| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 243, 10 March 2008
Welcome to this year's 10th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! This week belongs to the fans of GNOME. The brand new version 2.22 of the popular desktop environment is scheduled for release on Wednesday and everything suggests that we can expect another great set of improvements that will grace the upcoming releases of all major distributions. In the news section, we'll take a quick look at the new features and applications in Mandriva Linux 2008.1, follow the development of the Xfce spin of Fedora 9, pass on a request from Theo de Raadt to test the upcoming OpenBSD 4.3, and link to the freely downloadable DVD images of Yellow Dog Linux 6.0. Finally, while we all await impatiently the first beta release of Gentoo Linux 2008.0, we take a look at some of the exciting new features in the upcoming release of the Gentoo-based Sabayon Linux 3.5. Happy reading!
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Entropy - a new package management toolkit for Sabayon Linux
Judging by the project's release activity, the development of Sabayon Linux has slowed down considerably in the last 12 months. The distribution's current stable version (3.4) came out in July 2007, but since then -- apart from a couple of minor updates and the first beta of Sabayon Linux 3.5 in December last year -- seemingly nothing much has happened. Fortunately, the drop in release frequency doesn't correlate well with the actual level of activity at the project. While the development of the next stable version is indeed proceeding at a slower pace than it used to, much behind-the-scenes code, intended to make the upcoming release of Sabayon Linux stand out from the crowd, continues to be written daily. One of these little subprojects is Entropy, a new package management toolkit for Sabayon Linux.
Entropy is described as a package management system that combines the best of Portage, Yum and APT to provide a fast, intuitive and trouble-free solution for Sabayon Linux users. It consists of several tools. The text-mode client called "Equo" was already available in a previous Sabayon Linux release, but the graphical client called "Spritz" is expected to make its first appearance only in version 3.5. Other tools that make up the Entropy kit include "Reagent" and "Activator", which are server applications.
Equo works in a fashion similar to "apt-get" or "yum" when used in a terminal window. One can update the package database with "equo update" and install a new package with "equo install <package-name>". There are also commands for managing package repositories, searching for packages or manipulating the installed package database. Just as with Yum, the Equo package database is powered by SQLite, but it also includes a number of interesting features; as an example, one can install multiple packages inside an archive with a single command or convert Sabayon packages so that they become compatible with Gentoo Linux.
Spritz is work in progress. Not much information is available at this time, but the package is already available in the Sabayon Linux repository. A number of screenshots were recently published on the Planet Sabayon blog, showing the user interface, search function and various dialogs that provide package information.
The Spritz package manager (more screenshots available here)
We should know a lot more about Entropy later this week when the second beta release of Sabayon Linux 3.5 shows up on the mirrors. Fabio Erculiani, the founder of Sabayon Linux explains the reasons behind starting Entropy: "I've been busy for about 13 months working on it and now we are very close to have something that could really change the way users see a Gentoo-based distribution - the Entropy stack. There are still some secondary things missing, like the package masking interface and the Gentoo Linux Security Advisories (GLSA) interface. Non-free licenses will also pop-up and require users to accept their terms. Another cool thing is that I already implemented an "equo security" interface with the promise of creating an official team and a web page dedicated to security within the next 12 months."
Entropy is not the only new feature that the upcoming beta release of Sabayon Linux will deliver. Major improvements to the system installer, a new update notifications applet for the taskbar, support for more wireless network drivers, the new Elisa media player and Compiz Fusion 0.7.2 are just some of them exciting stuff that will be present in Sabayon Linux 3.5. Furthermore, Fabio Erculiani also promises several "secret surprises" - just to whet our appetites.
All in all, there is a lot to look forward to in the next few weeks. In the meantime, here are some interesting links for further reading on Entropy and other Sabayon Linux topics:
Package database: http://packages.sabayonlinux.org/
Entropy manifesto: http://www.sabayonlinux.org/sabayon/press/entropy_manifesto.pdf
Entropy Wiki: http://wiki.sabayonlinux.org/index.php?title=Entropy
Entropy documentation: http://www.sabayonlinux.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=75&t=11871
Spritz screenshots: http://planet.sabayonlinux.org/?p=85
What's new in Mandriva Linux, Fedora Xfce spin updates, OpenBSD pre-release testing, free download of YDL 6.0
The upcoming release of Mandriva Linux 2008.1 is just a few short weeks away. As such, the development team has updated their 2008.1 What's New page, listing the most important features of the new version. Besides the usual hardware compatibility improvements and package updates, much work has been put into streamlining the Mandriva package management infrastructure. Many of the graphical package update dialogues have been modified, some redundant ones removed and the entire system made noticeably faster and more user-friendly. Some new applications have made their first appearance in the distribution - the unusual Elisa media player and image viewer is one package that could find a decent fan base, while the Avant Window Navigator, a highly configurable Mac OS X-like taskbar, offers some interesting effects to compliment the distribution's other 3D desktop features. And those readers lucky enough to own an ASUS Eee PC will be pleased to know that Mandriva Linux 2008.1 has been tweaked to work on this low cost laptop out of the box. There is a lot more, so do take a look at the upcoming features and improvements in Mandriva Linux 2008.1.
