| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 135, 23 January 2006
Welcome to this year's fourth issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The developers of Fedora, SUSE and Ubuntu have moved one step closer to reach their goals during the past week when new test builds were announced by the three projects. SUSE's development process will now accelerate dramatically, while Red Hat has hinted on returning to a 6-month release cycle after Fedora 5. Also in this issue: the parent company of Turbolinux under investigation, features of SecureAPT, PCLinuxOS unveils a new web site, and AGNULA loses funding. Finally, we interview Alan Baghumian, the developer of Parsix GNU/Linux and one of the most enthusiastic and energetic Linux supporters in the Middle East. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in ogg (6.91MB) or mp3 (8.33MB) format (courtesy of Shawn Milo).
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
Miscellaneous news: SUSE 10.1 beta, Fedora's release cycle, trouble at Turbolinux, SecureAPT, PCLinuxOS.com, AGNULA loses funding
The first beta of the upcoming SUSE Linux 10.1 was released last week. As was the case with openSUSE's first official release, the testing will now enter an intensive development phase where new beta releases will be produced weekly. Four weeks later, the only release candidate will conclude the development process. Once the new and shiny SUSE Linux 10.1 boxes are ready for shipment, the new version will be released to mirrors and formally announced, probably around the middle of March. This means that we are unlikely to see many huge feature enhancements at this stage and the final product will differ only slightly from what we have seen in the first beta. Based on preliminary testing, SUSE 10.1 is likely to be an even better and more polished product than the previous version, so do join in the beta testing and bug reporting to ensure that the final product is as bug-free as humanly possible.
* * * * *
It would seem that Fedora is switching back to a 6-month release cycle. Commenting on last week's Fedora review (subscribers only until Thursday) at LWN.net, Red Hat's Jeremy Katz explained: "Note that the 9-month release cycle for Fedora Core 5 is a one time thing so that some of the big infrastructural changes that have landed could happen. For Fedora Core 6, we should be going back to the more regular 6-ish months." This is good news for many power users and developers who might have felt that the extended gap between Fedora releases would make them miss out on testing new applications and features and fall behind other popular distributions that maintain a 6-month release cycle, such as SUSE and Ubuntu.
* * * * *
Some of you might have read media reports about investigation into the financial affairs of Livedoor, a Japanese Internet conglomerate. The unravelling saga, complete with early morning police raids and a suicide of one its top executives, is of interest to many Linux users in Japan. The reason is that Livedoor controls both Turbolinux and the Japanese edition of Linspire, although, clearly, neither of these two holdings is significant enough for the company whose market value is close to US$8 billion. Nevertheless, Turbolinux, which recently released version 11 of its popular distribution and has claimed profitability in recent years, was quick to issue a statement (in Japanese), explaining the situation and calming down its customers.
Turbolinux is one of the companies affected by the ongoing investigation into Livedoor's financial affairs
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SecureAPT, a name commonly used by many Debian developers and users when talking about the APT 0.6.x package management tool, is an important application that should ensure better acceptance of Debian and Debian-based distributions in the enterprise. Although many users of Debian's development branches, Ubuntu and other Debian derivatives have had a chance to enjoy some of the security aspects of the enhanced APT, some might have not taken the time to learn about the new features. If this is your case, take a look at this article on the Debian Wiki pages. It is a nice write-up that explains the concepts of signatures, keys, yearly archive updates and other under-the-hood features of the new APT.
* * * * *
The story of Ubuntu, a Linux-based operating system sponsored by a wealthy space tourist and philanthropist, has started to attract attention of the mainstream media. The latest publication to devote pages to Mark Shuttleworth's selfless effort is Financial Times: "Instead of the largely blue world of Windows XP, Ubuntu is predominantly brown. Some quirky features hint at its African origin, such as the little burst of drumming that rings out when an application opens. Each new version of Ubuntu is known not just by the usual number, but an animal codename, such as Warty Warthog or Breezy Badger." And what does the well-known business newspaper think of Linux and Ubuntu? "For some, Mr Shuttleworth just seems to be having too much fun to be taken seriously. But Linux has surprised many people before - there is nothing a geek finds more fun than turning a whole industry on its head." The article, entitled Entrepreneur who wants to give it all away, does not tell us anything new, but it is well-written and worth reading, especially if you are an Ubuntu fan.
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PCLinuxOS, a user-friendly distribution that has found many followers among the DistroWatch readers, has unveiled a new web site and forum: "Texstar and The Ripper Gang are proud to announce the official website for PCLinuxOS. We now have a home of our own thanks to the support from donations received last month. Thank you for supporting our community based distribution! In addition to the new website, we also have new forum software which should be easier to navigate. We are still in the process of getting everything set up so please pardon our mess as we finalize the website." Find out more on PCLinuxOS.com and join the distribution's new user forum!"
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Finally, not so happy news from the developers of AGNULA/Demudi, a Debian-based specialist distribution designed for musicians. The project, after being financed by the European Union and, in later years, by Italy's Firenze Tecnologia, has lost all funding: "Firenze Tecnologia, an Italian agency that has financially sustained the AGNULA project since April 2003, will not fund it any more, because of the need to re-allocate financial resources on other projects. AGNULA is now, to all practical extents and until further notice, a fully volunteer-based project." Despite the bad news, the developers insist that the project is not dead and have asked volunteers to join in. More information in the announcement and also in this mailing list post.
|Interview: Alan Baghumian, Parsix GNU/Linux
Interview with Alan Baghumian, Parsix GNU/Linux
Alan Baghumian is one of the most prominent Linux developers and enthusiastic supporters of free software in his native Iran. Besides maintaining a number of Linux web sites, he has also helped his brother Armen to developed xFarDic (a multi-language dictionary), wrote two Linux books in Persian ("Red Hat 9 Training" and "Setting Up and Running GNU/Linux Servers") and, more recently, has been working on Parsix, a KANOTIX-based Linux distribution with support for Persian (the dominant language of Iran, also referred to as "Farsi" or "Parsi"). He has also contributed Persian translation for parts of DistroWatch.com. Alan is a living proof that enthusiasm is often all that is needed to contribute greatly towards the development and spread of Free Software, while also helping to make computers more accessible to thousands of his fellow countrymen. In this interview Alan talks about his current projects, Linux usage in Iran, and other interesting topics.
