| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 181, 11 December 2006
Welcome to this year's 50th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! As hinted earlier, the new openSUSE 10.2 was released on time. One of the most popular Linux distributions on the market, the latest release appears solid and reasonably bug-free, at least compared to version 10.1. We'll take a brief look at the new release, comment on the project's association with Novell, and provide a few handy resources for extending the product. Also in this week's issue: Debian delays Etch, Ulteo releases Sirius, Mandriva prepares a cooker snapshot, and PC-BSD reaches the final round of testing before its updated stable release. Finally, don't miss the new commercial distribution by Technalign: Pioneer Linux. Happy reading!
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openSUSE 10.2 resources, Debian Etch delays, Ulteo Sirius, Mandriva and PC-BSD updates, fun with Firefox
The only blemish on the otherwise excellent distribution is its association with Novell, a company whose recent patent protection deal with Microsoft alienated large parts of the Linux community. However, this didn't seem to dampen the users' appetite for openSUSE 10.2 and the distribution's mirror sites were placed under a heavy strain throughout the latter part of the week. Interestingly, Novell itself stayed out of the publicity game - it did not bother to publish any press release announcing the new openSUSE and neither did it promote the commercial edition.
If you've installed the latest release of openSUSE and -- like Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols -- decided to stick with it, here is a handful of useful resources to get the most out of the new version:
Have a lot of fun!
The openSUSE 10.2 default KDE desktop with a radically redesigned K menu
(full image size: 621kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
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With the new openSUSE release safely behind us, the focus of DistroWatch will now turn to the upcoming release of Debian GNU/Linux 4.0, code name "Etch". Unfortunately, the original plan of completing its development by December 4th did not bring the desired result; that's despite the controversial Dunc-Tank experiment which provided full-time employment for one month to two Debian release managers who were reportedly paid US$6,000 each to ensure that Etch was out on time. Worse, the new release is nowhere near its completion; the promised second release candidate of the Debian Installer, inclusive of the updated kernel 2.6.18 (which, incidentally, is already in Etch), has yet to be released, while the expected full freeze of the testing branch is still not in effect (update: 15 minutes after posting this issue of DWW, Andreas Barth announced that Etch was frozen). With the release critical bug count well above 100 and the upcoming holiday period, it doesn't look like the new release will be out before January. If you can't wait, one good way of passing the time is to read New Features and other interesting stuff in Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 "Etch".
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The Ulteo project, launched earlier this year by Gaël Duval, the original founder of Mandrake Linux, has finally produced its first installable release. Called "Sirius" and labelled as an early alpha, the new distribution promises to introduce several revolutionary concepts in managing one's operating system and software updates. The details are still sketchy at this stage and the first alpha is not nearly feature complete, so it's far too early to pass a judgement on the project. Nevertheless, the track record of Gaël Duval who, back in late 1990s, single-handedly produced what quickly became the most popular and user-friendly desktop Linux distribution on the market, has generated much interest in the community. According to some alpha testers, Ulteo's first release is very usable, so don't be put off by its alpha status. If you want to learn more, please read this interview with Gaël Duval published by Linux.com.
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Mandriva has announced the release of Mandriva Flash, a 2GB USB storage device that boots into the latest Mandriva Linux 2007: "Mandriva Flash is meant for all those who want to have a complete OS and their personal data handy at all times without the hassle of carrying a laptop around. It is a full workstation, packed with all the latest technologies. It includes the brand new Mandriva Linux 3D desktop technology, as well as the best open source software available. ... Once Mandriva Linux 2007 is started, users can store their personal data on the 2GB key (more than 1GB available for user files). System configuration, preferences and data are all saved to the key." For more information please read the full press release and visit the distribution's product page. Mandriva Flash retails for €59.00 and is available for purchase from the Mandriva Store.
On a related note, the Mandriva development team has announced early details about the upcoming release of an interim version - Mandriva Linux 2007.1. According to this mailing list post by David Barth, the first Cooker snapshot will be released in the form of installable ISO images later this week. It will include all the security and bug fix updates for version 2007, the newest stable KDE 3.5, the latest development build of GNOME 2.17, Firefox 2.0, and a major rewrite of urpmi, Mandriva's package management tool. This release will be the first one with GRUB as the distribution's default boot loader, while the external storage devices will now be mounted on /media instead of /mnt. One more piece of (possible) good news for those who find that Mandriva's update infrastructure lags behind those in other major distributions: "Mandriva Online improvements (client and server), some rumors even say that it may become a free service." Interested testers should keep an eye on Mandriva's download mirrors during this week!
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The PC-BSD project has published an update regarding its upcoming release of version 1.3: "I see many people asking when 1.3 will be released. The standard cop-out developer answer to that is of course 'When it's ready', and that is indeed the answer I'm going to give you. I will share, however, that we expect to release our first release candidate (RC1) within the next couple of weeks. If all goes to plan I hope you'll all be enjoying 1.3 by the end of the year, which barring the discovery of some horrific difficulty to find critical bugs, is well within our grasp." And that's indeed what's happening; while not yet officially announced, the first release candidate of PC-BSD 1.3 seems to be already on its way to the download mirrors.