* * * * *
The Xfce community spin of Fedora 8 has been a great success, but some users expressed disappointment over the missing Fedora artwork from the spin. Luckily, things are about the change and the Xfce edition of the upcoming Fedora 9 should have full integration of all Fedora artwork, desktop icons and other features: "As you can see, Xfce now inherits the same default background as GNOME and KDE and uses the Mist icon set which is also the default in GNOME currently. The hard dependency on xfce-icon-theme from xfce4-panel and Thunar has been dropped in Rawhide. I believe we are supposed to be getting the Nodoka theme but that doesn't appear to be the case yet. There have been some discussions about the default panel layout and there is a lot of different possibilities including a GNOME like layout but we are likely to go ahead with some changes by including the trash, mixer applet in the default top panel. If there is a preference for a specific layout, let us know what (include screenshots preferably) and explain why."
The Xfce spin of Fedora 9 will inherit the project's artwork, theme and icon set
(images courtesy of Rahul Sundaram, full image size: 951kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Still on the subject of Fedora, here is nice interview with Max Spevack and Paul Frields, the outgoing and incoming Fedora Project Leaders (FPL) respectively. Paul Frields: "The secret of this job is that there isn't one. I don't think the FPL should go off in a back room, single-handedly invent an amazing new vision for Fedora, and then go around convincing everyone to follow it. I think the FPL is supposed to listen to the contributors who are already leading Fedora in new directions, and figure out how to better build community around those efforts. And of course the FPL should always be doing this in the context of maintaining Fedora's commitment to free and open source software, for everyone, now and always."
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Theo de Raadt, the founder and lead developer of OpenBSD, has announced the availability of a pre-release build of OpenBSD 4.3: "Right about now is a great time for our user community to jump in and do some install and upgrade tests. The 4.3 release cycle is fully in swing, and I hope that I can get it over with soon so that the developers can start work on the bug fixes and new work that can't make it into 4.3." This is the first time the OpenBSD project released testing CD images prior to the final release and solicited beta testers on a public mailing list. If you would like to help, here are a couple of links to the installation CD images for the i386 and x86_64 architectures: i386/install43.iso (207MB, MD5), amd64/install43.iso (222MB, MD5). Happy testing!
* * * * *
Terra Soft Solutions, the only Linux distribution maker focusing exclusively on developing Linux products for the Power architecture, has released Yellow Dog Linux 6.0 installation DVD as a free download. Originally announced on February 5th 2008, Yellow Dog Linux 6.0 is based on Fedora 6 and includes the Linux kernel 2.6.23, X.Org 7.1, GNOME 2.16, Enlightenment 0.17, OpenOffice.org 2.0.4, Firefox 22.214.171.124, and other popular open source applications. The product has been optimised to work on Apple PowerPC G4 and G5, SONY PlayStation 3 and IBM System p. For more information please visit the company's product pages. Download the Yellow Dog Linux 6.0 installation DVD from here: yellowdog-6.0-DVD_20080207.iso (3,799MB, SHA1).
|Released Last Week
Linux Mint 4.0 "KDE"
Clement Lefebvre has announced the final release of Linux Mint 4.0 KDE Community edition: "Linux Mint 4.0 KDE released. Daryna KDE is nearly as 'minty' as the main edition now. The packages are (safely) up to date and the kernel is the Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon kernel 2.6.22. Mint applications: mintInstall, mintWifi, mintUpdate, mintAssistant, mintUpload. Minted versions of Firefox, Sunbird. Changes since the beta release: fixed the HAL USB NTFS problem; changed some Compiz default settings to make it more 'KDE-ish' and fix a known bug; added a Linux Mint user agent to Konqueror and pre-added some sites to use the Mint user agent. This helps people know Linux Mint is out and about." Read the rest of the release notes for known issues, installation instructions and upgrade notes.
