| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 50, 24 May 2004
Welcome to this year's 21th edition of DistroWatch Weekly. The much awaited Fedora Core 2 has now landed. You've seen the first review and you know that it doesn't dual boot with Windows XP, but life wouldn't be fun if everything was perfect, right? Now let's get on with the content of this week's issue of DWW.
Debian From Scratch
This surprise announcement about a Gentoo-like Debian From Scratch project was spotted on the debian-devel mailing list:
"Debian From Scratch (DFS) is a single CD that is a full rescue CD capable of working with all major filesystems, LVM, software RAID, and even compiling a new kernel. And, it's a cdebootstrap-based install CD that can install i386 Woody, i386 Sarge, i386 Sid, and amd64 Sid directly from CD, and whatever else from the 'net. The installation can best be described as "Gentoo-like". Documentation is not yet very complete, but updates will be posted at the URL below."
This project should be of interest to users who have been asking for a Debian distribution with a Gentoo-style control and optimisation; voices requesting such a project tend to "emerge" in the Debian community from time to time. If you are interested, visit the DFS's documentation page and then download the ISO image (version 0.5.1 was released last Saturday) from here. If any of you has given it a try or if you are planning to take a closer look, do not hesitate to share your thoughts in the forums below.
The "spare bedroom" distributions
This really belongs to the reader feedback section, but I moved it here to stress a point. A (not particularly polite) poster in last week's DistroWatch Weekly forum reacted to the fact that MEPIS and PCLinuxOS were under consideration to replace Desktop/LX on the top ten distributions list:
"Mepis, PCLinuxOS?? Personally, I'd like to know what these two one-man, fly-by-night, back bedroom distros have that any other organized commercial mainstream distro doesn't?"
Well, dear poster (and dear all who need this reminder): before you post any more messages disparaging distributions that are not created by registered companies, just remember the beginnings of Linux. Linux doesn't exist because some large corporations with plenty of money thought it was a good idea to create it; it exists because a young student with no money thought it was a good idea to create it. Linux exists because somebody put it together in a spare bedroom, just for fun. This is also true about many open source applications that we use daily.
It was the policy of DistroWatch from the beginning to give equal exposure to all Linux distributions, be they small spare-bedroom projects created by pennyless Linux enthusiasts, or large enterprise-class projects built by corporation worth billions of dollars on the stock exchange. On DistroWatch, a distribution released by a registered company with a huge marketing department, a legal division, and a large server farm will be reported in the same manner as a distribution released by a couple of Mongolian developers in Ulan Bator with nothing but an account on SourceForge and a desire to create something that others can use. As we all know, a great piece of software can be coded with no money, while even the world's richest companies are often unable to build software that is stable, secure and resistant to worms and viruses.
Those of you who prefer a Linux distribution created by a "proper" company, there is plenty to choose from. But if you are only interested to read about distributions created by "proper" companies, you are on a wrong web site.
Some of you might find use for MirrorWatch, an interesting web site that monitors how complete a mirror of a distribution is at the time of your visit. As we all know, there are many FTP/HTTP servers that mirror the master servers of the main distributions, but some of them limit mirroring to ISO images, while others only synchronise with the master server once in a week. MirrorWatch will give you an opportunity to find out with one glance how complete a mirror is without having to log in to the mirror itself and navigate through its directories. It comes particularly handy during "rush days", just after a new major distribution release. The site currently covers Mandrakelinux, Fedora and Debian mirrors, but the author welcomes suggestions for new mirror and distribution additions to the site. Visit MirrorWatch here.
|Released Last Week
A new updated release of the Knoppix live CD is now available for your downloading pleasure. From the changelog: "V3.4-2004-05-17 (small updates). Kernel 2.6.6; harddisk installer (Fabian Franz) update; live installer (Fabian Franz) update; fixed knoppix-terminalserver boot-graphics; removed ipw2100 support in kernel 2.6.6 because it does not work there (gcc incompatibilities, changed kernel api)." Download from one of the many Knoppix mirrors.
Fedora Core 2
Fedora Core 2 has been released: "Fedora Core 2 is now available from Red Hat and at distinguished mirror sites near you, and is also available in the torrent. Fedora Core has expanded in this release to four binary ISO images and four source ISO images, and is available for both x86-64 and i386. Please file bugs via Bugzilla, Product Fedora Core, Version 2, so that they are noticed and appropriately classified. Discuss this release on fedora-list." Read the announcement and release notes for further details.
Server optimized Linux (or SoL), version 18.00, has been released: "antitachyon - Manalo & Willner OEG proudly announces the final release of SoL - Server optimized Linux 18.00. SoL 18.00 is the 5th stable release of SoL since 2002. SoL is a Linux-Distribution developed by the Austrian company 'antitachyon'. The main concepts of SoL were consequently enhanced. SoL 18.00 is the first release which features a multi-language installer. All the translations where done by the very active SoL-community." Read the rest of the release announcement and visit the product's features page for additional information about SoL.
tinysofa enterprise server 1.0-U1
This is from the release announcement of tinysofa enterprise server 1.0 Update 1: "tinysofa enterprise server 1.0-U1 is now generally available. Update 1 adds polish to an already widely acclaimed distribution, and is the product of an amazingly expedient development process that has seen the adoption of the subversion source control management system as its centrepiece. Every package has been updated, and the release includes a great amount of attention to detail." Find the release announcement on the distribution's home page.
