| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 213, 30 July 2007
Welcome to this year's 31st issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The beginning of August is traditionally a month when many Linux distributions launch new development drives and outline some of the planned features for their upcoming releases. And indeed, if all goes according to the plan, we should see the first test release of Fedora 8 and the first beta release of Mandriva Linux 2008 later this week. Before that happens, we'll bring you the highlights of the past week, including updates on Debian "Lenny", the launch of the OpenBSD Foundation, an initiative to provide extra packages for Red Hat and Red Hat-derived distributions, and a coverage of the Ubuntu Live conference. Finally, don't miss our brief article featuring the Linux User Group of New Caledonia, complete with a few thoughts on the availability of bandwidth in remote parts of our planet. Happy reading!
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Linux in Paradise
"Everything is very hard to do around here," explained Bertrand Cherrier, the president of the Linux User Group of New Caledonia, with a grim face. "Bandwidth is limited and extremely pricey." But then his visage brightened. "On the other hand," he added, "all of our ISPs and most major web sites run on either Linux or FreeBSD, so things are not too bad, after all."
New Caledonia is a French overseas territory in the South Pacific, about 1,500 km east of Australia. Like most of the islands in the region, it is not wired by an undersea telecommunications cable; instead, all of its Internet traffic comes courtesy of a satellite. Although ADSL Internet has been widely available in Nouméa, the capital city, for some time, due to the limits of a satellite connection and growing user demand, connections to the World Wide Web are often slow and unreliable. New Caledonia, despite being one of the most prosperous territories in the South Pacific, is a place where Linux magazines with cover CDs containing Linux distributions are still in high demand.
Sitting in a small outdoor restaurant in Anse Vata, a popular beachfront area of Nouméa, Bernard, myself and a few other Linux enthusiasts discussed the perils of being an Internet and Linux user in a distant and relatively isolated part of our planet. Of course, when you live on a breathtakingly beautiful island like New Caledonia's Grand Terre, with its healthy, pleasant climate, you probably won't want to spend as much time in front of a computer as when your domicile is in a crowded and polluted Asian megalopolis. Still, having fast, cheap and reliable Internet connection is not a bad thing....
I'll have a more detailed report about the meeting with Linux user community in New Caledonia in a few days at Linux.com. In the meantime, here is a discussion for this week's DistroWatch Weekly: are any of our readers located in small, isolated islands? If so, what is your Internet connection like? Do you get decent speeds and trouble-free downloads or do you rely on Linux magazines and online Linux CD shops to get your distributions? Is being a Linux enthusiast a costly hobby for you in terms of bandwidth? Please discuss below.
Finally, here is a year-on-year tabular comparison of interest in DistroWatch among the residents of the South Pacific islands, plus Australia and New Zealand. The figures in the 2006 and 2007 columns represent the total number of visits on the DistroWatch.com index page from each country or territory during the first seven months of each of the two years.
||New Caledonia (NC)
||French Polynesia (PF)
||Solomon Islands (SB)
||Cook Islands (CK)
||American Samoa (AS)
||Walis and Futuna (WF)
||New Zealand (NZ)
Debian release update, OpenBSD Foundation, Fedora statistics, Red Hat's Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu Live
Debian's Luk Claes has published an update on the release goals of Debian "Lenny", tentatively scheduled for release in September 2008. As the next version is still a long time away, the currently approved goals are relatively minor, but include a couple of fairly important features, such as full IPv6 and large file support. The post also lists a few recent and upcoming changes in the experimental tree; among them, there are noteworthy references to the KDE 4 and GNOME 2.20 desktops: "The Qt/KDE team has started to package the alpha releases of KDE 4. This work will be included in experimental as soon as upstream has decided on the final module structure for the new KDE major releases. ... The first bits of the next GNOME release, 2.20, have been uploaded to experimental. This includes the new versions of GLib, Pango, ATK and GTK+, which bring with them some of the consolidation and integration work done on the GNOME desktop." For more information please read this post on the debian-devel-announce mailing list.
