Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Distributions page.
Please note that security updates from the various distributions are covered in the security section.
News and Editorials
The latest Linux: SCO. Check this week's Front Page for information on a new distribution from SCO that we'll be seeing in the near future.
Jailbait. Based on work from the LEM project, Jailbait dubs itself "Another Interesting Linux But Also Intimidating Too". A "fully functional" distribution that fits into 16MB of disk, Jailbait seems to have had the Netpliance iOpener in mind in its development, though, of course, it could be used for other similar-sized appliances as well.
Minor distribution updates
Bastille LinuxA new stable version of Bastille Linux, version 1.1.0, has been released. This new version has an improved architecture and can be run on "non-virgin" systems. That is an important new functionality. Bastille Linux is a "hardening script" for Red Hat Linux. This new feature will allow Red Hat users to use Bastille Linux to improve their system security without having to reinstall the system from scratch.
IBM chooses Caldera. An item of particular interest to Caldera fans and covered in detail on this week's Front Page, IBM has chosen Caldera OpenLinux, tailored by Linuxcare, to be pre-installed on IBM Thinkpad laptops.
Caldera's OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4 (Signal Ground). Signal Ground reviews Caldera OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4. "After installing Caldera's Open eDesktop, I was impressed by the great similarities between the KDE desktop and MS Windows. The KDE desktop is made up of 4 primary areas: the desktop (including icons), the KPanel, the Main menu and the Taskbar. All these panels and menus are made to help a user quickly access any of the programs in an ergonomic manner."
Debian Weekly News. This week's Debian Weekly News focuses on a discussion about possibly removing "non-free" from Debian. Debian carefully sorts out software that does not meet the Debian Free Software Guidelines and stores it in a separate directory, titled "non-free". In the "potato" release, the non-free area includes packages like acroread, angband, blender, chimera, Netscape, csound, ezmlm, GIF and TIFF support for GIMP, ghostscript 5, Sun Java, MySQL, PGP, povray, qmail, tgif, tripwire, xv, and many, many more.
Although no packages from this directory are installed as part of a default installation, the "non-free" directory is available on all mirrors and is occasionally shipped as part of a full Debian CD set (though it should not be, since much of the software is non-free due to commercial redistribution restrictions). John Goerzen published this proposal that "non-free" be removed entirely, provoking a long discussion (over 1000 messages) and no clear outcome, at least as of yet.
Hopefully a consensus can be worked out. The current choice to segregate, but not eliminate, source-code-available software that isn't truly "free (libre)", is a good compromise already. It is part of what makes Debian an extremely rich and flexible distribution. It also allows individuals to educate themselves and make their own choices. In the end, that is another type of "freedom" that we strongly encourage.
Debian GNU/HurdA new issue of the Kernel Cousin Debian Hurd is out. This is a newsletter that summarizes discussions on the Hurd development list. Activity during this last period has been extremely light. It mentions that Richard Stallman will be giving a talk on the GNU/Hurd at the upcoming Debian conference.
Review: Gentus Linux 2.0 (Duke of URL). We mentioned the Gentus distribution in last week's Distributions Summary. For more information, check out this review from the Duke of URL. ABIT is apparently including their distribution with their BE6-II, BP6 and BF6 motherboards. "No, it's not a bad Jamaican accent, it's Abit's new performance monitoring utility! This is where Abit's distribution really shines and I would like to see other motherboard makers implement this. I found this utility was actually much more accurate than VIA's own monitoring utility, as well. Unfortunately, there is a kernel module required by this, so if you want it, you either need to get Gentus, or put Abit's kernel on your system."
Gentus and the GPL. Some allegations have been raised that Gentus is failing to comply with the GPL by not releasing all of its kernel source code. We're watching the situation, and will report further if the need arises.
Interview: GaŽl Duval (BeOpen). BeOpen interviews Linux-Mandrake creator GaŽl Duval. "First, we aren't Red Hat plus KDE anymore. We have a new graphical installation which is nice. It's one of the most powerful installation toolkits available, and it's simple to use. We are very attractive from the end user point of view. Red Hat, on the other hand, is very, very targeted toward the enterprise."
Linux-Mandrake 7.1 Reviews. Reviews of Linux-Mandrake 7.1 were popular this week. We have no less than three to share with you:
Mandrake discussion forum and 7.1 Alpha beta release. MandrakeSoft has announced the creation of a discussion forum where users can talk about future Linux-Mandrake releases. If there is something you would like to see in an upcoming version of the distribution, here is your chance to tell them about it.
MaxOS was covered in this March LWN feature article.
SlackwareThe -current tree for Slackware has been upgraded to Linux kernel 2.2.16 in response to the security problems reported with earlier kernels. In addition, inn has been upgraded due to security issues (see last week's Security Summary), though it was never shipped in a vulnerable configuration.
Most noticeable, though, even though there has been no announcement, the version numbers for the -current tree were bumped to 7.1.0 on Monday. Expect an official announcement of Slackware 7.1.0 in the near future.
SuSE delivers enterprise Linux for IBM RS/6000. Here's an announcement from IBM and SuSE on the upcoming release of SuSE Linux for the RS/6000. It also covers the booting of Linux on the Power4 processor.
In addition, SuSE put out their own press release, covering their new support for the Apple PowerPC and Motorola PreP, in addition to the IBM RS/6000. "Of great interest to Mac users and professionals +is the inclusion of the Virtual Machine (MOL) MAC on LINUX in the distribution, making it possible to start the MacOS in Linux and switch from one program to +the other. In addition, the Mac user also has the option of using standard PCI +hardware, such as network cards or TV cards."
SuSE 6.4 Review (GNULinux.com). GNULinux.com has taken a look at SuSE 6.4. "As we mentioned, the focus of this major upgrade in v6.4 is geared toward new users. Apart from the ever present 530 pages of documentation, there is a new high color, very graphical, and easy to read new-user's manual. It covers the installation process, along with preparation tips, and identifies potential trouble spots specifically geared to the new user."
Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh
June 15, 2000