CRUX 2.0 has been released: "I'm happy to announce that CRUX 2.0 is now available. This is the first CRUX release that is based on the 2.6 kernel. Other highlights include Glibc 2.3.3 with NPTL, GCC 3.3.3 and X.org's X11 6.7.0. See the change log for a complete list of new, updated and removed packages. Go to the download section to download the ISO image. Please use a mirror. Due to the major changes in this release, and because quite a few packages were renamed, upgrading from 1.3 is not supported by the setup script. A fresh re-installation is highly recommended." The full release announcement.
Puppy Linux 0.8.6
Puppy Linux 0.8.6 has been released. From the release notes: "Puppy now has the Tcl/Tk programming language and BWidget, tix, FTP, Tkhtml, Img, combobox extension libraries;* VisualTcl and specTcl, GUI builders for creating Tcl/Tk applications; ML, text editor with syntax highlighting of Tcl code, with procedure jump-to; tkConvert, units converter; regexpviewer, regular expression evaluator; Slidedraw, slide presentation program, like PowerPoint; CDTAR, another backup program (Puppy already has bkup2cd); TkZip, another archiver program, handles bzip2, tar, gzip, zip, cpio archives (Puppy already has Xtar); setvol, console utility to set and get the audio volume..."
Tilix is Bulgaria's own distribution - a Knoppix-based live CD with a complete desktop in Bulgarian. Version 0.3 was released earlier this week, after several months of development. Some of the newly upgraded packages and features since version 0.2 include: kernel 2.6.5 with ACPI/DMA; KDE 3.2.2, XFree86 4.3.0, Mozilla Firefox 0.8, Mozilla Thunderbird 0.6, Digikam 0.6.0, KBear 2.1, OpenOffice 1.1.1, GCC 3.4 (optional); autodetection of nForce 1/2 LAN cards; an option to install Tilix to hard disk with 'tilix tohd=/dev/hdaX'; support for Internet connectivity with GPRS/IRDA and USB modems.... The full announcement is available on the distribution's news page (in Bulgarian).
Tilix 0.3 - Bulgaria's own Linux distribution
(full image size 365kB)
Slavix is a Morphix-based live CD intended for a home user. From the announcement about the release of Slavix 0.9.1: "This is an update to release 0.9.0 with some bug fixes and some changes in functionality and look. This release brings all included packages to their latest state in Debian unstable. It is based on Morphix base module 0.4.1, Debian GNU/Linux sid, KDE 3.2, Linux kernel v2.4.21-xfs. Added Features: Slavix LiveCD menu to System Configuration with items: Administrator console, Save Home directory, Save settings, Set Administrator password; added find in folder KDE extention to KDE; added Russian phonetic keyboard...."
Rocks Cluster Distribution 3.2.0
The Rocks Cluster Distribution project has released Rocks 3.2.0: "Rocks 3.2.0, code named Shasta, is released for Pentium/Athlon, Opteron, and Itanium. This release includes the latest updates from Red Hat (as of May 18th), bug fixes, refreshed rolls and the addition of two new rolls for Pentium/Athlon clusters. The 'Area51 Roll' contains system integrity tools: tripwire and chkrootkit. The 'Condor Roll' adds the distributed high-throughput feature from the Condor project. To download the ISO images for the Rocks Base and Rolls, see Downloads. For more details regarding the release, see the Release Notes." Read the full announcement on the distribution's home page.
YES Linux 2.0.8
YES Linux 2.0.8 has been released: "YES Corporation would like to announce the release of YES Linux 2.0.8 for immediate downloading. The major changes are integration of WebDAV, single sign on using PostgreSQL (all authentication including native apache Basic Authentication is provided by PostgreSQL), bug fixes to integration of phpPgAdmin thanx to Elitelan (elitelan.com), removal of Samba. The last is the most exciting because it means that any machine that is capable of viewing a WebDAV export can now update their website using any authoring tool." The full release announcement.
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
The developers of FreeSBIE, a FreeBSD-based live CD, have announced that work has started on FreeSBIE 1.1: "With a new message on the official mailing list, dave announced today that he started to work on FreeSBIE again. He proposed some new features that will be implemented in FreeSBIE 1.1." Find out more on freesbie.org.