DW: Alan, thank you very much for your time. First, would you mind telling our readers about yourself? How old are you? Where do you live? What do you do for living?
You're most welcome. First I want to thank you very much for giving me this opportunity. I'm 27 years old, live in a small apartment in Tehran with my wife, and work as a technical manager of TalareWeb Ltd
, an open source web-based software development company in Iran.
DW: When did you start using Linux and why?
AB: My first encounter with Linux was six years ago. I'd read about it and decided to have a try; as I remember, it was Red Hat 7.1. Since 2001, I have been using Linux as my only operating system at home. I started with Red Hat 8, then switched to SUSE 8.1 and 8.2, Libranet, Debian, and now Parsix ;-)
As far as our company is concerned, we were tired of the problems with MS Windows and due to technical advantages of GNU/Linux, especially in our field of work, we made a decision in June 2002 to use it as the primary operating system in the office. We started with Red Hat 9, although these days all our workstations and servers run Debian and Parsix. We have kept one Windows machine - just to test web pages in Internet Explorer.
For me, the main reason for using GNU/Linux is its spirit of freedom.
DW: Please tell us about the projects you are currently working on. How did they start and what do you hope to accomplish?
I have one main goal: to help people learn about GNU/Linux and FLOSS and to correct any misconceptions about software freedom and GNU in Iran. All of my projects have been started to help me achieve this goal.
I'm currently working on the following projects:
- TECHNOTUX, the most popular web site dedicated to GNU/Linux and FLOSS in Iran. This web site was established in August 2003 and has more than 3,000 members, with 2,000 - 4,000 daily visits. We have three main sections there: news, technical and training articles, and community support forums. TECHNOTUX was my first project.
- xFarDic Multilingual Dictionary. I and my brother Armen started to work on this in April 2004, mainly due to lack of any free and open source dictionary software for Persian-speaking users. Now I think that xFarDic is one of the most complete and feature-rich multilingual dictionaries in the FLOSS world, but it still needs to get more contribution from the community to become an even better tool. We'd appreciate any help on this project.
- IranTux, an electronic e-zine about GNU/Linux and FLOSS for Persian-speaking users. We maintain a mailing list to develop its content and produce a new issue every month - in downloadable PDF formats.
- Parsix GNU/Linux, a desktop-oriented distribution, not only for Persian-speaking people. As you might now, the Shabdix project (editor's note: another Linux distribution made in Iran, based on Knoppix) has been abandoned, so I decided to develop a new, pre-configured distribution with Persian language support and with frequent updates and other improvements. If our market grows, it is possible that we will sell commercial support in the future, but Parsix itself will remain free of charge. We already have a small community of Persian users of Parsix GNU/Linux, but would like to extend it. We appreciate any comments, suggestions, testing, bug report, documentation, etc.
- Books! I try to write one useful book every two years.
DW: Parsix has been in development for over a year. How does it differ from KANOTIX and what are its main features? Who is the target market?
Parsix and KANOTIX are very similar. Both of them are based on Debian "sid" and Parsix GNU/Linux uses KANOTIX's configuration scripts and kernel in live mode. Our aim is to provide a simple, stable, clean and up-to-date desktop operating system for "newbie" users. The main differences are:
- KANOTIX is a KDE-centric distribution, while Parsix uses GNOME.
- They use different installation systems. KANOTIX's installation system is a QT-based application, while Parsix uses a classic installation system written in Bash.
- A completely different package selection.
- Documentation. We try to provide documentation for new users. Currently, the starter and installation guides have been completed and the English edition of the starter guide will be ready soon. We are planning to add much more Persian and English documentation in the future.
- Parsix GNU/Linux uses Debian's standard kernels as the default kernel after hard disk installation. It is optimised for i686 or K7, depending on system's CPU.
- Parsix GNU/Linux is optimised to be used on the i686 processors family. This gives better performance for desktop usage.
- Pre-configured applications for Persian language, such as text input, OpenOffice.org, UTF-8 locale, etc.
- KANOTIX has editions for 32-bit and 64-bit processors. Currently, Parsix offers a 32-bit edition only.
- We try to minimise the use non-free software in Parsix.
Parsix GNU/Linux - a KANOTIX-based distribution and live CD with GNOME and with input support for Persian
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DW: The latest version of Parsix boots into GNOME, with its interface entirely in English. Are there any plans to offer a Persian option? Or is Persian support going to be limited to text input, dictionary and other similar utilities?
The Persian translation of GNOME 2.12 is ready and we are planning to offer a preconfigured Persian UI, with a "lang=fa" boot option, in our next major release. At the moment, it is also possible to boot with "lang=fa", or to login after selecting Persian in GDM, but the user interface is not configured completely and should be tweaked by user. Here is a screenshot
of what we are trying to achieve.
DW: How popular is Linux in Iran? Are you aware of any businesses, schools or government organisations that have switched to Linux on their desktops or servers? If so, what are their experiences?
AB: Linux has become much more popular in the last two years, but in terms of deployment it still can't compare with Windows. Unfortunately, there is no copyright law in Iran, so everybody can buy cheap copies of popular software. When a user buys a PC, it often comes with more than $5,000 worth of pre-installed software applications for free (including Windows, MS Office, AutoCad, Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, 3DMax and more). As such, Iran's IT industry has become virtually dependent on Microsoft and other closed source technologies. People start learning computers with Windows and other closed source software and most of them don't even know that other operating systems exist. This is not their fault, this is our government's fault, I think.
After the Council of Informatics launched a project called National OS, several governmental organisations started migrating to Linux, especially on the server side. Some of these companies used to deploy Novell NetWare or SCO UNIX servers, but have decided to replace them with Linux. GNU/Linux is already used in some governmental and private banking institutions as financial servers.
One of the most popular ways to use GNU/Linux are cache servers at Internet Service Providers. Otherwise, there is little migration to Linux desktops; the exceptions are certain foreign companies (e.g. SHELL) that do use it on their desktops - due to US export restrictions on certain goods and services to Iran.