Linux-EduCD is a distribution developed by Poland's SIMP Studium Techniki, with focus on education, graphics, office and multimedia software and designed for deployment in Polish schools. The newly released version 0.9 is the project's first build based on PCLinuxOS (previously it was based on Ubuntu). This version includes new graphical configuration tools, an option to create a custom live CD/DVD or an image for USB storage devices, improved support for WiFi cards and HP printers, and a range of educational software. The distribution is built on top of a Linux kernel 126.96.36.199, while the desktop is KDE 3.5.8. Also included are OpenOffice.org 2.3.1, PVM, Octave 3, IBM OpenDX 4.4, Firefox 2.0.12, Opera 9.25, WordPress 2.3.3 and VirtualBox 1.5.2. Please visit the project's home page (in Polish) to read the full release announcement and to see a handful of screenshots.
Kiwi Linux 8.03
Jani Mosones has announced the stable release of Kiwi Linux 8.03, an Ubuntu derivative tailored to Romanian and Hungarian users: "The second and last release of Kiwi Linux to be based on Ubuntu 7.10 is ready for download today. Since 7.10 there are a few changes: German language packs are added in addition to English, Romanian and Hungarian; Medibuntu repositories are activated by default, thus Skype, Google Earth and other packages are installable via Synaptic; bug-fix and security updates from the 7.10 archives are up to date; there's a Zenity-based tool on the live CD that helps with restoring the GRUB menu; Inkscape was removed because of lack of space." Read the full release announcement for further information.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
- Ophcrack LiveCD. Ophcrack LiveCD is a specialist Slax-based live CD containing Ophcrack, an open source Windows password cracker that uses rainbow tables. The graphical program included on the live CD is reputed for being able to crack alphanumeric Windows passwords of up to 14 characters in usually just a few seconds.
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- PA-RISC Linux. PA-RISC Linux is a Debian-based distribution, a native port for Hewlett-Packard's PA-RISC architecture.
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DistroWatch database summary
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 17 March 2008.
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Issue 767 (2018-06-11): Android-x86 7.1-r1, transferring files over OpenSSH with pipes, LFS with Debian package management, Haiku ports LibreOffice|
|• Issue 766 (2018-06-04): openSUSE 15, overview of file system links, Manjaro updates Pamac, ReactOS builds itself, Bodhi closes forums|
|• Issue 765 (2018-05-28): Pop!_OS 18.04, gathering system information, Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie|
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Issue 763 (2018-05-14): Fedora 28, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, malware found in some Snaps, Debian's many flavours|
|• Issue 762 (2018-05-07): TrueOS 18.03, live upgrading Raspbian, Mint plans future releases, HardenedBSD to switch back to OpenSSL|
|• Issue 761 (2018-04-30): Ubuntu 18.04, accessing ZFS snapshots, UBports to run on Librem 5 phones, Slackware makes PulseAudio optional|
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• Issue 754 (2018-03-12): Reviewing Sabayon and Antergos, the growing Linux kernel, BSDs getting CPU bug fixes, Manjaro builds for ARM devices|
|• Issue 753 (2018-03-05): Enso OS 0.2, KDE Plasma 5.12 features, MX Linux prepares new features, interview with MidnightBSD's founder|
|• Issue 752 (2018-02-26): OviOS 2.31, performing off-line upgrades, elementary OS's new installer, UBports gets test devices, Redcore team improves security|
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• Issue 750 (2018-02-12): Solus 3, getting Deb packages upstream to Debian, NetBSD security update, elementary OS explores AppCentre changes|
|• Issue 749 (2018-02-05): Freespire 3 and Linspire 7.0, misunderstandings about Wayland, Xorg and Mir, Korora slows release schedule, Red Hat purchases CoreOS|
|• Issue 748 (2018-01-29): siduction 2018.1.0, SolydXK 32-bit editions, building an Ubuntu robot, desktop-friendly Debian options|
|• Issue 747 (2018-01-22): Ubuntu MATE 17.10, recovering open files, creating a new distribution, KDE focusing on Wayland features|
|• Issue 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Heretix (formerly known as Rubyx) was a young GNU/Linux distribution managed entirely by heretix, a Ruby script. Heretix boasts a clean design and a pragmatic package handling concept. It was not a "point-and-click" distribution, but it was easy to use for everyone who was not afraid of the shell. And Heretix was written in readable Ruby code, offering every user the opportunity to understand how their system works.