| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 42, 29 March 2004
Welcome to this year's 13th edition of DistroWatch Weekly. If you are awaiting the new test release of Fedora Core 2, then check out your nearest mirror later today - indications are that it will be released according to schedule. Also, don't miss Red Hat's new SELinux FAQ to get you started with this interesting functionality in Fedora Core 2.
Slackware accepts XFree86 4.4.0
Last week's comment that all major distributions had rejected the new XFree86 license and refused to include XFree86 4.4.0 in their upcoming products was proven incorrect - by Slackware and Conectiva. Slackware's changelog indicates that XFree86 4.4.0 is now officially included in Slackware Current, the distribution's development branch:
"x/xfree86-4.4.0-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to XFree86"
Similarly, Conectiva's latest release, the Beta 2 of Conectiva Linux 10, now comes with XFree86 4.4.0, although there is no mention of it in the release notes.
Perhaps there is still some hope for XFree86?
What's in a name?
If you are creating a Linux distribution, selecting a good name for it is an important part of the project's image. But what is good name? If you look at the page hit ranking statistics, you will find some interesting trends among the attractiveness of certain names. Let's take Russia's Linux XP. As a new distribution, we have never published any news about its inaugural release, simply because its web site did not make any official announcement. Yet, it has managed to climb to number 25 in page hit ranking, with an average of 150 hits per day! The only explanation is that many visitors are attracted by the name and click to see what the project is about.
In a similar fashion, OpenDesktop, which is a newly launched Chinese Linux distribution, has also done extremely well in the page hit ranking, with more than 100 hits per day (for comparison, the Red Flag Linux page gets less than 40 hits per day). Both Linux XP and OpenDesktop appear to be attractive names, arousing much curiosity among the visitors.
What is a bad name? A nondescript abbreviation, like IDMS Linux is definitely a turn off. Including the word "Knoppix" in the name also seems to be a bad idea, with Bioknoppix, clusterKNOPPIX, eduKnoppix, KnoppiXMAME, Knoppix STD, NordisKnoppix, OGo Knoppix and other similar names just adding to the mess of "improved" and "modified" Knoppix clones.
The name of a new distribution should be attractive and descriptive. Otherwise it will simply become lost among the 300 other similar projects.
|Released Last Week
Puppy Linux 0.8.4
A new version of Puppy Linux has been released. From the release notes: "More ethernet, sound and USB chips detected. The Utilities menu now has a script to resize the file mounted on /root (created when live-CD Puppy first boots)... for now, treat it as experimental. It's called Resize PFILE. The Lucent Linmodem (software modem) now works. The Lucent DSP software modem chip range is popular in internal PCI analog modems, so it is very good news that Puppy can now use these modems. We have a new game! It's name is Xbubble - great fun..."
A bug fix release of the Inside Security Rescue Toolkit (INSERT) is available. From the changelog: "v1.2.6: re-added xkbcomp after it has accidentally been removed in the last version, which caused some rather important characters not to appear in X (e.b.: |,@); updated the virus database for clamav to the latest version."
Damn Small Linux 0.6.2
A new version of Damn Small has been released: "Changes for 0.6.2: new hacked GTK app theme (a little darker, easier on the eyes than default); update rdesktop; added documentation on TCC; added an intelligent man script which knows the difference between a regular app and a busybox app; net dictionary; added text links to the menu; SQLite Book (Perl/SQLite record keeper); fixed ogg123/mpg123; enhanced install script by Robert Shingledecker can now restore most of the regular apps and libs which BusyBox has replaced on the live CD." The full changelog.
This is a new release from the SystemRescueCd project. From the changelog: "Updated the kernel to Linux-2.4.25; updated EVMS VolumeManager to 2.3.0; enabled the NTFS Read/Write support in the kernel (incomplete but safe write support); updated ntfsprogs to 1.9.0 (major ntfsresize improvements); updated QtParted to 0.4.3; updated parted to 1.6.7; updated the eagle-usb ADSL driver to 1.9.6; updated memtest+ to 1.11; many minor updates."