There are a few companies that have been trying to develop Linux-related businesses. One of them is DPI IRAN. It is a main provider of mainframe-based solutions, as well as a Novell NetWare and SCO UNIX supporter for governmental organisations and banks. Recently, they have started developing their own commercial Linux distribution based on Linux From Scratch.
DW: Which would you say are the most popular Linux distributions among Linux users in your country?
AB: Fedora, Red Hat and SUSE, but Ubuntu and Debian are now also enjoying increasing popularity. Fedora and Red Hat are very easy to find, but obtaining other distributions is hard and often expensive. High speed Internet solutions are very expensive in Iran. Starting in February 2003, TECHNOTUX launched a nationwide service to provide cheap CDs and DVDs of different Linux distributions for enthusiastic users.
DW: Are there any Linux Users Group in Iran? Are you a member of any? If so, can you give us an idea how often you meet, what sort of topics you normally discuss and what LUGs do to promote Linux and open source software among the general population?
. We try to present GNU/Linux, FLOSS and the concepts of software freedom to universities and schools. The Tehran LUG
, a branch of LUGIR, has introduced weekly training sessions for the public.
DW: What do you think are the main challenges for a wider adoption of Free Software in Iran and the Middle East? How far is the ability to accept right-to-left (RTL) text input in various applications? Have these problems been mostly solved or are they still an issue?
AB: RTL support in applications is much better than 3 - 4 years ago. As far as I know, there are no longer any RTL problems in any of the key applications, but there are some small bugs in certain packages that should be solved. Many of these bugs have been reported to upstream developers. Our main issue right now is the lack of Iranian and Arabic date system support in some environments and libraries, but this can be hard to implement.
DW: Alan, thank you very much and good luck with your work!
|Released Last Week
T2, a source-based distribution originally forked from ROCK Linux, has been updated to version 2.1.1: "The T2 development team is proud to present 'Lychee Punch', the first maintenance release (2.1.1) for the stable 2.1 branch. This release includes bug fixes, security fixes, updates and even some improvement to the SDE. Most notable are: Kaffe 1.1.6, KDE 3.4.3, XFce 188.8.131.52, WINE 0.9.1, Mono 1.1.10, Eclipse 3.1.1, Xpdf 3.01pl1, KOffice 1.4.2, Samba 3.0.21a, OpenOffice.org 184.108.40.206, MPlayer 1.0pre7try2...." Here is the full release announcement.
Zenwalk Linux 2.1 (Core)
The developers of Zenwalk Linux have released the "core" of the upcoming Zenwalk 2.2: "Zenwalk core 2.1 is released! The new version of Zenwalk core includes the following improvements: based on Linux kernel version 220.127.116.11 with Reiser4 support; SGI XFS support was added; Pcmciautils replaces Pcmcia-cs; video detection tool 'videoconfig' was improved and should auto-detect nearly 100% of video card drivers and monitor frequencies; network configuration tool 'networkconfig' now handles wireless settings; glibc is upgraded to version 2.3.6, GCC to version 3.4.5; Netpkg now has full dependency support...." Read the rest of the release announcement for further information.
Parsix GNU/Linux 0.75
A new version of Parsix GNU/Linux, an Iranian distribution based on Debian and KANOTIX, has been released: "Finally, after two months of hard work, Parsix GNU/Linux 0.75 is ready! This version is the most complete and stable release of Parsix GNU/Linux ever. Many many improvements have been made since 0.70, such as new look and feel, highly improved installation system with existing installation update feature, automatic USB mass storage management, GNOME 2.12.2 desktop environment, Kernel 18.104.22.168 optimized for i686 and k7, i686-optimized libc6 with NPTL support, X.Org 6.9, new live and GRUB splash screens, Parsix documentation, many updated packages...." See the release announcement for more details.
The developers of VLOS (formerly Vidalinux Desktop OS) have released an updated version of their user-friendly distribution based on Gentoo Linux: "VLOS 1.2.1 is an updated version of VLOS 1.2, including a lot of changes: new Anaconda version updated to FC5 Test1 with X.Org 7.0, LVM2 and RAID partition support, GCC 4.0.1, glibc 2.3.5, GNOME 2.12.1, faster installation, enhanced auto-mounting of external devices in GNOME, WiFi radar now included, and much more. For the moment, AMD64 and i686 are available, but PPC will be available soon too. Go grab the full version edition in our store or the download edition from the download section." Read the release announcement and changelog for further details.
VectorLinux 5.1 SOHO
The SOHO edition of VectorLinux 5.1 has been released: "The Vector development team is proud to announce the final release of our SOHO 5.1 product. This version of Vector is intended for the small office / home office user with a complete desktop experience featuring the KDE 3.4.2 desktop and XFce 4 as a light alternative. With Slackware at the core, this release features the 2.6.13 kernel, OpenOffice.org 2.0, Firefox 1.5, Scribus, the GIMP, MPlayer, multimedia plugins, printer and scanner support and everything a complete desktop or work station should have. We feature unique tools like the 'vasm' administrative menu, vl-hot (for auto-mounting external hard drives, digital cameras and pendrives), vxconfig for almost 100% GUI X configuration and a bootsplash screen never seen before." Read the full release announcement for all the glory details.
GEOLivre Linux 5.0
GEOLivre Linux is a Kurumin and Debian-based Brazilian distribution with a collection of specialist software for geographical work. Version 5.0 was released on Saturday. Among the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software included in the distribution are: UMN MapServer, PostGIS, Open 3D GIS, Generic Mapping Tools (GMT), GRASS (geospatial data management and analysis), uDig (a geospacial application and platform), JUMP Unified Mapping Platform, Terraview, Spring (a remote sensing image processing system), Quantum GIS, Thuban (a multiplatform geographic data viewer), and QCad. A more detailed description of these software packages can be found in the release announcement (in Portuguese).
GEOLivre Linux - a Kurumin-based distribution with a collection of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software.
