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 EditorialsAMIRIX Linux is a new commercial distribution which hit the PR circuit this week. It's another embeddable distribution, with the usual support for running out of flash memory, headless operation, and so on. AMIRIX Linux is a Debian-based product; in fact, AMIRIX claims to be an "instrumental" force in setting up the Embedded Debian Project.
A glance through the AMIRIX Linux web site will turn up some more information on the distribution. What's missing is any sort of information on how to actually get a copy of AMIRIX Linux. It turns out that their business model is to work with the manufacturers of embedded systems boards, and to provide a tailored version of the distribution to them. If and when the result is distributed, it is done by the board manufacturer, not by AMIRIX. So there's no straightforward way to just download and look at this distribution.
OpenBSD 2.7 released. The release of OpenBSD 2.7 has been announced. Most of the improvements seem to be cryptographic in nature, including a new version of OpenSSH and an encrypted swap area.
BlueCat LinuxBlueCat Linux 2.0. LynuxWorks has announced the release of BlueCat Linux 2.0, which contains a number of new features aimed at embedded systems applications, including a new memory profiler and an interactive debugger. It also supports a wider range of hardware than the previous (1.0) release.
Caldera OpenLinuxAn automatic update script for Caldera systems was announced by Douglas Hunley. It's intended to be run out of cron; it will download and apply updates automatically.
An update mirror for Caldera. The same Mr. Hunley has set up a mirror site which makes Caldera Systems' updates available. Getting through to the main site has evidently been difficult at times recently; using a mirror can make life easier for yourself and everybody else as well.
The latest FAQs from Caldera can be seen in this listing.
DebianTest cycle 3 to begin. Anthony Towns, who is acting as the potato release manager in Richard Braakman's absence, has announced a plan for the third potato test cycle. The hope is to get out a candidate which has fixed all of the bugs that are currently preventing a release. That involves getting fixed versions of a number of packages in (see this update for a list) and putting it all together. Things are getting closer...
ReiserFS is not free enough for Debian? A note showed up on debian-legal this week after a ReiserFS package was rejected due to its licensing. The offending text is "If you wish to integrate it with any other software system which is not GPL'd, without integrating it into an operating system kernel, then you must obtain an additional license."
As it turns out, this license has raised discussion before, in other forums. What Hans Reiser is really trying to do here is to open the door for vendors to buy the right to distribute ReiserFS under a non-GPL license. The general consensus is that the license adds no restrictions that are not already found in the GPL; the kernel developers have, in the past, been satisfied with it.
Something will probably be worked out here, perhaps involving a rewrite of the ReiserFS license to be a little more clear in what it is trying to accomplish. Meanwhile, however, one developer pointed out that, sooner or later, ReiserFS will be integrated into the mainline kernel. Must the kernel, at that point, be moved to the non-free area?
More on the 'KDE in Debian' debate. Here is a column on Advogato proposing a different sort of solution to the Qt licensing problem. "Maybe we should just classify Qt as an OS on it's own instead? It has lots of the characteristics. You program for the Qt OS and it runs 'emulated' on UNIX/X11, Windows or the Linux framebuffer.... If we decided to re-classify Qt as an OS, what would then happen? All the licensing problems would immediately be solved. You are allowed to port GPL programs to any non-free OS like Windows, BeOS, MacOS etc, so why wouldn't you be allowed to port other peoples GPL programs to a FREE Virtual OS like Qt?"
For the reasoning behind Debian's refusal to include KDE, see Joseph Carter's editorial on Freshmeat. "Qt is not non-free software. But it's not GPL compatible either. Some KDE core developers admit this privately, but won't do so in public because of the implications: that much of KDE is not legally distributable until they contact some people that are damned scarce these days and make the necessary arrangements."
(Thanks to Scotty Orr).
For more Debian news, including an interesting discussion of the Debian project's voting system, check out the Debian Weekly News for June 21.
Immunix 6.2 released. Immunix 6.2 has been released. Immunix is a version of the Red Hat 6.2 distribution which has been recompiled with the StackGuard compiler, which incorporates protection against some buffer overflow attacks. Other than the recompilation and the incorporation of some updated packages, there do not appear to be changes to the base Red Hat distribution.
MaxOSSecond MaxOS beta available. We got a quick note from the folks at MaxOS saying that their second beta was about to hit their web site. It should be available by the time you read this.
Slackware LinuxSlackware 7.1 beta 1 has been released. The details of what's new can be found in the changelog. It's a long list...
SuSEInstalling Zope on SuSE? If you are looking to install Zope on a SuSE system, you will likely want to have a look at these step-by-step instructions posted by Eric Maryniak. There is a lot of useful help for getting through this (evidently non-trivial) process.
SuSE and ham radio have gone together for some time. Now SuSE has set up a separate ham radio page, currently available only in German (translation available via Babelfish). Not content with packaging up all the ham software it could find, SuSE has now set up its own ham station - DK0TUX. It is intended for use as a testbed for SuSE-based ham software. Look for them on the airwaves.
SuSE tries to press technical advantage (CBROnline). The Computer Business Review ran this look at SuSE, with an emphasis on its competition with Red Hat. "While its status as a private company means that SuSE reveals little about its financial figures, its executives claim the company made a modest loss last year, after a profitable 1998. This is attributed to the cost of growing the firm, which saw the appointment of four senior officers in January alone, and sales growth of 350% in the US market in 1999. But, to convert its technical prowess into global market share, SuSE desperately needs the cash generated by the IPO and the publicity that goes with it."
TurboLinux releases operating system in six new languages. TurboLinux has announced the release of its operating system localized in six new languages: French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and U.K. English.
Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh
June 22, 2000