| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 2, 16 June 2003
|JAMD Linux for Home Users
It's official: Red Hat Linux is not the best distribution to run on your home computer. In its June edition, the Linux Format magazine provides comprehensive reviews of all three major commercial distributions released earlier this year - SuSE 8.2, Mandrake 9.1 and Red Hat 9. While SuSE 8.2 is declared a resounding winner and given the publication's "Top Stuff Award", the reviewers were not sufficiently impressed with Red Hat when compared directly to either SuSE or Mandrake. Some cited gripes include lack of a graphical partitioning tool during installation, less than sufficient support for notebook users, poor multimedia support and limited life span of the product. Red Hat fans will argue that installing apt4rpm and pointing it to FreshRPMs will cure some of the problems, but the point is that the out-of-the-box impression with Red Hat is simply not on par with the other two distributions.
However, there are many users who have valid reasons for using Red Hat - some might have invested into a Red Hat certification programme, others might use it because their employers have standardised on it. If this is the case, then consider a Red Hat-based alternative - tweaked for home users, but still fully compatible with the latest Red Hat release. One of them is JAMD Linux.
JAMD Linux has been around for almost one year and the latest release, version 0.0.6 has received some serious praise from users: "You have created the best, most up-to-date desktop/laptop distribution. It installed on my home system and laptop with no problems at all. Everything is up and running and doing well.", wrote one satisfied user on JAMD's user forums. Another agreed: "I have to say that JAMD is the best distribution I used to date, and I think I have tried them all." It seems that JAMD Linux has attracted many former Lycoris users, especially those who got tired of waiting for a new Lycoris release with more up-to-date software packages. In short, if you like Red Hat, but prefer a more KDE-centric distribution with apt-get and optimised for i686, give JAMD Linux a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Have you noticed how often SuSE has appeared in the headlines recently? It seems that SuSE is actually driving the current Linux desktop sentiment (with the usual help from Steve Ballmer), even manipulating the stock markets! It's not hard to see where SuSE's confidence is coming from - they've created the most praised desktop Linux distribution ever. The Linux Format magazine goes as far as suggesting that SuSE 8.2 should be able to compete successfully with distributions catering for less technical users, such as Xandros or Lindows, providing a lot more for a lot less than either of the two. At US$40 for the SuSE Personal Edition, it is the bargain of the year.
Speaking about SuSE, speculations about its possible merger with Turbolinux have suddenly appeared in the media. It would make sense, many of them concluded, to merge a major European Linux player with a major Asian Linux player. Sounds logical, except for the fact that Turbolinux is not a major Linux player - in Asia or anywhere else. In fact, Turbolinux is no longer a player of any scale and the only power that remains from a once mighty distribution is the grip on the Western media that keeps claiming its imaginary magnitude without checking the facts. Just visit the Linux section of any bookstore in Tokyo, Hong Kong or Taipei and do your research. The rows and rows of books about Red Hat give a good indication of who really is the major Linux player in Asia.
Knoppix is releasing a DVD edition. However, before you get too excited about the prospect of having 4.7GB of compressed software available on a bootable DVD, this is a one-time product, which will only be available to visitors of LinuxTag 2003 (10 - 13 July) in Karlsruhe, Germany. But the idea sounds very interesting, so putting some pressure on Mr Knopper to provide regular DVD editions might bear some fruit. Even if it is not free, many users will probably find it worthwhile to buy a bootable DVD containing just about the entire Debian unstable tree. Find more information in this forum thread at knoppix.net.
|Released Last Week
Lots of development releases last week. Red Flag has released a beta of its upcoming Red Flag Linux 4.0 and here is a screenshot of it sent in by Charles Bandy:
Red Flag Linux 4.0 Beta
As you can see, the Red Flag developers have gone further than anyone else to date to make Linux look like Windows XP. Do they perhaps plan a "Linux coup" by replacing all Windows installation with Red Flag Linux overnight, hoping that the government's office workers won't notice the difference? Contrary to a common belief in the Western world, Red Flag Linux is not a widely used distribution in China and most users prefer Red Hat or Mandrake (Mandrake has become very popular over the last year or so), while the geeks use Debian. All three have excellent Chinese support and have enjoyed a much larger user base than any of the domestic Linux distributions. Of course, not everybody has a choice and the Chinese government clearly prefers to use Red Flag Linux. The boxed version will ship with RedOffice, a modified version of OpenOffice with support for all aspects of the Chinese language, including printing.