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The OpenBSD project has announced the creation of the OpenBSD Foundation, a non-profit organisation whose initial goal is to facilitate handling of large-scale donations to the project: "The OpenBSD Foundation has been formed for the purpose of supporting the OpenBSD project, and related projects such as OpenSSH, OpenBGPD, OpenNTPD, and OpenCVS. In particular it will act as a single point of contact for persons and organizations requiring a legal entity to deal with when they wish to support OpenBSD in any way. The OpenBSD Foundation will initially concentrate on facilitating larger donations of equipment, funds, documentation and resources. Small scale donations should continue to be submitted through the existing mechanisms." For more details please see the official announcement and read this brief interview with Ken Westerback, one of the foundation's founding members.
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Usage statistics and distro popularity are topics that continue to mesmerise the Linux user community for various reasons. While nobody has come up with a reliable method of measuring the popularity of distributions, the Fedora project has gone further than any other to record and analyse the usage of Fedora. From Linux.com: "Not content to know how many systems are running Fedora, the project has also been working on Smolt, a hardware profiler geared toward gathering hardware data from users automatically. Max Spevack, the Fedora project leader, says that the tool is opt-in only, and that 'we are building a community around Smolt that extends beyond Fedora, and into other Linux distributions.' To get other distros in on the act, the Fedora developers have issued an invitation to other distros to use Smolt. According to Spevack, 'We are trying to build Smolt so that it can be a general upstream project usable for all Linux distributions, and not just Fedora.'" Read the rest of the Linux.com article and visit the Fedora statistics page for more information and some interesting numbers.
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Red Hat has announced the availability of Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL), a volunteer-based community effort to create a repository of high-quality add-on packages that complement Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and its compatible spin-offs, such as CentOS or Scientific Linux: "Every user and admin has experienced at least one desired package not being included and supported in RHEL. This project gives you a place to promote, support, and benefit from packages that exist in Fedora and were not included in a RHEL version. Whether it is a package your company needs as part of its standard install, or software you want available so you and your users can do your work and have your fun, Fedora enterprise packages are a good method to build support and community around particular software needs." Read more in this article by LinuxElectrons.
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The inaugural, three-day Ubuntu Live conference was held last week in Portland, United States, with the goal of promoting the distribution through pointing out its features and presenting tutorials on using the popular operating system. Ars Technica was at the event, covering the keynote of the Ubuntu founder, Mark Shuttleworth: "A significant announcement made during the keynote related to plans for future long term support (LTS) releases. The Ubuntu project has previously issued a single release with long term support availability. Unlike regular Ubuntu releases, the LTS release is supported for several years with updates and security patches. According to Shuttleworth, Ubuntu 8.04 -- which will be released in April of 2008 -- will feature long term support. LTS releases will subsequently be issued every two years on a consistent basis. 'The next LTS release will be based on Ubuntu 8.04, which is currently planned for release in April 2008," said Shuttleworth. "We believe we can bring the same level of predictability to the LTS releases as we have to the regular six-month release cycle.'" Read the rest of the story here.
|Released Last Week
SME Server 7.2
The SME Server development team is pleased to announce the release of SME Server 7.2: "This release is based on CentOS 4.5 and all packages have been updated to the latest releases. This release contains many new features, all released updates for SME Server 7.1 and fixes for many reported problems. Upgrades will be available by CD, the Software Installer and command line. All users should upgrade to this release." Follow this forum thread for release announcement and a note on upgrading with yum.
After 4 months of hard and deep development, the SabayonLinux crew is happy to announce the immediate availability of SabayonLinux 3.4! Distribution features: "The most advanced: Linux kernel 2.6.22 with extra power management (PowerTop), wireless (mac80211), ext4 file system, scheduler (CFS) and virtualization (KVM, Virt-Manager, VirtualBox) support. Gaming oriented: featuring Savage 2, FlightGear, DangerDeep, Warsow, Nexuiz, Torcs, Battle of Wesnoth, Second Life; latest NVIDIA (100.14.11) and AMD (8.38.6) GPU drivers..." Read the release notes for further details.
Parted Magic 1.8
Parted Magic is a 30MB Linux live CD/USB/PXE with its elemental purpose being to partition hard drives. Parted Magic 1.8 is out and it has some new features and many updated programs: "We added dd_rhelp, sdparm, mbr, and xfburn for starters. Updated programs: linux-2.6.22, e2fsprogs-1.40.2, ntfs-3g-1.710, dd_rescue-1.13, ddrescue-1.5, leafpad-0.8.11, file-4.21, testdisk-6.7, mdadm-2.6.1, pciutils-2.2.5, syslinux-3.51, isomaster-1.0, hdparm-7.4, xfsprogs_2.8.21-1, busybox-1.5.1, and usbutils-0.72. All menus are bypassed now. After the syslinux menu, it boots to the desktop without any other interruptions. You can now create the live USB from the live CD by using our new 'USB Operations' program..." Please see the project's website for further details.
