Linux in the news
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See also: last week's Distributions page.
Please note that security updates from the various distributions are covered in the security section.
CalderaCaldera OpenLinux 2.3 is now available. There is also an upgrade version for those who bought earlier versions of the distribution. Those interested in what is new with this release may want to look at Caldera's 2.2 and 2.3 comparison page.
As might be expected, since the Lizard installation program was first introduced with 2.2, a lot of improvements to it come with 2.3. They promise auto-detection of almost every video card and many sound cards as well. Untended installations are also now supported. RAID support and Wine, for running Windows binaries, have been added to the base system.
DebianBill Henning has added Debian 2.1 to his distribution comparison article at CPUReview.
What needs doing before the freeze for Debian 2.2? Chris Lawrence, with some assistance from Martin "Joey" Schulze, discusses the major issues, outlining 10 goals for the latest release at the same time. His outlook is optimistic: "We're not in anywhere near as bad shape as when slink froze... we have working CD scripts, boot-floppies that sorta-work. We even have console-apt for the people who hate dselect. What's not to love? :-)"
GnuPG is coming. GnuPG is a free implementation of the OpenPG standard. Now that GnuPG 1.0 has been released, expect Debian to move quickly to using it for handling developer signatures. The use of PGP, non-free software, for this purpose has been a problem for developers outside the United States. In addition, of course, it has been irritating to Debian developers to have to use non-free software for such a critical function ...
A volunteer is needed to put together the release notes for the next version of Debian. Bob Hilliard posted a note indicating that he won't be able to do them this time around and asking for help.
For more Debian News, check out the Debian Weekly News for September 7th.
MandrakeMandrakeSoft announces the opening of two Chinese offices, in Shanghai and Beijing. These offices, and some associated partnerships, will work toward the creation and distribution of a Chinese version of the Linux-Mandrake distribution. "MandrakeSoft's strategy offers multi-lingual Linux-Mandrake and positions it to become the global Linux company."
Red HatAnnouncing...Lorax. Lorax is the latest beta release out of Red Hat, that which will, presumably, become 6.1. Included is a bunch of stuff, including their new installer, a 2.2.12 kernel, LDAP authentication, and lots of other stuff. The announcement is full of warnings about its beta nature, so don't throw it on your critical servers right away...
LWN labs tried to install Lorax on one of our sacrificial machines. The following should be regarded as a set of first impressions rather than a proper review...
We would love to talk about how the system worked after installation. Alas, the install process put up a Python error about halfway through the package installation and quit. As, perhaps, a bit of deliberate whimsy, it printed "It is now safe to turn off your computer" on its way down.
Our summary: Lorax appears to be a minor upgrade to the 6.0 release; there is little in the way of breathtaking new features. Which is proper, after all, for a minor release. Once the rough edges are smoothed down, it should be a suitable successor to 6.0.
SlackwareProgress is continuing on the next version of Slackware, based on the now available Changelog. Conversion of software to handle the Linux 2.2.12 kernel seems to be the primary focus this week. Note, in the trivia area, that although the current version of Slackware is 4.0, the next release will be numbered 6.X. In fact, 6.1 beta was released on Monday. Version 5.0 was apparently a development version that will never be released.
The ftp version of SuSE 6.2 has been announced. Mirror sites for downloading the distribution are also listed, though a quick check of the mirror sites indicates that the listing is not entirely up-to-date and 6.2 is not yet available on all the mirror sites.
Yellow DogYellow Dog Linux has released an update to PAM and passwd which fix a problem with MD5 passwords. This problem apparently only affects big-endian systems (and thus not Intel systems), and is not a security problem.
Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh
September 9, 1999
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