Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Without ado, here's this week's recommended reading:
Reviews of one type or another were popular this week:
- Network Computing
has given an award to Caldera OpenLinux as the best network
operating system. "Caldera, with its strong ties to Novell, has
produced a product that serves as an excellent, full-featured
NOS. NDS integration, Samba and the native Linux networking support
make Caldara the new top dog in the NOS field."
- PC Magazine has run
a review of Sun, Microsoft, and Linux web platforms. Microsoft
won. "Although Apache lets you tune some parameters (such as
the number of processes available to clients), to do so you must
edit configuration files. In terms of ease of use, this is a far
cry from the Web-based administration that Netscape offers. And
that's just one example of how building a Web platform on Linux is
more difficult than it is on Windows NT or Solaris." (Thanks
to CÚsar A. K. Grossmann).
reviews the latest releases from Caldera, Red Hat, and SuSE. They like
all three. "I can happily report that Open Linux 2.2's Lizard
provides one of the easiest operating system install jobs I've ever
had the pleasure of playing with. It requires nary a thought."
- ZDNet has run
a brief review of KDE 1.1.1. "...the GUI proved similar
enough to Windows for novice users, while at the same time
preserving Linux's superior multi-tasking power with such Unix
standards as multiple virtual desktops."
There were only a couple of introductory pieces this week:
- One is
ZDNet's A to Z of Linux. Billed as "the essential Linux reference,"
this appears to be a general collection of brief blurbs written in
a children's book style. "A is for Apache..."
a lengthy introductory piece in Group Computing Magazine. It's a
positive article, but with more than the usual number of silly
mistakes. "So if you're planning to upgrade your operating
system, or if you're tired of your Web server crashing, this little
operating system from Sweden might be just what you want for your
servers." (Thanks to Michael J. Miller).
Sun's approach to Linux drew a couple of articles:
a brief MSNBC article about Sun's support of Linux applications running
under Solaris. "Sun marketing manager Patrick Dorsey claims
Linux applications perform well on Solaris, and says Sun can
benefit from the innovation taking place on the Linux platform.
Sun officials say the company is pushing Linux desktop solutions
especially hard because it gives Sun a way to wreak havoc on
archrival Microsoft Corp."
- And here is
a lengthy article in CNN about Sun and Linux. "Sun's
enthusiasm for Linux is driven by more than different ecological
niches for Solaris and Linux. Sun also sees the opportunity to
profit from the vitality of the Linux market. Linux developers are
churning out software ranging from Web servers to package managers
at a tremendous rate. If Sun makes good on its efforts to make
Solaris and Linux compatible, porting this software to Solaris will
There were many business-oriented pieces, as is usual these days:
And here's the rest of what we were able to find:
- Here's an English translation of an article
in the Polish ComputerWorld about the deployment of Linux in the Sobieski
Hotel in Warsaw. "Because Sobieski converted to Linux it is not running
Microsoft Office as its main office suite any more. The hotel now uses a
much less expensive package (StarOffice) offered by German Star
Division" (Reprinted with permission, thanks to Pawel Moszumanski).
- The frenzy that has surrounded Internet stocks may soon find its
way toward Linux-related companies as well, according to
this Fairfax IT column. "It seems the same factors that led to an
Internet gold rush among investors may be in their embryonic stages
as applied to open source or Linux ventures. All the hype
surrounding GNU/Linux has led to a swag of venture capitalists and
market watchers promoting open source opportunities to their
investing clients, and prospective start-ups."
- This ZDNet UK article speculates on what happens if Linux starts
showing up in mobile devices with the ability to speak the
"Bluetooth" radio connectivity protocol. "The thought of a
mobile version of Linux with embedded Bluetooth is a little
daunting particularly for the Microsoft camp."
a Computer Reseller News article about competition between the
various Linux distributions. "Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT is
the real competition, said executives at both companies. Caldera
and Red Hat exhibit alongside each other at Linux expos. And next
month, Ransom Love, Caldera's chief executive, is speaking at the
5th Annual Linux Expo, sponsored by Red Hat." (Found in
Linux Net News).
- Intel's "Technology @Work" newsletter features Linux in
this article. "Linux will get another boost in the second half
of 1999, when Intel ships 8-way SMP server motherboards using the
Profusion architecture. VA Research will be among the first to
ship 8-way Linux servers based on the Profusion technology."
(Thanks to Alexander Stohr).
- Caldera Thin Clients (the DOS side of Caldera) will be using Linux
to build set-top boxes, according to
this News.com article. "The use of Linux gets around licensing
fees a company would have to pay to use somebody else's operating
system, such as Microsoft's Windows CE..."
- Security Portal has
an article about commercial security products for Linux. "The
more tantalizing question is, who will be the Red Hat of Linux
Security? Will established security vendors risk cannibalizing
their own products lines, or will they instead spread FUD about the
idea of putting corporate jewels in the hands of open source
security? Will we see some new security companies challenge the old
guard, riding the wave of open source security wares? Stay
- Pacific HiTech expects to do great in China, according to
this Newsbytes article. "[PHT CEO} Miller estimates there are
around 10 million computers in China, most running pirated copies
of Microsoft's Windows operating system at present. 'I don't think
its unreasonable to think within a year we could have 10 percent of
the market,' he predicted."