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grml 0.6 and 0.2-small
grml grml is a bootable CD based on Knoppix and Debian with a collection of GNU/Linux software especially for users of texttools and system administrators. New versions of the distribution's two editions -- grml 0.6 (code name "Winterschlafpn") and grml 0.2-small (code name "Cory") -- were released over the weekend, bringing 99 new packages and many new features to the table. More details about the new packages and features are available in the two release announcements (grml 0.6 and grml 0.2-small), as well as on the project's web site.
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Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Linux Format Issue 76|
The February 2006 issue of Linux Format should now be available from your news agent or book store. As has become tradition recently, DistroWatch is represented by a two-page section, featuring the recent development releases of PCLinuxOS and SimplyMEPIS, as well as the final release of Damn Small Linux 2.0 and the first alpha of the new Nexenta, a hybrid distribution combining the OpenSolaris kernel with Debian utilities and packages. The above articles are complemented by a brief round-up of the current development status of Fedora, SUSE and Ubuntu, while an opinion piece discusses the emergence of new, user-friendly operating systems based on the BSD and OpenSolaris kernels.
Elsewhere in the issue, you can find full two-page reviews of Quake 4 and Eternal Lands, followed by single-page reviews of KDE 3.5, Blender 2.4 and Cedega 5.0.1. The "Roundup" section is devoted to spreadsheets, with only one of them emerging as a clear winner, while the latest KSpread gets the lowest rating I've ever seen in Linux Format - 1 out of 10. Featured articles include a Q and A style story on GPL 3, an excellent interview with Jeremy Allison from the Samba project, and several pages of tips and trick to make your hardware work better under Linux. The tutorials sections covers OpenOffice.org Impress, Fuse virtual file systems, apt-get on Ubuntu, GIMP 3D package design, Inkscape path editing skills, Emacs for programmers, PHP transactions and triggers, and creating man pages with groff. Finally, if you wish to build your own multimedia live CD, a step-by-step tutorial of creating one from dyne:bolic should help you do just that.
As usual, a feature-packed issue with varied topics to keep all Linux users and enthusiasts busy for a month. Don't miss it!
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New distribution additions
- 2X ThinClientOS. 2X ThinClientOS is a Debian-based GNU/Linux distribution with a small footprint, optimised for remote desktop computing. It features auto-detection capabilities similar to Knoppix. It boots directly to a login manager which, when coupled with the ThinClientServer, redirects users to a remote RDP/ICA/NX desktop. It features kernel 2.4 with Unionfs, XFree86 4.3, rdesktop and nxrun. The distribution can be booted via PXE, CD or installed to a hard disk or flash disk. Updates to the distribution are managed through the ThinClientServer web interface. 2X ThinClientOS requires 2X ThinClientServer to boot up; ThinClientServer is a commercial product, though it is free for up to 5 thin clients.
- Anonym.OS LiveCD. Anonym.OS LiveCD is a bootable live CD based on OpenBSD that provides a hardened operating environment whereby all ingress traffic is denied and all egress traffic is automatically and transparently encrypted and/or anonymised.
* * * * *
New distributions added to the waiting list
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DistroWatch database summary
That's all for today. The next issue of DistroWatch Weekly will be published on Monday, 30 January 2006. See you then :-)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • cant wait suse 10.1 (by edo hikmahtiar on 2006-01-23 11:39:40 GMT from Indonesia) |
suse 10.1 is great expectation
2 • Thank you (by Soloact on 2006-01-23 13:12:23 GMT from United States)
Thank you for another great Distrowatch Weekly. I'm currently using various Distros, including PCLinuxOS, which works quite well on an older Laptop. I'm going to try VideoLinux. Also, a late congratulations of the inclusion of your articles in Linux Format Magazine. A great contribution to a great magazine. Cheers!
3 • Fedora 6-month. (by Kensai on 2006-01-23 14:05:44 GMT from Puerto Rico)
I found interesting Fedora switching to 6 month release cycle as suse and ubuntu has for many time now. I'm feeling the competition there. I'm a FreeBSD guy myself but if I were to use a Linux distro which I'm thinking of installing on my 2nd HDD it would be SuSE Linux 10.1 just because it is polished and well done. I might buy SuSE Linux 10.1 boxed version, to give back to Novell for so meny great things and opensourcing XGL and AppArmor, great apps.
4 • Parsix GNU/Linux (by Michael Valentine on 2006-01-23 14:09:19 GMT from United States)
Good to see how Linux is spreading worldwide. The Technotux website looks interesting and informative, similar to Distrowatch. Would be nice to see it in other languages as well. Good Job as always on Distrowatch. :)
5 • Nice interview (by Marc on 2006-01-23 14:15:43 GMT from Canada)
Thank you for the interesing interview with Alan from Parsix.
Nice to know that free software ideology is something that
can bind this blue sphere as one.
Never though they have to deal with occident copyright
software. Maybe its a M$ policy to invade these contries
for free before Linux does.
Something like this has been done for weapons in the past
so it can be done also for anything.
6 • Fedora Releases (by Jesse on 2006-01-23 14:44:35 GMT from Canada)
I'm a bit concerned over the idea of Fedora going back to
a 6 month release cycle. Fedora is already a rapidly growing
and changing distro that seems to be trying, testing and
throwing new things into the mix at a rapid rate. Picking
up the pace may, I think, scare some of us off who want
a workstation that...well, just works.
Another I noticed is the next Fedora test release comes out
the day before Valentine's Day. I hope some hard core testers
don't forget to buy flowers between bug reports.
7 • Thanks (by txmail on 2006-01-23 14:48:29 GMT from United States)
Thanks for another great distrowatch weekly, it still makes my monday morning.
8 • VideoLinux (by william johnson on 2006-01-23 14:54:21 GMT from United States)
Great to see someone putting DVDdecrypter in a linux
distro. Now if only he would put DVDshrink in there,
this distro would be very successful.
9 • Linux is still missing critical apps (by Jim C on 2006-01-23 15:24:49 GMT from United States)
As always, a fine news and event summary!
I just had the opportunity to install Linux for my mother, but did not; the reason was I could find no actively supported greeting card program (I know of Photodex, but it isn't being actively developed for Linux).
