| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 83, 17 January 2005
Welcome to this year's 3rd edition of DistroWatch Weekly! Lots of new releases over the weekend, especially for gaming enthusiasts, with new versions of Linux Live Game Project and Hikarunix. Also in this issue - a comment on the recent distribution comparison feature in Linux Format, news about the upcoming Fedora Core 4 and Beyond Linux From Scratch 6.0, as well as a review of DistroWatch by NewsForge. Happy reading!
"Distrowars" by Linux Format
Don't we all love "distrowars" and distribution reviews? The January issue of Linux Format features a mega-comparison of top 15 Linux distributions (Conectiva, Debian, Gentoo, Knoppix, Linspire, Lycoris, Mandrakelinux, MEPIS, Red Hat/Fedora, Slackware, SUSE, Turbolinux, Ubuntu, Yellow Dog and Yoper) with brief information about every one of them. After testing these distributions, the authors give a short verdict, then rate them according to various criteria. Although they don't explain how exactly they arrived at the final ranking, the article is an interesting read since the authors communicate various reasons for preferring a certain distribution over another.
Interestingly, the top three spots in the Linux Format ranking corresponds with the current page hit ranking on DistroWatch (the 6-month statistics). The top-rated distribution in the Linux Format article was Mandrakelinux, followed by Fedora Core and SUSE LINUX: "Mandrakelinux continues to have the best installation and configuration tools on the market, which is really what gives it the number one spot. Nothing beats DiskDrake for partitioning disks, very little comes close to the ease of use of the DrakConf URPMI package installer, and we can breeze through a Mandrakelinux install with our eyes closed." But not even Mandrakelinux is perfect: "Perhaps the key to Mandrakelinux's success is that its users keep hoping they'll fix the bugs - we love its tools but hate the stability issues, so we keep our fingers crossed that one day we'll have a bug-free Mandrakelinux. And when that day comes, there'll be angels singing in heaven..."
Below the top three spots, however, things differ somewhat from our own ranking. The 4th position is shared between Debian and, surprisingly, Yellow Dog (only 36th in our page hits), while our 4th most visited distribution page, that of MEPIS Linux, is only ranked at number 12 in the Linux Format article ("its lack of originality holds it back," claim the reviewers). The editors of Linux Format also enjoyed Linspire and Conectiva (6th and 7th respectively), although they do not fare particularly well on DistroWatch, where Linspire is currently on 24th and Conectiva on 36th position. Gentoo finished 6th ("takes long to compile") and Slackware 11th ("lack of innovation"), while the bottom spot was shared between Lycoris ("going too far in trying to please Windows converts") and Yoper ("lack of consistency").
Without doubt, there will be many readers who will disagree with some of the conclusions expressed in the magazine. As an example, the authors rated Yellow Dog Linux as the fourth best distribution (despite mixed reviews its version 4.0 received in the media), but then took away points from Slackware because it "remains a niche distribution"! The omission of Xandros Desktop from the list is also puzzling, especially since the very same magazine gave the distribution 10 out of 10 in an earlier review. And the 7th position for Linspire is perhaps another surprise - remarkably so, after the magazine asserted that "any distribution that bases its security model on Windows deserves a bit of kicking". But despite some controversial conclusions (and given that it is simply impossible to do such a feature and expect that everybody will agree), the authors did a good job with this comprehensive comparison of Linux distributions. If you've read the article, please leave a comment below; if you haven't, hurry up and get hold of the January issue of Linux Format while stocks last! (In case you are wondering, DistroWatch is not associated with Linux Format in any way.)
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Linux From Scratch Printed Edition
It seems that many of you have taken an interest in Linux From Scratch after our recommendation in a recent issue DistroWatch Weekly, just before Christmas. After all, you can't be a real geek until you build your own distribution at least once, can you? If you tried it and find the project to be a great learning tool, you might consider supporting the project by buying a printed edition of Linux From Scratch: "A preorder price of $13.99 is being offered until February 15. After February 15, the price will be $19.99. For $13.99 you will get Linux From Scratch 2nd Printed Edition and the accompanying CD." More details about the book and how to order it are available on this page.
|Released Last Week
CentOS 3.4 has been released: "The CentOS Team is pleased to announce the official release of CentOS 3.4 for i386. This release includes all RHEL 3 updates (for U4) and errata up to January 5th, 2005. New ISO images are available as well as an installable DVD edition with source. In addition, this release is available via BitTorrent." Read the rest of the release announcement with release and upgrade notes, as well as download information.