Shark Linux 2.0
From the What's coming up in 2.0: "The 2.0 Branch of SharkLinux has been started today. The 1.05/1.06 branches were based on the Gentoo Linux project. We have decided to scrap further development on this project in favor of a completely NEW system. RPMs will be used for package management and updates. This will not only simplify the release process, but also provide an easy way to manage updates and add-on packages. What to expect in v2: kernel 2.6.6 or higher (latest kernel at time of release); GCC 3.4 w/ Stack Smashing Protector; glibc 2.3.3 w/ AMD64 fixes;* RPM v4 package management; improved console administration tools; improved support for Linisys and IBM Opteron Systems." Read more on sharklinux.com.
|Web Site News
Revising the top 10 distributions
Based on your feedback (and in spite of having alienated several Desktop/LX users), Lycoris Desktop/LX will be replaced with MEPIS Linux on our top 10 distributions list. Additionally, FreeBSD will be included in the list as the top BSD-based operating system. Several readers suggested that, besides the "top ten" list, we could also include a quick "top five" listings in various categories. We did like the idea, so expect an updated page sometimes later this week.
Revising tracked packages
This is just another reminder to everybody that you have one more week left to suggest new software packages to be tracked by DistroWatch. We have received a few votes, but we need some more to finalise the list. All the details are on packages page. Just a warning: I cannot guarantee that all suggested packages will make it, but the most often requested packages will be included in the tables starting next month.
New distribution addition
New on the waiting list
- MirOS. MirOS targets small servers and developers' workstations (although it _does_ come with KDE or GNOME on request); it's a pretty small, very secure operating system, totally freely licenced. MirOS BSD is derived from OpenBSD and NetBSD and currently runs on i386 and SPARC; PPC to follow.
- PingOO. PingOO is a French Debian-based distribution in development since 1997. It comes in three editions: PingOO Communication Server, PingOO Secure Server and PingOO File Server.
- Giboia Linux. Giboia Linux is Brazil's latest distribution - a Debian based live CD with GNOME as its desktop environment.
DistroWatch database summary
- OEone. Confirming earlier rumours, the Mozilla-based OEone project has now definitely closed the doors. The distribution's original web site was at www.oeone.com, but last week it started redirecting visitors to Axentra Corporation. As a result of this, we have removed OEone from the list of active distributions.
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 289
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 7
- Number of discontinued distributions: 32
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 81
Wanted: a mini live CD distro for AMD64
A reader wonders why, until now, there has been no effort to build a mini live CD distribution for AMD64:
"The advent and growing popularity of AMD64 systems has heralded many 64-bit Linux distros. However, to date, there does not exist a mini live CD distro for 64-bit Linux. I am referring to business-card bootable live CDs such as Damn Small Linux, Feather Linux, and Puppy Linux which function as useful operating desktop systems and not just as recovery CDs. Would anyone be interested in creating a 64-bit mini live CD distro? Is there currently enough demand that would justify the creation of these things? Either way, I hope to create some discussion on DW to kick-start the issue."
Search features on DistroWatch
The issue of search features and distribution categories keeps comming up, as demonstrated by this post last week:
"Every time I enter DistroWatch, I want to see what's new, but also when I have to do some specific search, I'm not able to do it. This is because of the lack of categories or some kind of special keywords to be used in a search, I mean, as the guy right over me, if I need a distro for really old hardware, I can't go with Mandrake, but I don't necessarily know the names of the distros able to work good on old hardware. The same for live CDs, if I need some LiveCD distro, i would like to know which of the list are this kind, to be able to compare between them (I remember this was available until one day the page disappeared.)"
Firstly, the live CD page did not disappear - it is still available from a link on the Search page. Secondly, besides requests, can any of you offer help with implementing these features? It's very easy to spend 2 minutes writing that "I want this feature or that feature", but do you realise that it would take days of coding to implement your requests? Please don't write that you want something, offer help instead! If you can't code, then learn, or wait until I find the time to code. I do want to listen to your requests and code in all the requested features, but I just don't have the time (or money to employ a programmer).
Those of you who cannot code, but would like to help out, this is what you could do: go to the distributions on waiting list page and see if you can research one of the distributions on the list. When your research is done, fill in the submit distribution form. Fill it in in full, including the list of packages. It might take time to find the information, you might have to download the product, try it out, extract the package list from it... Also, find out the description of the product (check the spelling too). You might have to contact the developers just to obtain some information. If you can do this, I will really appreciate your help - it would save me a lot of time which I can use for coding in the most wanted features. Some of the often requested new distributions currently still on waiting list include the following: Kix, Luit Linux, Necromantux, GIS Knoppix, Orange Cell, CalyptOS, Navyn OS, just to name a few of the 80 or so on the list, growing every week. However, do get in touch before you set out to research a distribution (my email is on the bottom of this page), so that we don't get two people doing the same work.
I hope you enjoyed this edition of DistroWatch Weekly :-)
|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 |
Bodhi Linux is an elegant and lightweight Ubuntu-based distribution featuring Moksha, an Enlightenment-17-based desktop environment. The project takes a decidedly minimalist approach by offering modularity, high levels of customisation, and choice of themes. In addition to basic 32- and 64-bit systems, Bodhi maintains designated ISO images for Chromebooks and legacy machines. By default Bodhi has only five pre-installed applications: Midori, Terminology, PCManFM, ePhoto, and ePad. Additional software is available via AppCenter, a web-based software installation tool.