Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Distributions page.
Differences between distributions, or at least between some of the major distributions, are starting to be documented as part of the development work going on at the Linux Professional Institute, in preparation for developing their certification exams. Check out the Distribution Differences Project to find the beginning of information on the Caldera, Debian, Red Hat, SuSE, Slackware, and TurboLinux distributions. If you work with these distributions, or better than that, multiple distributions so that you have some familiarity with some "unique" characteristics, contributing to this project would definitely provide a service to the community.
My credit last week to people who sent me notes about missing distributions triggered a windfall of new information this week as well! First, in the mini-linux category, Thomas Lundquist sent me a note about his distribution, floppyfw, which is also a single floppy firewall/router.
Then Florian La Roche wrote in to point out that Jurix was also missing from our lists. Jurix has been around since 1993 and, in fact, is the distribution that SuSE was originally based on. Florian still maintains Jurix, as well as now being one of SuSE's core developers.
Joining the rank of Linuces with specific language-support, KSI-Linux is aimed at supporting "Russina and Ukrainian' users requirements". KSI-Linux was developed by Global Ukraine, a large Ukrainian ISP that has been working with Linux for over five years. Their comments on why they chose to work with Linux and what they try to provide with their distribution are very interesting as well. [Thanks to Khimenko Victor].
A lawyer told me once that he felt publishing companies were the one industry guaranteed to make money from Linux, even if no one else managed to do so. It seems that MacMillan Software is a publishing company that agrees with him. In addition to announcing new titles for "Quake" and "Civilization: Call to Power", they have now joined the distribution business, with The Complete Linux Operating System 6.0. They've also traced new ground by basing the distribution on Mandrake, which is in turn based on Red Hat. We know a bit about how Mandrake differentiates itself from Red Hat. It would be curious to know whether there is a real difference between Mandrake and Complete Linux, or whether this is a case of just repackaging the original product for greater market appeal. [Thanks to Damon Poole]
Additional new distributions are included under their specific title below, along with appropriate thanks.
The prize for this week, though, (well, there is no prize, which reminds us that the Linux Weekly News T-shirts haven't been designed or created yet ...), goes to Matthias Kranz, who found a total of 22 distributions that we were not yet listing! That pretty much astounded us, since we listed forty distributions last week and thought we were finally on our way towards a comprehensive list. He mentioned that he found most of them at Woven Goods for Linux, where Lutz Henckel has been maintaining a long list of Linux distributions, along with good basic links for each distribution, including manufacturer, download site and more. Rather than flood this week's edition with good descriptions of these new distributions, we've just added them to the list and we'll introduce a subset of them each week for the next few weeks.
CalderaThe OpenLinux Tour 1999 is a free seminar from Caldera, IBM and Oracle for value-added resellers, systems integrators and independent software vendors. It will be touring a total of 15 cities from June 3rd through August 9th. Each seminar is a half-day session and appears to be aimed at people who have not yet added Linux to their portfolio of offerings for clients. See the tour page for itinerary and other details.
DebianUpdates from the Debian world comes again this week from the Debian Weekly News. From it, we got to learn about Dale Scheetz' message to debian-private (made publicly available with his permission) in regard to problems with official Debian CDs, which are still getting published without being guaranteed not to be broken. Hopefully his message and suggestions will generate some specific actions to improve the situation.
A new version of Apt, version 0.37, has been released. It contains many bug-fixes, should now support the downloading of any package and will happily retrieve source, extract and build the binaries for you.
NoMad LinuxFor scientists, engineers and geeks who know what they want and don't want anything additional, NoMad Linux was created. It is not a mini-Linux, in that it isn't designed to be booted from a floppy, but it weighs in on the light stage, with 10.5MB for the primary distribution plus 26MB+ for X Windows. It has been around since the summer of 1997 and uses the encap package management system. [Rudolf Jaksa]
Red HatA Signing RPMS HOWTO, or at least a draft version of one, was posted to the redhat.rpm.general by Dan Anderson, who has filed a bug report about the inaccuracies he sees in Red Hat's 6.0 Documentation for RPM 2.0. While we're waiting for a bug fix from Red Hat, he thought he'd pass on his hard-earned knowledge.
Rock LinuxA "Pure Server" Linux intended for Linux/Unix experts, Rock Linux is based on a different concept than most distributions. Instead of providing pre-built binaries, it manages the source code for all packages and compiles them for the target platform. Obviously, this is intended to give an automatic performance win. For a bit more information, this note from the Rock Linux maintainer Clifford Wolf mentions that Rock Linux is currently based on glibc 2.1.1, kernel 2.2.10, and may be the only disribution currently using Richard Gooch's devfs patches. [Rudolf Jaksa]
SlackwareNo updates since May 17th, 1999.
SuSEThe rumor is that SuSE will no longer split upcoming releases into multiple revision, e.g., German versus International, etc. This is an obvious good business decision, given the work that supporting multiple revisions probably is at the current time, plus the disadvantage of having a lag between the initial release and the later "revisions". The difficulty will be to guarantee that the release is stable and dependable in all situations.
We also heard that SuSE 6.2 will be glibc 2.1 based, according to this note posted by Thorsten Kukuk. It will use glibc 2.1.1 unless glibc 2.1.2 makes it out in time.
Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh
June 24, 1999