I also tried to suggest Linux at work, but could find no 3D CAD programs, such as Inventor or SolidWorks. I emailed SolidWorks, and in their reply, they didn't even use the L(inux)-word, but just listed all the Windows versions they support.
Until these other critical, but not necessarily hugely mainstream, apps are represented, I really feel Linux will not be a viable alternative for general purpose computing, in the USA or elsewhere.
This is part of the reason I tend to agree with other people who call for fewer new distros, and more development on needed applications. I, for one, could live with a dozen less live-CD versions of Linux, and one easy-to-use Greeting Card program (and my Mom could impress her girlfriends with her computer-savvy)!
Best to everyone.
10 • Dreamlinux (by tdjokic at 2006-01-23 15:32:25 GMT from Yugoslavia)
In the meantime I downloaded and tried Dreamlinux, http://www.dreamlinux.com.br/ , from the last week DWW. Very nice distro, considering it is on its very beginning. Modern approach, nice look, (english language too?).
11 • Goobuntu (by Anonymous on 2006-01-23 15:48:39 GMT from United States)
The fxcentre article on Ubuntu is great.
Ladislav - Please add Goobuntu to the distro list! =p
12 • 9 (by Anonymous on 2006-01-23 16:08:54 GMT from United States)
Fewer distros does not produce more apps. The skill sets and the interests don't neatly transfer over that way. Sorry.
13 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-01-23 16:17:20 GMT from United States)
Thanks for adding a link directly to comments, Ladislav.
14 • Turbo and PC Linux (by nix_os_fan on 2006-01-23 16:37:51 GMT from Canada)
Any tragedy in or out of the Linux world is sad, my condolences to the people at Turbolinux. On a lighter note, thanks for the PCLinuxOS plug. Every GOOD distribution (Unix or Linux) should rise to the 'top' where they belong. I am now using PCLinuxOS 99% of the time on my machine. No, I do not any affilliation with PCLinuxOS, I am just a former M$ user that may have THE alternative. Kudos to Tex and crew! >:-]
15 • Parsix wallpaper... (by nix_os_fan on 2006-01-23 16:42:23 GMT from Canada)
That is a very nice photo. Nature in all her glory. >:-]
16 • CAD software (by BeowulfSchaeffer on 2006-01-23 16:44:02 GMT from United States)
www.webersys.com has Linux CAD/CAM software, just out. Also QCad from ribbonsoft.com.
17 • 9 (by Anonymous on 2006-01-23 16:45:37 GMT from United States)
By the way, creating a program just for creating greeting cards is absolutely NOT the UNIX way (but then many programs available for Unix systems don't practice the Unix philosophy.) http://www.faqs.org/docs/artu/ch01s06.html
The GIMP is quite sufficient for any greeting card project. You could even write extensions for it to automate that specific project and contribute them back to the community.
You can of course also use text mode programs along with troff or TeX to do surprisingly nice greeting cards, but that's probably too geeky.
I make that last suggestion only half in jest. But there are lots of user-friendly graphics and desktop publishing programs out there. Here's a recent article on using Scribus for it.
As for 3D CAD, you do know Unix was used for such things before Windows even existed, right? here's a commercial app, but I'm sure there are many more:
And lots more, free and non-free here:
Google is your friend!
18 • videolinux and post #8 (by Anonymous on 2006-01-23 17:16:10 GMT from United States)
Importing Quicktime 6 would be a big help too. I just wish my wife would quit using the Kodak to make DVD out of them and use the DV cam. My OS9 mac can't even edit them to make a avi. The free PC software is junk 15 min of quickime makes a 2gb avi and takes 6 hours. yuck
19 • RE---9 (by Anonymous on 2006-01-23 17:47:39 GMT from United States)
greeting card progams
other programs can be found here als
20 • 3d Cad on Linux (by Gern on 2006-01-23 17:54:43 GMT from Canada)
Also there are Linux versions of Pro/Engineer for Cad and Ansys for 3d finite element analysis.
21 • About release time, and features, hardware support, etc... (by Anonymous on 2006-01-23 19:57:35 GMT from United States)
1) About release cycle: I am not sure its matters so much!
What matters is for a new release of a distro, to get the benefits of the latest of "what matters which is stable" in the latest release, for example the latest KDE, the latest GCC, the latest kernel which matters, etc....
What do I means by "which matter"?
Pretty much new features which are a leapfrog from revious versions... and cannot easily be added by the regular update process.
For example a new interface of filesystem support in the kernel, requires some "expert work" in the distro.
What can be upgraded easily by installing the latest packages does not matter at the distro level: it can be added as soon a available!
So far I have found the following possible but unpractical to install by the simple mean of installing a package:
* Latest GUI like GNOME, KDE, possibly others (FCE etc...).
* Encrypted file systems.
* Possibly compressed FS.
* 3d closed source drivers for NVIDIA graphic cards.
* System level libraries.
* Java run time packages.
So typically I wait until the next distro release, to get the benefit from thoses.
For anything than I can upgrade/add just with the install of an RPM upgrade or reintall of a distro is not that relevant.
I am still quite unhappy with the difficulties to install NVIDIA 3D drivers, on Linux, and for my next graphic card/chip I may give a try to ATI.
I believe that open source users should mostly vote with their wallet, on the purchase of hardware: if it does not support open source, let's support the ones who support us!
Thanks for the attention.
22 • nvidia (by kl3rk on 2006-01-24 00:28:45 GMT from United States)
Nvidia has been supportive of our community for longer than ATI, and I have never had any issues with the driver installation. :) Perhaps you could explain any particular difficulty - someone might have some words of wisdom...
23 • Re:Linux is still missing critical apps (by FreeBSD_User on 2006-01-24 02:14:29 GMT from United States)
Hope this helps....
24 • PCBSD (by Mike on 2006-01-24 02:38:30 GMT from United States)
After your heading of released last week I noticed that you forgot to mention PCBSD which had a new Development Release RC2 other than that great articles and reviews. It has become a great distro, very nice and stable. My 2 cents.