AUSTRUMI is a bootable business card size live CD based on Slackware Linux and with fvwm'95 window manager. What's new in version 0.8.3? "Added tsclient (frontend for rdesktop and vncviewer); added stardict (en-lv); changed gicq -> micq; updated gnumeric, rdesktop, xchat; updated kernel(2.6.4); added nForce Ethernet support; added USB MemoryBar support; changed sound support - OSS -> ALSA." Find out more about this Latvian project on the distribution's web site.
ALT Linux 2.3 Compact
After nearly 6 months of beta testing, the "Compact" edition of ALT Linux 2.3 has been released. This is a new product line from the Russian distribution maker - a single-CD release designed for home and office use. It is simple to install and use, and it comes with virtually all important Internet and office applications necessary for daily work. See the full press release (in Russian) for further details. In Russia, a boxed version of the product is available for purchase from authorised resellers.
Cobind Desktop 0.1
Cobind Desktop is a new distribution on our list: "Cobind is a software company based in Pittsburgh, USA, whose mission is to simplify the creation of custom Linux distributions to promote the presence of open source technology in the mass market. Based on Fedora Core, Cobind Desktop marries XFce and Nautilus into a cohesive desktop experience featuring Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird. Simple, fast, and familiar, it is the Linux desktop experience built with the typical user in mind." Visit cobind.com for more information and screenshots.
Feather Linux 0.3.9
This is a new release of Feather Linux. From the changelog: "Changes from 0.3.8 to 0.3.9: emelfm now runs as root; made /etc/samba/smb.conf and firewall configuration files writable from CD; added index, recoverdm, mtr and wmapm; added --passive-ftp option to scripts; small changes to HD install script; added Synaptic script (experimental); small changes to Getting Started HOWTO; fixed ABS size, tcc, and keymap selection; made xterm colours match up; SSHd, NFS services and the Monkey webserver are now startable from the boot line (e.g. knoppix monkey); added APM support..."
Aurox Live 1.4.2
A new version of Aurox Live has been released: "We are pleased to announce the availability of a new Aurox Live CD, version 1.4.2. It is based on Aurox 9.3 and it supports Polish, German, French and Spanish. Aurox Live 1.4.2 allows connecting to the Internet using SmartLink-compatible winmodem (e.g. some Intel devices). Other important features: access Linux (ext2 and ext3), as well as Windows (vfat, NTFS) partitions' QTParted, multimedia applications, WINE, Mozilla with MozPlugger; Flash plug-in in Mozilla; NVIDIA 3D drivers (5336); support for OpenGL extension is fixed; USB keyboards and ACPI are now supported." The release notes.
Development and unannounced releases
Screenshot: Hakin9 1.5.0 - a new release with only two bugs :-)
(full image size 157kB)
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Fedora Core 1.91
The second test release of Fedora Core 2 (also known as version 1.91) should be out later today, at least according to the Fedora release schedule. GNOME 2.6 final won't make it: "Test2 contains GTK+ 2.4 and the GNOME 2.6 release candidate. It should be almost the final gnome 2.6." The 1.91 directory has already appeared on some Fedora mirror sites, although it is currently inaccessible. Unlike Test 1, Test 2 will have full SELinux functionality, documentation for which is available in the form of this newly released FAQ.
Debian GNU/Linux 3.0r3
The third revision of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 "Woody" is under preparation: "Due to the number of recent kernel vulnerabilities this update will contain several updated kernel packages. This poses a threat to our users since the correction for do_brk() (CAN-2003-0961) changes the binary compatibility of the kernel, hence local or vendor-provided modules won't work anymore. As a result i386 kernels cannot be exchanged, but for most other architectures this is possible." Visit this page for further details.
Work has started on GoboLinux 011: "The goals are still the ones aimed in the roadmap: 'New bootscripts': I'm working on this, but there should not be radical changes. Expect to hear more about this soon. 'Improved shell agnosticism': in other words, the environment files should change to something like /Programs/Qt/Current/Resources/Environment/QTDIR. 'Kernel 2.6.x': default will still be 2.4, but 2.6 will ship as an option." More information in this mailing list post.
|Web Site News
Financial assistance to Free Software projects
Thank you all for posting your opinions regarding last week's announcements about financial support for Free Software projects.