- News.com once again
reports that AOL is considering making a Linux box. "...bypassing
Windows gives AOL an advantage, ensuring more control over their
product, lowering the cost of the device, and improving AOL's
bargaining position in dealings with Microsoft."
- In PC Week:
this article about the Canadian National Railway Company's use of
Linux. "...encouraged by its stability, the railroad has
expanded Linux's role to include e-mail, Web and proxy servers for
- Companies are not rushing out to set up Linux-based database
servers, according to
this PC Week article. "Linux databases are intriguing for many
sites, but often not enough to take them off the back burner. Many
organizations remain focused on year 2000 remediation and the
continued pilgrimage to the Web."
- Nicholas Petreley
has decided that commerce in the open-source world will revolve
around services. "So, if the new economy is driven almost
entirely by service and support, it would follow that companies
will have to focus more on reliability and suitability of their
software rather than features and glitz. Gosh, if that's the down
side, the future is looking pretty darned good."
an article in the Triangle Business Journal which looks at the
backlash to Red Hat's success. "Some Red Hat competitors and
computer purists have sounded the alarm that the Durham-based
company might be trying to hijack Linux."
a short piece in the Journal of Commerce (scroll to the end)
which worries about commercial applications for Linux. "Don't
get me wrong. I've always been a big advocate of Linux. But that
was when it was the computer geek's alternative to Windows and
everything was free. Even the Linux source code. Now, I fear,
those days are coming to an end."
- VAR Business
reports on the KDE 1.1.1 release. "Most of the top Linux vendors
also are going with KDE. Caldera Systems Inc., Pacific HiTech
Inc. and SuSE Inc. all ship their distributions with a KDE
default. One vendor conspicuously absent from the lineup is Red Hat
Software Inc., North America's Linux market leader. Its default
interface is Gnome, largely because it has invested heavily in its
- Former Netscape CTO Eric Hahn is now on the board of directors for
Red Hat, according to
this brief News.com article. "Hahn was instrumental in driving
Netscape's Linux support, Red Hat said, as well as the decision to
release its software as open source..."
- The Red Herring
covers LinuxCare's new venture capital investment. "Linuxcare now
offers a Linux university for becoming educated about Linux, a
fully staffed call center for assistance, professional services for
operating systems and integration, and professional certification
(testing and validation) of Linux software."
- Can you survive the Linux frenzy? asks Sm@rt Reseller.
"Everyone from industry analysts to Linux vendors always has
stressed that the real money in open-source software lies in
service and support. And now, with Linux making serious inroads
into the corporate marketplace, the market-share struggle between
the various distributions is ceding center stage to the behemoth
services organizations vying to support these meaty contracts."
a ZDNet Australia article about FreeBSD. "There are other
problems that can't be ignored: FreeBSD doesn't yet run on as many
hardware platforms as Linux or commercial Unix; it's limited to
Intel-based servers. And, more importantly, although FreeBSD will
run a number of Linux applications through emulation, it lacks
support from commercial database and application software
- Linux: Think hard before getting in deep says PC Week. "The most
vexing Linux problem we ran into was with the Linux kernel
itself. There are countless revisions of the kernel available, and
in tests we found that some Linux patches worked only with certain
kernels or with specific versions of applications. This
inconsistency could wreak havoc on departments trying to optimize a
Linux server to run multiple applications."
- Java Zone
comments on the "dark side of open source." Strange article. "When
someone argues that Sun should forget its restrictions and release
Java 2 as Open Source, perhaps you'll remember the lessons of
Netscape and Mozilla." (Found in
- ABC News
looks at the GNOME development process. "The open-source movement
is a bit like the construction of the great medieval cathedrals of
Europe: thousands of anonymous artisans working over time on a
grand project whose entirety they may never know. That's a fair
description of GNOME, the first graphical user interface for the
Linux operating system." Of course, some may disagree with the
use of the word "first" here... (Thanks to Damon Poole).
an article in the Times of India about localized versions of Linux
which are being put together in India. "...since Linux was
available free of cost and its source code was known, it became
easy to make the necessary changes in the codes to create a Linux
OS in Hindi and other languages." (Thanks to Ashish Shah).
- Last week's NTKnow has a couple of Linux-related articles, covering
Linux: The Way Forward gathering in London ("...Alan Cox lecturing
on e-commerce (what the!?! d'y'think he'll wear a suit?)...")
and Sir Clive Sinclair's possible new Linux product. "...we'll
wait because the man who told [Sinclair] about Linux was reputedly
Chris Bidmead, veteran tech journo and - more importantly, author
of Logopolis, the Dr Who episode that killed off Tom Baker. And if
he can do that for one geek hero..."
- MattsHouse asks:
what if Mindcraft is right? The editorial sees such a result as an
opportunity to find where the problems are and correct them.
Section Editor: Jon Corbet
May 13, 1999