25 • pupdate (by Anonymous on 2006-01-24 02:53:59 GMT from United States)
Hey,...puppy fans here's the latest info on your favorite mini-distro!
26 • Parsix (by Tim on 2006-01-24 06:35:12 GMT from United States)
Love that mountain pic on Parsix. Anyone have any idea whether I can get the graphic to use as my wallpaper (short of DLing, installing and then copying the file off. I'll do that just to get that pic if necessary.)
27 • RE: Parsix (by Anonymous on 2006-01-24 07:10:35 GMT from Iran, Islamic Republic of)
Wallpaper's link is here:
28 • linux (by mike on 2006-01-24 12:55:43 GMT from Australia)
I am new to linux and i am impressed so far,have tried many distros and really like opensuse 10 and mandriva,and puppy and damn small linux,i have one or two gripes and that is why dont the magazine people include in magazines more info about how to use and install new programs in linux distros,I found this to be hard to learn and i have had to surf alot of forums just to find out how to install a new program,i liked the way ubuntu installed new programs and that was easy but i didnt go much on ubuntu as a whole.also why doesnt any distro make it easy to use a webcam?you will find almost everyone on the internet uses a webcam these days.my favourite programs are mplayer,gxine,k3b,kde,firefox,kopete and gaim.
29 • 28 (by SFN on 2006-01-24 15:14:07 GMT from United States)
You might want to check out Tux Magazine. It's a free, online magazine aimed at the new Linux user. You can subscribe to it and have it delivered via email each month.
All the distros that claim to be easy and for new users should have a shortcut to Tux somewhere. Menus, desktop, whatever.
30 • little typo (by Anonymous on 2006-01-24 20:12:50 GMT from Germany)
The code name of grml 0.6 is "Winterschlapfn" and not "Winterschlafpn".
31 • apps (by chris on 2006-01-25 01:22:42 GMT from United States)
i have been using linux since 1999. have enjoyed the learning experience and have been using suse for about 3yrs. i appreciate the hard work suse/novell have put in. i do feel there are a lot of apps that are needed in order to make any linux distro an alternative to windows. Surprisingly, most have to do with media. Streaming audio, video webcam, DVD's...etc. I know there are codecs from Xine for some content, but a typical suse distro says that due to copyrights, it sells a crippled version of xine (and other programs). i say that all distros need to do whatever it takes to include these abilities as i can not convince any idiot window user to go pure linux without being able to enjoy their media..etc. IMHO
32 • Re: 27 • RE: Parsix by Anonymous (by nix_os_fan on 2006-01-25 02:19:05 GMT from Canada)
Tanks 4 da link! Looks great. >:-]
33 • re 32 re 27 (by Tim on 2006-01-25 05:15:55 GMT from United States)
Me too! found lots of other good wallpapers there, but that one from Parsix is great.
34 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-01-25 06:13:08 GMT from United States)
kde-look and gnome-look both have some great stuff. And the wallpapers naturally work on both.
35 • Nomination for Donations (by Leo on 2006-01-25 23:31:33 GMT from United States)
May I please make a proposal ?
Doxygen. How many OS projects have benefited from its wonderful automagical documentation generation ?
BTW: I was trying to find a link to the donations page to see if Doxygen has received a donation in the past but couldn't find it. Is there a link in the main page ? Would it be possible to add one ?
One more thing, THANK YOU so much for all your donations. For all of you who do not know: Ladislav (and family :-) has already donated several thousand dollars FROM HIS OWN POCKET in the last years. He could have cashed all this money, coming from proceedings of this web-page. Talk about someone I respect
36 • For those who didn't already (by Anonymous on 2006-01-26 01:06:20 GMT from United States)
have serious misgivings about MEPIS.
37 • VLOS VLOS VLOS (by RobNyc on 2006-01-26 02:20:06 GMT from United States)
WOW NEWVLOS is marvelous! pretty . fast . and such a good way to get on Gentoo. No affliations just a user. Please to be using VLOS/GENTOO
38 • Re: 36 • For those who didn't already (by nix_os_fan on 2006-01-26 14:09:15 GMT from Canada)
I had a feeling Warren was going in this direction. Every release after 3.3 was getting worse. Now I know why, if you start with a slightly broken distro, you are gunna want it fixed (which some people are sucker enough to pay). Boy, Warren must be real confident about his distro to go the M$ model route. It's not that great Warren. He is just another sleaze making money off of the backs of the Debian people. I am so glad somebody here suggested PCLinuxOS. PCLinuxOS may go down 'that road' someday too but until then, I have a nice working alternative to Micropoopy. >:-]
39 • Re 35 : Donations (by hnueisequale on 2006-01-26 15:01:22 GMT from Austria)
I always bookmark last months donations for getting a list of the financially supported projects so far, but a distinct link would be great.
Doxygen hasn't been selected so far for donations.
I would like to second that nomination, because is one of this tools you learn
to can't live without once you get used to it.
40 • Re: 39 :: Nomination for Donations::Doxygen (by Leo on 2006-01-26 16:54:42 GMT from United States)
Thanks Martin for the link. Very impressive, over 6 thousands dollars donated already ! What an effort !
41 • Re: 36 • For those who didn't already (by Anonymous on 2006-01-26 17:15:29 GMT from United States)
I'll keep a open mind but it is sad.
If it defaults to the debian pool on the free version I'll be happy and concider it a improvement. Every time I'd update it would break when I'd go to the Mepis site. I've quit using the updater for over a year and just download a new iso.
42 • Re: 36 • For those who didn't already (by Misty on 2006-01-26 19:07:47 GMT from United States)
People - just don't suppor them. At all. There are alternatives. I never liked Mepis myself, it was too prone to breaking; apparently, they thought this was an incentive to buy the retial version, but it had the opposite effect. Hell, standard Debian isn't that hard to install nowadays, and Genie OS makes a bit simpler. In addition, for a newbie-friendly Debian-based distro there's Xandros, which has maintained excellent compatibility with the standard Debian repositories.