As most of the regular readers of this site know, I have always been critical of those companies which benefit from the vast pool of great software available to them at no cost, but which do not return the favour. I am not talking about a general "we release bug fixes...", I am talking about hard cash being given to open source developers. Something like Red Hat's effort to employ some of the brightest open source programmers or the Lindows.com's support for Gaim, KDE, ReiserFS and other projects. DistroWatch is of course no Red Hat or Lindows.com, but I believe that we can still help, even if it's just a few hundreds of dollars per month.
Secondly, I don't want to implement any new features into the site. I won't waste any effort at various voting mechanisms or other similar schemes requiring to program built-in checking for the legitimacy of voting. Just post a note in the forums below, or send us an email with a single nomination together with a few words to justify your nomination. Software projects, as well as distributions will be considered. As one of the readers mentioned in the last week's forums, documention is a week point of many Free Software projects. Are you willing to write some and earn a few bucks in the process? If so, then get in touch and we'll work something out.
Here is some feedback from last week:
"I regularly check Distrowatch. I also always surf with images turned off because banner ads are annoying. I've been slowly coming around to the fact that I should be supporting sites I frequent, where possible."
Not all advertising is bad. Firstly, only Linux and OSS-related advertising is accepted on DistroWatch. Secondly, many advertisers (possibly about half of them) are of non-commercial nature. A few guys putting together a bit of money to get the word out about a new community web site is a good example - LinuxQuestions.org, LinuxForums.org or EasyLinuxGuide.com are all great web sites with completely free content and very active user communities. Similarly, some advertisers, such as MEPIS Linux and CollegeLinux are free distributions. Clicking on many of the advertising banners on this site does not mean that you will be greeted with a big MasterCard logo asking you to buy something! Yes, there are a few commercial companies that advertise their products and services, but many others will take you to useful web sites and freely downloadable GPL products.
"150-500$ are small change for big projects like Debian or GnuCash, let organisations like Apache Foundation take care of them, use the money wiser."
Write to Debian and GnuCash and ask them if this kind of money is "small change" for them. If they agree that they don't need the donation, I'll be happy to give it to the more "needy" projects.
"I know it's hard but... provide leadership. DistroWatch is already the leader of news about Linux distros, use this leader position to steer development."
I don't think I am prepared to go as far as "steering development" of projects, simply because there are too many conflicting opinions on every one of them. Let them take a natural course and we help out wherever we can.
"I think many open source projects worth supporting. Almost every visitor of DistroWatch can drop in a new one. How will it be decided, which one of them gets the donation? I would suggest, that Ladislav should nominate 3 projects every month, to choose from."
I've considered your idea, but I just don't want to be burdened by creating voting mechanisms. Even the Page Hit Ranking attracts plenty of abusers who cannot accept that their favourite distribution is not right on the top. How can we expect people to be more disciplined when money is involved? Simply nominate a project in the forums and write a short justification. We'll count the nominations at the end of the month and make a decision.
"I think it would be great if DW donated money mostly to Linux Distros, just because this is the topic of DW."
"If you want to give money to open source, give it to projects and not to Linux distributions like Debian, so everyone using an open source operating system can benefit from that."
Software projects, as well as distributions will be considered for donation. Yes, not everybody uses Debian. But not everybody uses GnuCash either. One of the strong contenders for a donation is the Arabeyes project, a dedicated community-driven Arabisation programme for many open source applications. Most of us who don't understand Arabic won't benefit from their efforts, but if you are prepared to open your mind, you'll realise how important a project like this is for the success of Linux on the global scale.
And while on the subject of financial support for Free Software projects, remember that you can help out too. Just get the official DistroWatch T-shirt (US$14.95) from Hackerthreads.com. By supporting DistroWatch, you'll also support the development of Linux software :-)
Order your own official DistroWatch T-shirt from Hackerthreads.