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How many extensions is your Firefox browser graced with? If you are like most users, you probably reach for a few popular ones among the hundreds available from Mozilla's development repositories. But if you are not, and decide to install more than your fair share of Firefox extensions, then you might be in for a surprise. This user (web page in Czech) has been experimenting with an idea of installing some 200 Firefox extensions to see what it's like. The result? The browser became virtually unusable. Not only did Firefox took some 6 minutes to start, it also used up about 150 - 200 MB of RAM and the extensions clogged up the Firefox toolbar area with a large number of new toolbars (see screenshot), leaving little space for viewing actual web pages. Not such a neat idea, after all!
|Released Last Week
rPath Linux 1.0.5
Michael K. Johnson has announced the availability of an updated set of rPath Linux 1 CD and DVD images: "rPath Linux, the first Linux distribution built using the groundbreaking Conary software management system, has released updated images for rPath Linux 1. The new images incorporate installation fixes for certain installation methods and all package updates released as of November 22. The Xen dom0 images have been enhanced with several additional packages for various file systems and LVM support. For information on Xen technology and rPath Linux, see Xen Solutions Using rPath Technologies." Find more details in the release announcement.
Michael Prokop has announced the final release of grml 0.9, a Debian-based live CD designed for system administrators and users of text tools: "We have a new release: grml 0.9 with codename 'Dioptrienotto'." Some of the new features include the following: "updated to X.Org 7.1.1; Unicode support; added FreeDOS 1.0 from the Balder project; new handling for added and removed devices; split package grml-etc into grml-etc + grml-etc-core (the latter one provides the core configuration files for e.g. zsh, Screen and Vim); boot option 'grub' boots into 'The All In One Boot Floppy' (which provides Grub)." More information in the release announcement and release notes.
openSUSE 10.2 has been released: "After a lot of work, we proudly announce the availability of openSUSE 10.2, formerly known as SUSE Linux 10.x As usual, we ship all the latest open source packages available at the time. But we want to give a special mention to the redesigned GNOME and KDE desktop, Firefox 2.0, ext3 as the new default file system, support for internal SD card readers, new power management and, last but not least, our improved package management. We'd like to thank you all for testing heavily, reporting bugs, giving feedback on mailing lists. Have a lot of fun!" Here is the full release announcement.
T2 SDE 6.0.2
Rene Rebe has announced the release of T2 6.0.2, a Linux distribution build kit originally forked from ROCK Linux: "We are pleased to announce the maintenance release T2 6.0.2 named 'Continuity'. It also comes with some updated packages, but mostly security updates, bug fixes and some improvements. The release primarily focuses on ironing out all known SPARC64 issues for smooth support on Sun T1 Niagara CPU systems such as the T1000 and T2000 - but also includes non-SPARC security fixes, updates and improvements along the lines." Read the rest of the release announcement for further details.
Technalign, Inc. has announced the inaugural release of Pioneer Linux, a Kubuntu-based, desktop-oriented distribution for home and business users: "Technalign, Inc. has announced it has released its new Pioneer Linux operating system to the community. The first release is the 32-bit version to be followed immediately by the 64-Bit Version. The community edition includes many features found previously in Frontier and is available for download at the tapioneer.com website. Both Pioneer 32 and 64 include Firefox 2.0, Thunderbird and KMail email clients, OpenOffice.org, and many others." More details in the press release.
PUD GNU/Linux 20061208
Chen Pin-shiun has announced the release of a new edition of PUD GNU/Linux, an Ubuntu-based mini-distribution and live CD. The most interesting part of this release is the fact that it uses LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment), a new GTK+-based, light-weight and standards compliant desktop environment designed for older computers and impatient desktop users. It also comes with a fast and versatile file manager called PCManFM. Firefox, Gaim, aMule, Thunar, Beep and VLC media players, GQview image viewer, and a number of popular utilities are also included. Please read the release notes for further information.
This special edition of PUD GNU/Linux uses the lightweight LXDE desktop with the PCManFM file manager
(full image size: 164kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Atomix is a Serbian Linux distribution based on Fedora Core. Version 4.0, released today, is a major update bringing the following changes: includes more than 2,700 packages; major components: Linux kernel 22.214.171.124, KDE 3.5.5 and OpenOffice.org 2.0.4; development tools: GCC, Python, Perl, PHP, Ruby; complete support for Java development: Java 1.4.2, (GCJ), Eclipse 3.2.1, Jakarta Tomcat 5.5.17; support for virtualisation with Xen 3.0.3; Firefox 2.0 and Thunderbird 126.96.36.199; administration tools for configuring desktops and servers. Read the brief release announcement and release notes (both links in Serbian) for more information.
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Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
- Pioneer Linux. Pioneer Linux, a product of Technalign, Inc, is a desktop-oriented, Kubuntu-based distribution targeted at new as well as experienced Linux users. The product comes in two flavours: as a freely downloadable live and installation CD, and as a commercial boxed edition with CrossOver Office and technical support.
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New distributions added to waiting list
- deepOfix Messaging Server. The deepOfix Messaging Server is a mail server product aimed at simplifying the setup and maintenance of mail servers. deepOfix offers unprecedented ease of use, doesn't require prior GNU/Linux experience and is backed by a full-time development team. deepOfix is base don Debian GNU/Linux.
- Karoshi. Karoshi is a free and open source school server operating system based on PCLinuxOS. Karoshi provides a simple graphical interface that allows for quick installation, setup and maintenance of a network.
- Sidux. Sidux is a recent fork of KANOTIX. Its goal is to continue producing a live and installation CD based on Debian's unstable branch.
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DistroWatch database summary
And this concludes our latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 18 December 2006. Until then,
|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• 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 188.8.131.52, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Full list of all issues|
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NetBSD is a free, secure, and highly portable UNIX-like Open Source operating system available for many platforms, from 64-bit AlphaServers and desktop systems to handheld and embedded devices. Its clean design and advanced features make it excellent in both production and research environments, and it is user-supported with complete source. Many applications are easily available through The NetBSD Packages Collection.