And there also K/Ubuntu; some folks have comlained about media codecs and the like not being included with it, but check out this page: http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=114251
43 • Mepis (by Robzilla on 2006-01-26 19:17:32 GMT from United States)
As for the branded version of Tafusion Mepis which I am not sure but think it is basically a enterprise or Business model of Mepis. That being said there are a lot of Linux enterprise distros that charge a lot of money for there software and definetily have Lisence keys for use. I do not see this as a problem as you can get Mepis if you wanted for private use for free. So if a developer of Linux wants to charge for a business version of their software to be able to make a living and keep developing more Linux where is the problem with that. Everyone needs to eat, right? As for us users who are not using the software for business it is free unless you want to buy a copy for $10 or subscribe. Seems pretty reasoable to me. Supporting Linux means that you not only use it but you buy copies of the software from the developers to keep them developing.
As far as Mepis stealing fro the Debian team well I don't think they are. They give credit to Debian. Also Kannotix, Xandros, Linspire and many others are all guilty of the same thing. For us purists we may just want to use Slackware instead of VectorLinux or Debian instead of Mepis or Mandriva instead of PCLinux. I think that is also missing the point. The great thing about Linux is the freedom to be able to take someones or some teams great work and make it better in ways that team may never think to do. I think Mandriva is great but what PCLinux is doing with it is even better. Same could be said for others. Also each version gives something in pre-configured way that the main version would not.
As for Mepis in general I would agree that it is sliding downhill fast since 3.3. Not only that but it was not bug free and never was perfect in my opinion either. It is good but still needed some work in 3.3 and now it has seemed to fall apart. I was a fan of Mepis for a while and have since lost interest. Maybe they will get back on track. Maybe the new release will be great. Who knows.
One thing I would say to fans of Linux is this to develop a truly great product takes money. Yes there are many talented people who develop for free but in order to it full time and really make a steller product takes money. The model Mepis has is a good one. Get rich off of big business not the private users. For distros that are targeted only to home users then don't be greedy. Offer a full version for free. Then offer a full version with non-free plug ins and apps and drivers so that there is no configuration. That way I could spend $10-$30 for something that just works and offer some support as well. For those who can let them twek the free version to work and give free updates and access to the package repository for all users.
Just my 2 yen worth
44 • No subject (by M on 2006-01-26 19:53:30 GMT from United States)
I hope it's okay with you, Anonymous, but I submitted a Digg story about this. I think more people need to know what Mepis is up to, and maybe when the word spreads we'll see if more people dislike this as much as I do. http://digg.com/linux_unix/MEPIS_distributor_to_implement_serial_number_system
Despite Robzilla's comments, I think this is a very bad thing, imitating MS this way - did you read the article? The serial number is tied to the MAC address of your computer, so you have to fill out a form to update your copy of Mepis if you switch computers. In short, this is a form of product activation; you have to their permission to update if you change computers. So far as I know, Microsoft makes the only other OS with similar restrictions.
45 • Mepis (by Ariszló on 2006-01-26 20:15:03 GMT from Hungary)
No, it is not like Microsoft's way. I am naive and I believe what Ursini says about regulating bandwidth. Unlike with Microsoft, it is up to you to choose the free version or the enterprise version.
46 • 44 (by Anonymous on 2006-01-26 20:17:20 GMT from United States)
Oh it's more than ok. I found it on the Newsforge RSS and hadn't noticed it hadn't yet been dugg or slashdotted even though I follow those feeds as well.
47 • Re: 45 • Mepis (by Misty on 2006-01-26 22:03:26 GMT from United States)
For now, there's a free version. Maybe not in the future - if Mepis has a future. If you're going to have to endure product activation to update a rather buggy OS, you might as well use Windows XP. Sure, Mepis is cheaper, but there's more games and other software for Windows and you'd never need worry about whether there are drivers for any new hardware you want to buy. And Mepis isn't as popular as many that have a deluxe version that doesn't require product activation, such as Mandriva, SuSE, and so on.
So it's a pretty dumb move on their part and it looks like they're shooting themselves in the foot. The first step to successfully selling a Linux distro is to provide a high quality product - there are too many high-quality distros that are absolutely free. The second step is to emphasize why this is so much better than having to deal with Microsoft. So will people still buy it when they have to put up with product activation to update and also learn that so many people have been complaining about it's quality falling off too? Uh, well, there's Kubuntu, Mandriva, SuSE, GenieOs.......
I'm glad you didn't mind, Anonymous. I don't bother much with slashdot these days, so maybe you should submit this story to them.
48 • Re: Mepis - tempest in a teapot (by Andy Axnot on 2006-01-26 22:13:38 GMT from United States)
This isn't really product activation. It's just a rather stringent means of ensuring that only registered users get access to a closed repository for updates and fixes by a commercial, in-it-for-the-money *business* that distributes a boxed version of Mepis.
Don't have a cow, man! :-)
Of course, this may be just the start of something ugly, but let's hope not. Mepis is a nice distro, I'd like to see it stick around and prosper. And improve.
49 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-01-27 00:15:27 GMT from Canada)
"When a user buys a PC, it often comes with more than $5,000 worth of pre-installed software applications for free (including Windows, MS Office, AutoCad, Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, 3DMax and more). As such, Iran's IT industry has become virtually dependent on Microsoft and other closed source technologies. People start learning computers with Windows and other closed source software and most of them don't even know that other operating systems exist."
I would like to see Billy and Company go to Iran with their lawyers and throw some weight around! HAH! Like that would ever happen. Must be burning Billy's arse to know that there is free copies of Windohs out there. Heh heh. >:-]
50 • No subject (by Misty on 2006-01-27 02:27:36 GMT from United States)
"This isn't really product activation. It's just a rather stringent means of ensuring that only registered users get access to a closed repository for updates and fixes by a commercial, in-it-for-the-money *business* that distributes a boxed version of Mepis."
That's splitting hairs. Windows XP requires activation after a certain amount of time or it doesn't work (I think; no experience there myself) whereas Mepis retail requires activation in order to update or else you're stuck with an OS that will quickly be outdated, not to mention malfunctioning due to lack of fixes. It's still a form of product activation. And you have to fill out a form if you switch to another computer (even Linspire lets you use your copy on multiple computers in your home, not just one - ever notice that?), so what happens if they refuse? MS has been known to refuse to re-activate copies of Windows even when the owners could prove they bought it legally, so what if the Mepis folks do the same?