New on the waiting list
- Cobind Desktop. Cobind is a software company based in Pittsburgh, USA, whose mission is to simplify the creation of custom Linux distributions to promote the presence of open source technology in the mass market. Based on Fedora Core Linux, Cobind Desktop marries XFce and Nautilus into a cohesive desktop experience featuring Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird. Simple, fast, and familiar, it is the Linux desktop experience built with the typical user in mind. Cobind Desktop is available as an installation CD-ROM or live CD-ROM.
- OpenSLS. OpenSLS (or Open Secure Linux Server) is a secure Linux server operating system based on Mandrake Linux. It features a number of security enhancements, such as SELinux, GCC patched with SSP stack protection, supervise-controlled services, and other features.
- Ignalum Linux. Ignalum is located in Markham, Ontario, Canada. The privately held company was founded in the year 2002 with a vision of creating a cost-effective, installation-friendly, complete Linux-based operating environment offering full Windows compatibility. Ignalum Linux is a complete, Red Hat and RPM-based operating system optimised for the i686-class processors. It contains an easy to use installation program, extensive online documentation, and a menu-driven package system. A full installation gives you the X Window System, C/C++ development environments, Perl, networking utilities, a mail server, a news server, a web server, an ftp server, the GNU Image Manipulation Program, OpenOffice Suite, Netscape Communicator, plus many more programs. Ignalum Linux can run on any P6-class and higher processors (but uses -march=i686 -O2 optimisation for best performance on i686-class machines like the P3, P4, and Duron/Athlon).
- Litrix. Litrix is a Brazilian GNU/Linux live CD distribution based on SLAX and Slackware Linux.
DistroWatch database summary
- LliureX. LliureX is a new project by Conselleria de Cultura, Educación y Deporte de la Generalitat Valenciana in Valencia, Spain (web site in Spanish).
- Linux KNOFIS. Linux KNOFIS is a new Brazilian Linux distribution based on Kurumin and designed for students (web site in Portuguese).
- Genthree Linux. Genthree Linux is a new Linux distribution being developed by several students/former students at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Since it's inception in the fall of 2002, Genthree has aimed to be a small system for the seasoned Linux user. You won't find GNOME or KDE among Genthree's packages, so it might not be the system for you. It is developed in parallel on both PowerPC and i386. Work is being done to port the distribution to Alpha, PA-RISC, and MIPS platforms.
- Hiwix. Hiwix is a Chinese Debian-based live CD, currently in early development (web site in simplified Chinese).
- Number of distributions in the database: 278
- Number of discontinued distributions: 32
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 70
On Anaconda for Gentoo
EA writes: "After a long and tedious Gentoo install, I just found this Anaconda installer for Gentoo. This would have made it a lot easier when I started without it 3 days ago. In my own personal opinion, nothing beats the portage tool. Please post something about this on your site to make it easier for more people wishing to try Gentoo."
On donating to Distrowatch
FC writes: "I am a regular (daily) reader of DistroWatch. I find it an excellent source of info. I think it is only fair I give something to keep DW up and running, and free. Now, maybe I am missing it, but I cannot find anything on DW about financial support. I'd like to donate 20$, so if you can tell me how, I'll do it. In addition, my warmest congratulations for the decision to support free software projects."
If you'd like to donate to DistroWatch, you are more than welcome. Just visit the Advertisers' page for relevant links: you can donate via PayPal or by using 2CheckOut.com, a third-party credit card processing company.
That's all for this week, see you next Monday :-)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 840 (2019-11-11): Fedora 31, monitoring user activity, Fedora working to improve Python performance, FreeBSD gets faster networking|
|• Issue 839 (2019-11-04): MX 19, manipulating PDFs, Ubuntu plans features for 20.04, Fedora 29 nears EOL, Netrunner drops Manjaro-based edition|
|• Issue 838 (2019-10-28): Xubuntu 19.10, how init and service managers work together, DragonFly BSD provides emergency mode for HAMMER, Xfce team plans 4.16|
|• Issue 837 (2019-10-21): CentOS 8.0-1905, Trident finds a new base, Debian plans firewall changes, 15 years of Fedora, how to merge directories|
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• 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.
|Random Distribution |
Bluewall GNU/Linux was a Linux distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux with a twist - instead of apt, it uses NetBSD's pkgsrc as its package management software.