Other development releases seen this week included ROCK Linux 2.0.0 beta4 (final release expected by the end of June), TA-Linux 0.2.0 beta4, IPCop 1.3.1 alpha3, Source Mage 0.6 beta3, MoviX 0.8.0 rc1, ClarkConnect 2.0 beta (final release expected in two weeks, but don't be surprised if it gets delayed) and e-smith SME Server 6.0 beta1. New releases were announced by SuSE, Quantian and ByzantineOS. SuSE's new SuSE Linux Desktop is an enterprise level product, sold only as part of a 5-year support bundle. Details about the Knoppix-based Quantian 0.3 are available here, while ByzantineOS, a Linux and Mozilla-based live CD distribution with a home entertainment bias, released version 20030614 on Sunday.
|Expected This Week
SmoothWall's 2.0 beta 5 did not arrive last week and its home page still displays the "coming soon" message. Maybe this week?
LindowsOS 4.0 was originally expected at about this time, but the latest edition of Michael's Minutes gives a subtle indication that it won't be out until next month. Expect a massive marketing campaign leading up to its release.
|Web Site News
Damn Small Linux was the only new addition to the DistroWatch database this week. Created by John Andrews in California, Damn Small Linux is a live CD distribution based on Knoppix, but its size has been reduced drastically to fit on a 50MB business-card shape CD. This is only the second "business-card size" distribution in our database, the first one being the better-known LNX-BBC. The main difference between the two is the fact that LNX-BBC is more of an expert rescue tool with a collection of utilities to repair damaged installations or recover data, while Damn Small Linux is a general purpose distribution to carry around in your wallet. It comes with XFree86 and Blackbox as the only available window manager, while other light-weight applications for email, word processing, instant messaging and playing music are also included.
The current waiting list was expanded with the addition of CDLinux. Spectra Linux, a less well-known distribution from Finland, was moved into the Discontinued Distributions section; its web site has been inaccessible for over two months and it seems that Probatus, which previously developed Spectra Linux, has decided to focus on other projects.
Number of distributions in the database: 149
Number of discontinued distributions: 18
Number of distributions on the waiting list: 29
|First of all, thank you for all the kind words you wrote in our experimental forum last week. I did suspect that many people find this site useful, but it's always nice to hear it again :-)|
On the subject of tracked packages, please visit the packages page to see a preliminary list of new packages that will be added to the existing list next month. If you still have some favourites, suggest them now, but you should have a very good reason to have them included. I've received requests to include about 150 new packages and I tried to include all packages that got more than one vote, but it is impossible to please everybody. Also, removing PHP-Nuke is under consideration - this package seems to be at the receiving end of user dissatisfaction and anger due to its licensing changes. I don't know how much of it is FUD and how much is genuine concern, so if somebody cares to shed some light on the subject, please use the space below.
BSD distributions will not be included in DistroWatch. A few voices for and against their inclusion were noted, but overall it seems that the interest just isn't there. Only 4 readers were prepared to put their money where their mouths were (if you don't know what I am talking about then re-read last week's forum posts), so the request has been declined.
That's about it for this week, see you next Monday,
|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 |
SuperGamer is a live DVD currently based on Ubuntu (previously it was based on VectorLinux), intended to showcase gaming on Linux. The distribution is optimised for a gaming computer environment, with some tweaks to help speed up running from the live DVD. While older version included some open-source and demo games, the newest release does not; however, Steam, GOG Games and The Humble Bundle can be easily installed.