| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 139, 20 February 2006
Welcome to this year's 8th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu Linux and one of the most prominent personalities of the Free Software world, is the focus of today's issue. The featured article is then followed by a news round-up quoting Mandriva's position on Xgl, discussing the current delays in the development of both SUSE Linux 10.1 and Fedora Core 5, revealing "Ebuntu", a new Ubuntu derivative with Enlightenment 17, and monitoring the career path of Daniel Robbins, the founder of Gentoo Linux. The issue concludes with the usual sections detailing the upcoming releases and new distributions. Happy reading!
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Feature: DistroWatch meets Mark Shuttleworth
It doesn't happen often that representatives of a major Linux distribution call on this part of the world. But a favourable moon constellation at the start of the lunar new year, combined with the ongoing Ubuntu Asia Business Tour meant that, last week, Mark Shuttleworth and his small team of Canonical business people arrived in Taipei for a brief, 3-day visit. Although the main purpose of the trip was to establish contacts with hardware manufacturers, system builders, integrators and localisation teams, the Ubuntu leader did not shy away from meeting with local Linux communities. As part of the visit, Shuttleworth also gave a speech at the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering of the National Taiwan University.
And what a speech it was! Dressed in a tie and suit after a day of meeting with local business leaders, the 32-year old South African multimillionaire delivered a lecture combining topics as diverse as space travel, entrepreneurship, and of course, Ubuntu Linux. Looking energetic and motivated despite the gruelling 5-week tour of 13 Asia Pacific countries from Pakistan to New Zealand, Shuttleworth explained the reasons for launching a Linux-based operating system: "We are at the beginning of a major revolution in the software industry," he said, "a revolution that will bring down many established empires and create opportunities for new ones to rise to the top."
By building a new and free operating system, the founder of Ubuntu is attempting to grasp an opportunity which fundamental changes in any industry invariably provide. "Before launching Ubuntu, I asked myself: where do I want to be? Do I want to be on the sidelines, reading about these changes, or do I want to jump straight into the action and help shaping the future?" Commenting on human potential behind any undertaking, he added: "A small group of passionate people is all it takes to change the world. In fact, if you look through the history of humanity, they are the only ones who have ever changed anything." Shuttleworth used a simple analogy to explain the timing of his involvement: "When is the best time to plant a tree? Twenty years ago. When is the second best time? Now."
What are the fundamental goals of Ubuntu Linux? Firstly, it should be available globally. Secondly, it should provide free security updates for a reasonable period of time. Thirdly, it should be commercially viable. While Ubuntu Linux is currently being driven mostly by philanthropy and volunteer work, the ultimate goal is to make the distribution self-supportable through sale of services and custom solutions. And lastly, a Linux desktop should have compelling technical advantages, similar to what Linux has achieved in the server space, for companies and individuals to deploy. Other important goals of the project include community governance, transparency, predictable release cycle, and a clean, clutter-free desktop, with additional software available in extra repositories.
Shuttleworth also stressed the importance of having a close relationship with the maintainers of upstream software packages and other distributions, especially Debian. "Distros are doing a lot of excellent work, but the upstream often doesn't know about it." He used this opportunity to promote Launchpad.net, a SourceForge-like collaboration tool for tracking bugs and providing patches in distributions and upstream packages. Launchpad.net is designed to accelerate the exchange of information between all major distributions and remove the overhead associated with allocating developers to fixing bugs that have already been fixed elsewhere. On the subject of Launchpad.net not being open source software, the Ubuntu leader explained: "Launchpad.net will be open source. It is not yet open source, because it helps generating revenue for the company."
The upcoming release of Ubuntu Linux, code name "Dapper Drake", will mark the distribution's transition to appeal to a wider audience by providing an operating system supported for an extensive period of time - 5 years on the server and 3 years on the desktop. "This is a good time to launch such a product," Shuttleworth explained. "The 2.6 kernel series has been out for several years and is now very stable, GCC 4 has matured, X.Org has also proven itself, and OpenOffice.org 2 is a really great office application capable of competing with other similar suites on the market." The new release will also provide an opportunity for software and hardware certification to ensure mutual compatibility.
How do you spell "Ubuntu" in Chinese?
After the speech lasting for an hour, an open discussion ensued, often spiced up by humorous stories, such as those surrounding the infamous Ubuntu wallpaper or how Ubuntu once shipped their CDs to an uninhabited island. But answering a question about why Ubuntu doesn't just follow Red Hat's well established business model of providing a subscription and a support contract for its enterprise distribution, Shuttleworth once again regained his entrepreneurial seriousness: "Because then people would just buy Red Hat, and Ubuntu would always be 'second best'. And I refuse to build a distribution or run a company that is only 'second best'." He also denied that there was any truth in recent news reports about 'Goobuntu', an Ubuntu-based distribution rumoured to be developed by Google.