Finnix is a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian testing. A new maintenance release is now available: "Today marks the release of version 89.2 for the x86/AMD64, PowerPC, and UML/Xen platforms. Finnix 89.2 is a maintenance release. Base system has been dist-upgraded to Debian's testing 2007-07-26. A new kernel was planned for this release, but was not released due to problems between Finnix and available union filesystems. Because of this, 89.2 still comes with kernel 2.6.18, but has a few backported drivers." Please see the release announcement and release notes for further details.
64 Studio 2.0
The second stable release of 64 Studio, a Debian-based distribution with a collection of software for digital content creation, is now available: "64 Studio 2.0 is designed to retain compatibility with Debian Etch, to create a long-lived and stable creative desktop. We combine the stability and quality of Etch with a specialised real-time pre-emption kernel and the latest creative tools demanded by multimedia artists. Our tweaks to Debian include simplified installation and default settings which help get production under way quickly. It's our target that users should be able to get from a blank hard disc to a fully hardware-optimised and usable creative desktop in just half an hour." A Live CD version of 64 Studio is also available. Find more details in the release announcement for further details.
Ubuntu Christian Edition 3.3
Jereme Hancock has announced the release of Ubuntu Christian Edition 3.3: "We are excited to announce the release of Ubuntu CE v3.3. This release adds a few new features and several updates and fixes. This release comes just after Ubuntu CE's 1st birthday. We have had a great year and are looking forward to the continued development in the year to come. We have added the WhatWouldJesusDownload toolbar to Firefox. This toolbar gives quick access to many of the great tools available at WhatWouldJesusDownload, the parent site of the Ubuntu CE project. The Ubuntu CE main menu icon has also been enhanced with an overlay to give it a more unique look. This is accomplished using gDesklets which also powers the desktop verse feature." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Skolelinux 3.0 "Terra" is available for free download: "This is a community release with comprehensive support from regional and national projects in Germany, Spain, France, Greece and Norway. The Skolelinux project is now a part of Debian under the name Debian-Edu. Several other projects have made additional functionality to Skolelinux tailored for national needs. Skolelinux now supports more than 50 countries. What's new in Skolelinux 3.0: based on Debian 4.0 "etch" and therefore compatible to LSB 3.1, using kernel 2.6.18 and KDE 3.5.5..." Read the release announcement for full details.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Site and distribution updates|
Following a much needed break in New Caledonia, I am back at work, nicely refreshed and ready for more Linux action for another year! Those of you who emailed me during my absence, please accept my apologies for not getting back to you earlier - I really didn't feel like working during the holidays! I am still going through my mail box and I have reduced the number of unread messages to below 500, so hopefully I'll catch up with all the news and reply to all messages within the next few days. Among the emails, there are a few new distribution submissions, but due to time constraints, I will only list them in the next week's DistroWatch Weekly. I will also update all the tables of those distributions that made new releases during my absence later this week.
As always, many thanks to Dr W T Zhu, who has maintained the news page (apologies if we missed anything), and to Susan Linton from Tuxmachines.org, who has compiled the last two issues of DistroWatch Weekly. And of course, many thanks to those of you who have kept providing balanced opinions and knowledgeable comments in the weekly forums from which we can all learn and grow. Happy Linux-ing and BSD-ing to all our faithful DistroWatch readers!
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next installment will be published on Monday, 6 August 2007.
|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Full list of all issues|
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|Random Distribution |
eAR OS was an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution featuring the advanced, yet simple-to-operate eAR Media Centre. Tune in to TV programs, rip CDs to hard disk in lossless FLAC quality, watch digital TV and DVDs, listen to Internet radio, view photos, or listen to music - all from within an intuitive user interface. The distribution was available in two flavours - either as a freely downloadable "Free" edition, or as a commercial "Enterprise" edition with extra features and performance enhancements.