Btw, isn't it still possible to update applications such as KDE with apt? I suppose they could shut down that functionality of apt though in newer versions.
Simpl put, why bother with this? Just get Kubuntu, Mandriva, etc. No serial numbers to update required, you can use it on as many computers as you like, distruibute a hundred million copies if you want to and it has a reputation for working very well. There's no need to put up with this.
It's funny, having to tell Linux users this when we've all been telling Windows users the same thing for years now! I don't know about you, but with every forum and *nix chat channel I've ever been to one of the things touted about Linux was not having to put up with that kind of thing from Microsoft anymore. But a Linux company doing much the same thing - "well, they're a business, you know". So is Microsoft.
51 • Suse moves up the watch list to number two! (by Bill Savoie on 2006-01-27 04:00:51 GMT from United States)
Suse is improving it's place in the Linux world! Novel has been making the right decisions, and the fruits are starting to ripen on the tree. Today, using SuSE 10.0 I watched the DVD Movie 'Matrix' on my hp ze4300 laptop, while at work today (using headphones in my cubical so I would not be discovered). I can also program in Ada 95, or listen to MP3 of Bob Dylan, or use a wide range of software toys. It is all easily customized with Suse's Yast. Of course I had to download some extra files, but it was all over the net on how to do these things. Thank you SuSE. Job well done, and from watching your standing at DistroWatch, others seem to think so too.. Thanks Ladislav for unfolding this SuSE success. Now for a hard one. Does anyone know how to change an American president?
52 • Reply to 50 (by Anonymous on 2006-01-27 17:47:06 GMT from United States)
That's splitting hairs. Windows XP requires activation after a certain amount of time or it doesn't work (I think; no experience there myself) where as Mepis retail requires activation in order to update or else you're stuck with an OS that will quickly be outdated, not to mention malfunctioning due to lack of fixes. It's still a form of product activation. And you have to fill out a form if you switch to another computer (even Linspire lets you use your copy on multiple computers in your home, not just one - ever notice that?), so what happens if they refuse? MS has been known to refuse to re-activate copies of Windows even when the owners could prove they bought it legally, so what if the Mepis folks do the same?
In Windows you have to enter a lisence key for each copy used. No key no dice. Every single copy of Windows has a specific key for private and commercial use. This ensures that everyone pays. I am sure there are ways to defeat this but the point is there is no free version of Windows. Mepis on the other hand is FREE for private users. The founder of Mepis said a while ago that it will always be free for private users. Private users can run multiple destops,laptops on Mepis and they will all update with no product key and for free. Windows for private users or business will not do this. So, again there is a big difference that is not just splitting hairs. Linspire may not have a product activation key but they do charge for software or packages. Updates may be free after you paid $90 for the system and you are a private user at home!! While in Mepis you get the OS and packages and updates for free on as many computers you want in your home for private use! If any Distro in Linux is using the Microscum business model it is Linspire. Charging people an outrageous amount of money for a distro that is painfully slow, that limits your freedom and charges for packages is totally the wrong way to go. If I am going to pay to use a distro which I have and do then I will use Mandriva or Suse. Cheaper than Lindows and much better. No charge for packages and anti-virus Klamav is free not $30!! Not to mention all the other packages available for free and free updates! If Mepis ever does decide to charge their private users in this same manner I think they will as someone else said have shot themselves in the foot. Mepis will be over, no one will use it and we will all switch to the better free alternatives.
Robzilla Just my 5 dinero!
53 • Bla Bla (by Marc on 2006-01-27 19:12:48 GMT from Canada)
Mepis must have a contract with a PC builder to make a
decision like that.
Use to like it but their lattest version were degrading
in quality that i switched to Ubuntu.
As of today Mepis is #5 on DW list, let see it go down.
54 • Mepis and SUSE (Re: #51) (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-01-27 23:22:52 GMT from Italy)
Mepis: I never liked it too much, and I was helping beta testing their very first release. I hoped it would get better with time and it did, IMO. But it was never good enough for me. I never undestood why it deserved to be #5 at DW. Glad people are beginning to realize what I always knew. For me the best Debian derivative has always been Kanotix.
SUSE: I was also expecting it would overtake Mandriva, and you have seen nothing yet: wait until 10.1 final is released.
Novell's policy of openness and releasing twice a year is paying off.
55 • cool news (by Anonymous on 2006-01-28 07:25:43 GMT from United States)
56 • New vector live CD download (by mikkh on 2006-01-28 20:29:58 GMT from United Kingdom)
It's crawling on the link provided
but full speed on this link (in the UK)
57 • Re-56 (by Anonymous on 2006-01-28 23:23:17 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the link! Downloaded in less than an hour!! The link on Distrowatch said 14 plus hours!!
The Live Cd is pretty cool. Works great and pretty fast from the cd. I am impressed! Vector Team is polishing their work. Do you have a fast link for the new SOHO install cd? I did not see an obvious way to install from the live cd is there a way?
PCLinuxOS and Vector are smokin the compitition! Yeah, I think Mepis is going down.
Kannotix is good and other live cds are good but Vector and PCLinux seem to be on the cutting edge and at the same time are very stable from what I can tell.
It is great to see the evolution of Linux unfold and see the trends that work and those that don't.
58 • A distribution that is not listed (by Diego Acosta on 2006-01-29 05:36:40 GMT from United States)
I am showing you a distro crafted in Argentina, South America called Tuquito:
59 • this deserves a Distrowatch story next week (by Anonymous on 2006-01-29 06:20:02 GMT from United States)
60 • Re 57 fast soho install link (by mikkh on 2006-01-29 13:00:45 GMT from United Kingdom)
should do the trick, it's from the same mirror as the other link
Took ten minutes on my connection :o)
My favourite live distros are
Vector soho ( now :o))
Number of Comments: 60
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|• 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|
|• 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, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
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X-Evian was a Spanish live CD based on Debian GNU/Linux and Xubuntu.