grml is a Debian-based live CD with a collection of GNU/Linux software especially for users of text tools and system administrators. Version 0.2 (code name "Satura") has been released; this is from the release announcement: "Special new features: CPU-detection on startup and start of cpudyn/powernowd depending on type of CPU; htop running on tty11; improved zsh configuration (prompt, completion,...); zsh-lovers (see 'man zsh-lovers') updated and available in; PDF-, PS- and HTML-format; grml2hd: install grml to hard disk. Updated all packages to Debian Unstable branch by 20050109. Updated boot parameter 'memtest' to Memtest86+ V1.40...." Visit the project's web site to find out more.
A new version of ParallelKnoppix is out. What's new? "Added Ganglia monitoring, with web frontend. Here is a screenshot of the Ganglia report for the tracetest_example.m running on a 2 node cluster. Added maximum likelihood and generalized method of moments examples for MPITB for GNU Octave. Added GUI scripts for remastering. Facilitates personalization, adding/removing packages, etc. This is not in the tutorial yet, but if you just follow the scripts in order, you can easily use apt-get to add/remove packages and create your own ISO image. ISO has been trimmed down to about 500MB." Find the release announcement and other information on the project's home page.
Tao Linux 1.0 Update 4
Tao Linux is a distribution rebuilt from source RPM packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). With the recent release of RHEL 3 Update 4, Tao Linux is now offering new ISO images incorporating all Red Hat updates: "OK, now that the dust has settled from RHEL3 U4, I've created updated ISOs for Tao Linux. These ISOs have all updates as of 2005-01-05. There's not an awful lot new; the thing that excites me most is the Metacity update that fixes the long-standing window dragging bug. On another note, Pasi Pirhonen has left the Tao project, and will no longer be updating x86_64, ia64, & s390. I'm pretty keen to see somebody take over x86_64, which I perceive as the most used architecture next to i386. If interested, e-mail parsley at linuxjedi dot org." Here is the release announcement.
Lormalinux 5 LTSP Server
The developers of Lormalinux have released an LTSP Server edition of Lormalinux 5, based on Slackware: "A unique variant of LTSP based on Slackware with all-loved packages optimized and customized for ease of use and functionality. Give it a try and let the setup speaks for itself. A holiday gift for all educational and business institution willing to expand the capabilities of a thin-client network setting." Read the full release announcement which includes a list of features.
Rubyx 92 (also 94, 95)
A new release of Rubyx, a source-based Linux distribution written in Ruby, is out. Unlike the previous releases, which required a specialist peer-to-peer client, Rubyx 92 is available as an ISO image from the Rubyx FTP server: "In preparation for transition to DRUSS, ISOs/tarballs are now released by FTP. This version fixes several bugs, fixes the 'glibc double free' problem, and has significant improvements to the init system, especially for handling read-only root filesystems (CD and DVD based distros). The standard kernel now includes a patch to facilitate booting from a flash pen drive using the usb-storage driver." Read the announcement for details.
Kurumin Linux 4.0
Kurumin Linux 4.0 has been released. This is the first Kurumin release built on top of the 2.6 kernel series (version 18.104.22.168) with many other improvements, including auto-detection and auto-configuration of wireless network cards, software modems, and web cams, as well as many updated packages (KDE 3.3.0, Firefox 1.0, Thunderbird 1.0). See the Kurumin changelog (in Portuguese) for a complete list of changes and improvements.
A new version of Litrix, a Slackware-based live CD from Brazil, has been released. The new release includes OpenOffice.org 1.1.3 and Java 1.5, and comes with various improvements compared to the previous release. No more details are given, but you can visit the distribution's home page (site in Portuguese only) to read the release announcement and to gather more information about the product.
Knopperdisk 0.2.1 has been released: "Here goes another one in the 0.2.x range, several packages have been updated and there are some additions as well. Additions include: mc (midnight commander), Mutt (e-mail client) and Samba (file sharing). There's also an improvement in the shutdown/reboot process since I adjusted the scripts to unmount filesystems at shutdown a bit to be more sane. Booting directly from the USB stick is planned for version 0.3.0, so for those who are waiting for that feature, please be patient." See the announcement of the project's news page.
