce the newest version of SLAMPP. This version contains some new applications, features and hopefully will fix the known bugs reported so far to me. Furthermore, I consider this release as a maintenance release over the previous one, so let's hope all things will run smoothly." Find more information about the project in the release announcement and on the distribution's home page.
Gentoo Linux 2005.1-r1
The Gentoo release team has announced the availability of Gentoo Linux 2005.1-r1, a bug-fix update to the current stable release: "The Gentoo Release Engineering team is proud to announce Gentoo Linux 2005.1-r1! The 2005.1-r1 release is simply a media refresh over the 2005.1 release. What this means is that it used the same base snapshot, and has very few changes. It is essentially nothing more than a bug-fix release. ... There is also a new version of the x86 Gentoo Linux Installer LiveCD located under /experimental. This version is based off the 2005.1 snapshot, but has some bug fixes in it, along with version 0.2 of the Gentoo Linux Installer." Read the complete release announcement for further details.
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Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Ubuntu Linux 6.04
The Ubuntu Linux project has published a preliminary roadmap leading to the release of version 6.04, code name "Dapper Drake". Following a series of development snapshots called "Flight" ("Flight" is to "Dapper Drake" what "Colony" was to "Breezy Badger"), the first beta release is scheduled for 23 March 2006. This will be followed by a release candidate on 13 April and the final release a week later. Your can find more information on the Dapper Release Process and Dapper Release Schedule pages.
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
DistroWatch in Linux Format|
Those of you who subscribe to Linux Format might have noticed a new "Distrowatch" section in the latest (Christmas 2005) issue of the magazine. Written by yours truly, this is to become a regular feature of Linux Format, covering the latest news from the Linux distribution world, analysing major new releases, and presenting interesting new projects. The current issue starts with a brief history of Linux distributions before checking out Slackware 10.2 and introducing the Tao Linux live CD.
While on this topic, I hope you won't mind a little plug. I have been a subscriber of Linux Format ever since I switched to Linux some 5 years ago and I still consider it the best English language Linux magazine available today. I feel honoured to able to contribute to this most outstanding publication. With a great mix of articles, reviews, interviews, and step-by-step tutorials on all aspects of open source software, Linux Format has contributed a great deal towards the wide acceptance of Linux that we are seeing today.
Next time you are at your news agent, do yourself a favour and pick up a copy. Or even better, subscribe. It will be money well spent.
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New distribution additions
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New on the waiting list
- CAE Linux. CAE Linux is a live DVD distribution based on PClinuxOS. Dedicated to Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) and more specifically to finite element simulation, CAE Linux includes the new 3D pre- / post-processor SALOME and the powerful finite element solver Code-Aster. It also offers several scientific tools like GNU Octave and Scilab, and a full range of development tools and compilers.
- DSS Live. DSS (Debased Scripts Set) project is dedicated to providing a "System Development Environment" to create a Debian-based live Linux system.
- ZeroShell. Zeroshell is a Linux live CD distribution aimed at providing all main network services for a Local Area Network.
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DistroWatch database summary
And with this we'll say good-bye until next Monday. We hope you've enjoyed this issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
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|Random Distribution |
SprezzOS was a Debian-based Linux distribution for people who enjoy experimentation, change and a deep understanding of their tools. SprezzOS was perfectly suitable as a first Linux or a quick VM install or the day-to-day workstation of a thirty-something hacker who just wants things to work, but from all of them it will require a willingness to reason out the choices they make, and perhaps recover from bad -- or catastrophic -- decisions.