After the speech, it was time for a party, or more precisely, an Ubuntu InstallFest, organised by the Taipei Open Source Software User Group (TOSSUG) in a nearby coffee shop. Although visibly tired and probably wishing for an early night, Shuttleworth was overheard saying: "I want to go and see what kind of issues people here have while installing and running Ubuntu." Once in the more relaxed atmosphere of the coffee bar -- and after accepting a gift of a Chinese calligraphy roll from the organisers -- the installation walk-through could begin. This was followed by a lively discussion between the Ubuntu project leader and those TOSSUG members who were lucky enough to get close to his table. It was also the most enlightening part of the evening; after all, which other Linux distribution leader (or CEO of a company producing an operating system, for that matter) goes out to meet with ordinary users to listen to their complaints and suggestions?
In the joyful atmosphere of post-speech interaction between the Ubuntu founder and his audience, your DistroWatch maintainer stole a moment to introduce himself to Mark Shuttleworth. His first reaction? "You guys are amazing! You get the news out so fast! How do you manage that?" (Thank you for the compliment, Mark.) Does he read DistroWatch? "Yes, I read it for the news. Because you publish it before everybody else!"
All in all, it was a great afternoon and evening. As you've probably guessed by now, your DistroWatch maintainer was highly impressed by the man who has clearly set out to change the world and who is convinced that he will succeed. The speech itself was not only informational and entertaining, it was also very passionate and inspirational, frequently interlaced with words of wisdom. While it is a well-known fact that money and fame can spoil a person, it would appear that, up until now, they have had little negative impact on the founder of Ubuntu.
With so much passion and determination behind it, don't be surprised if Ubuntu Linux becomes, one day, a truly global, widely-used operating system.
* * * * *
Miscellaneous news: Mandriva and Xgl, SUSE and Fedora delays, Ebuntu, Daniel Robbins leaves Microsoft
Last week, we reported about the speedy adoption of the Novell-enhanced Xgl (X over OpenGL) graphics subsystem by several distributions. The latest development releases of both SUSE and Ubuntu now include Xgl, as well as Compiz, a new OpenGL compositing manager, while adventurous Gentoo users can also try the new features. Mandriva, on the other hand, has decided not to adopt the Novell-backed technology: "Mandriva is not going to officially adopt the Novell Xgl server (Xglx). Instead, we are trying to push the Xegl development." However, those Mandriva users who still wish to install Xgl on their systems can do so by following these instructions by Matthieu Duchemin.
After a long wait, the fourth beta of SUSE Linux 10.1 was finally released late on Saturday. While some users have welcomed the news and enhancements that have gone into the latest release, the accompanying stern warnings in the release announcement resulted in uneasiness among others. Why introduce major changes in the package manager and installer so late in the development cycle? By releasing a new beta with a large number of known bugs and no longer supporting upgrades from previous versions, SUSE's latest development release was effectively relegated to an early "alpha" status! As such, it will almost certainly take much longer than expected to stabilise the enhancements, with the result that the final release date will likely slip by several weeks. Will the new SUSE be worth the wait? Let's hope so.
Those SUSE fans who are disheartened by the current state of affairs in their distribution's development process can take heart in knowing that users of the Fedora distribution are not much better off. The third and final test of Fedora Core 5 has been postponed once again and is now expected on Wednesday, 22 February. However, the final release, scheduled for 15 March, has not been affected by the change. While waiting for the new test release, Fedora fans might find it interesting to read about the evolution of their favourite distribution, with a good collection of links to further reading material.
After Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Xubuntu and Nubuntu, it seems that a new product is about to join the growing family of Ubuntu-based sub-projects and derivatives. Called Ebuntu, the new initiative is designed for those users who enjoy the spectacular desktop effects of the latest Enlightenment E17 window manager: "Ebuntu aims to provide an enhanced and attractive user interface. The secondary aim of Ebuntu is to show off the eye-candy capabilities of the Linux operating system in general and Ubuntu in particular." Although the project is still in an early development stage, the integration of Enlightenment with "Dapper Drake" has been completed and a first live CD demonstrating Ebuntu should be released for download later this week. For more information please see the initial announcement and the Ebuntu Wiki page.
Nine months after the controversial decision to take up a position at Microsoft Corporation, Daniel Robbins, the founder of Gentoo Linux, has reportedly left the world's largest software company: "Robbins told ZDNet UK in an e-mail Monday that he decided to leave because he was not able to use all his technical skills in his role." Although the former Gentoo leader is no longer with the company which has been trying to discredit Linux and other open source software in recent years, he remains firmly entrenched in the Windows world as he joins ABC Coding Solutions, an independent software company providing information and consulting services for the health industry. For more information please read this news report at CNET.
|Released Last Week
Berry Linux 0.67
A new version of Berry Linux is now available. The latest release of the Fedora-based live CD ships with an upgraded kernel 22.214.171.124 (with SMP support, ndev/udev and bootsplash patches), KDE 3.5.1, Firefox 126.96.36.199 and Thunderbird 1.5. The lightweight Fluxbox window manager has been replaced with what looks like an alternative developed in-house and going under the name of "Rasp-UI". Wine 0.9.2 has been added to Berry Linux for the first time. Other updated applications include GIMP 2.2.10, Inkscape 0.43 and Sylpheed 2.0.6. See the full changelog for further information.