Navyn OS 2005.01
A new version of Navyn OS, a Gentoo-based live CD, has been released. From the changelog: "new kernel 2.6.9; SATA disks are now supported; fixed installation problems; all programs are updated; now you can choose framebuffer resolution during boot; added new programs: LFTP (ftp client), xfsprogs (for XFS partitioning), rar; new security programs gkrellmwireless, macchanger, hydra, stunnel, fping, nast; added script for automounting partitions; added support for mouse with scroll wheel.
Navyn OS 2005.01 - a Gentoo-based live CD with Fluxbox as its default desktop
(full image size: 1,349kB)
Every Go player's favourite distribution - Hikarunix - has announced a new release, version 0.3: "Announcing Hikarunix 0.3, a free (GPL) live Linux CD dedicated to learning, studying, and playing Go. Changelog: Firefox upgraded to 1.0 (with Java and Flash plugins); qGo upgraded to 1.0.0-r2; ngo upgraded to 0.1.15; GNU Go upgraded to 3.7.1; CGoban upgraded to 2.6.8; Sensei's Library Snapshot size decreased by two thirds (much lower memory footprint); Quarry 0.1.10 added; WINE removed; desktop and menu access directly to Kogo's Joseki Dictionary; desktop and menu access to start a local GNU Go game instantly; based on DSL 0.9.1 with all of its new features; menu options to upgrade CGoban, Jago, and gGo directly over the internet with Java Webstart." Read the rest of the release announcement here.
Xfld is a Linux live CD with the XFce desktop; the new version 0.2 comes with the just released XFce 4.2.0. From the release announcement: "Today, the team of os-cillation has released Xfld version 0.2. Plenty of changes and updates have been made: XFce Desktop Environment has been updated to version 4.2.0; the underlying OS has been updated to Knoppix 3.7; the Mozilla web suite has been replaced with Firefox and Thunderbird; various KDE applications have been replaced with lighter alternatives; all packages contained have been updated to their latest versions; most Knoppix packages have been replaced with Xfld packages; the startup time has been reduced; numerous suggestions from Xfld 0.1 users have been considered in the development process."
Xfld 0.2 - a Knoppix-based live CD with XFce 4.2.0
(full image size: 380kB)
Berry Linux 0.52
A new version of Berry Linux has appeared on the distribution's project page: "Berry Linux 0.52. Changelog: glibc 2.3.4; Beep Media Player 0.9.7; GIMP Version 2.2.2 (Gnu Image Manipulation Program); MPlayer 1.0pre6a; Xine 0.99.3 (xine-lib 1.0); K3b 0.11.18; Digikam 0.7.1; Mozilla 1.7.5 (Japanese and English); Whiz 0.49 (Monoceros) + SCIM 1.0.2." Read the full changelog and package list for more details.
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Fedora Core 4
Red Hat has published a preliminary release schedule for Fedora Core 4. The first test (i.e. beta) release should be out on February 21, 2005, followed by test2 and test3 in roughly monthly intervals. The final release of Fedora Core 4 is expected on May 16th, 2005. You can find the details of the Fedora 4 release schedule on this page.
Beyond Linux From Scratch 6.0
The developers of Beyond Linux From Scratch, or BLFS, are preparing for the release of version 6.0: "The BLFS development version is currently undergoing final checks in anticipation of the BLFS 6.0 release. The BLFS Editorial team recommends that users reference the development release if using LFS 6.0 as a base system. Although the development version changes daily, the instructions are mostly stable and will present a cleaner set of instructions for an LFS 6.0 foundation." Here is the announcement as published on the BLFS home page.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
New distributions addition
New on the waiting list
- APLINUX. APLINUX is a Debian-based Brazilian distribution designed for mail servers.
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 374
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 9
- Number of discontinued distributions: 47
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 84
|DistroWatch in the News
DistroWatch reviewed by NewsForge
Tina Gasperson at NewsForge has been reviewing various Linux-related web sites on the Internet and DistroWatch.com has also caught her attention: "DistroWatch is one of the best resources for people who want to choose a Linux distro they'd find suitable. The site also raises awareness for smaller distributions. It has a large database with just about every Linux distribution currently available, along with useful information about each one that will help Linux searchers find the best one for them. The most interesting feature of the site is the news -- and how convenient, it's right there on the home page. It features headlines from around the Internet spotlighting the most recently released Linux flavors, Linux reviews, and 'traffic' newsletters, like the link to the latest Ubuntu Traffic." You can read the rest of the review here.
That's all for today, see you all next week!
|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|
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aLinux (formerly Peanut Linux) was an independently developed Linux distribution with RPM package management.