Openwall GNU/*/Linux 2.0
Openwall GNU/*/Linux 2.0 has been released: "After many Owl-current snapshots, Owl 2.0 release is finally out. Owl 2.0 is built around Linux kernel 2.4.32-ow1, glibc 2.3.6 (with our security enhancements), GCC 3.4.5, and recent versions of over 100 other packages. It offers binary- and package-level compatibility for most packages intended for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (RHEL4) and Fedora Core 3 (FC3), as well as for many FC4 packages. Additionally, Owl 2.0 uses our new installer, making installation a lot easier than it used to be for Owl 1.1 and below." Read the release announcements with relevant links on the project's home page.
rPath Linux 1.0
The first ever stable release of rPath Linux is out: "rPath Linux 1 available (x86 and x86_64). rPath Linux is a freely-available Linux operating system distribution, built with the Conary distributed software management system, supported and maintained by rPath, Inc. The rPath Linux distribution contains high-quality, up-to-date software, and is the base development platform for creating software appliances and purpose-built distributions using rBuilder Online." Read the rest of the release notes for further information.
Zenwalk Linux 2.2
A new major release of the Slackware-based Zenwalk Linux is out: "Zenwalk 2.2 has been released! This version introduces many improvements at system and desktop levels. Zenwalk 2.2 runs atop Linux kernel version 188.8.131.52, introducing an improved hotplug subsystem, fully based on udev. This is a major change in the way Linux handles hotpluging and coldpluging, thus resulting in faster boot times. About 140 packages have been updated, including the Mozilla Firefox web browser, Mozilla Thunderbird email client, AbiWord word processor, Gnumeric spreadsheet.... Like before, the Zenwalk desktop is based on XFce (version 4.3.0)." Read the full release announcement for further details.
LinEspa is a Spanish Linux distribution and live CD based on Knoppix and optimised for Spanish and Latin American users. The latest release, version 0.32, has been specially prepared for the International Conference of Free Software in Málaga, Spain, where some 1,000 CDs containing the distribution were given away. The most important changes in this release include a new kernel 2.6.15, addition of the AMSN messenger 0.95 with support for webcams, and new versions of Firefox (1.0.7) and Thunderbird (1.0.7). See the release announcement (in Spanish) for additional information.
Elive 0.4, featuring the latest development builds of both Enlightenment 16 and 17, has been released. New features: "This version is a stabilization of 0.3, a better release with all bad things fixed, but also with many of new features; new installer, with more file systems supported and a cleaner installation; Elive mounts automatically USB sticks and CD-ROMs, Debian-based kernel 2.6.12 + udev; Firefox with Java and Flash; ELPANEL - the new control panel of Elive with many features; easy printer configuration; Cinelerra 2.0; Elive is now much faster - DMA enabled; driver modules updated and new ones added; new version of AMSN with webcam support...." Visit the distribution's download page to see the complete list of new features, bug fixes and known issues.
A new version of Annvix, a security-enhanced, server-oriented distribution based on Mandriva Linux, has been released: "Annvix 1.2-RELEASE (Cerberus) is now available! Most of the changes since 1.1 were made to the development process; however it includes some updated software and security fixes. It is recommended that everyone using 1.1 upgrade soon as it is no longer supported. Some of the features include: 2.4.32 kernel with the Openwall Linux kernel patch and RSBAC support; updated services including OpenSSH 4.3p2, runit 1.3.3, PostgreSQL 8.0.7, PHP 4.4.2, and Apache 2.0.55...." Read the release announcement and release notes for more information.
* * * * *
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to the waiting list|
- GNX.IN Linux. GNX.IN is a multi-purpose distribution combining the Linux kernel with the NetBSD package management system - pkg_add.
- OliveBSD. OliveBSD is a live CD based on OpenBSD with graphical environment and various software packages.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
That's all for today. The next issue of DistroWatch Weekly will be published on Monday, 27 February 2006. See you then :-)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 841 (2019-11-18): Emmabuntus DE3-1.00, changing keys in a keyboard layout, Debian phasing out Python 2 and voting on init diversity, Slackware gets unofficial updated live media|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
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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 |
StressLinux is an openSUSE-based minimal Linux distribution that runs from a bootable CDROM or via PXE. It makes use of some utilities such as stress, cpuburn, hddtemp, lm_sensors, etc. It is dedicated to users who want to test their system(s) entirely on high load and monitor the health of these systems.