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.
IceLinux. IceLinux is a new distribution self-dubbed, "The Linux Gaming Platform of the future". Please note that the distribution is *so* new, that it hasn't actually been built yet. Nonetheless, the goal to build a distribution specifically as a gaming platform, to take a look at Linux's shortcomings in this arena and make it a priority to address them, is certainly admirable. Good luck! (Contributed from Ratatosk).
Serial Terminal Linux. Another mini-distribution, Serial Terminal Linux is a single-floppy which contains minicom, allowing old computers and laptops to be used as serial terminals. The latest release allows support for multiple virtual consoles, one for each serial port on the computer.
New FAQs. This week's new FAQs from Caldera includes tips on disabling module loading upon startup, an issue that is becoming of more interest lately for security reasons.
Caldera Systems' OpenLinux Power Solutions Tour 2000. Caldera Systems has announced its "Power Solutions Tour 2000," starting July 11 in Toronto. The tour then moves to the U.S. with several stops in July.
Conectiva receives investments. Conectiva has announced the receipt of investments from Intel Capital and LatinTech Capital. The amounts, of course, have not been disclosed.
Report from the Zeroth Debian Conference. Marcelo Magallon has written up a report from the Zeroth Debian Conference, which was held in Bordeaux, France, on July 5 to 9. It is a comprehensive and interesting summary, worth a read.
Debian Weekly News (July 11th). This week's Debian Weekly News is available, with a brief summary and links from the Zeroth Debian Conference, an update on the upcoming test cycle 3 and apparently a pending decision to dump libc5 support from future Debian releases.
Why we need Debian (ZDNet). Evan Leibovitch takes a moment to talk about why Debian is the most important Linux distribution. "In a world of NDA-bound business agreements, Debian is an open book. In a world of mission statements, Debian has a Social Contract. At a time when commercial distributors are striving to see how much proprietary software they can pack into a box of Linux, Debian remains the bastion of software freedom -- living proof that you can have a fully functional and usable operating system without needing any proprietary code."
Libranet Linux available for download. The Libranet Linux distribution is now available for download. Libranet is a desktop-oriented distribution. It is described on the web page as "memberware" - one is supposed to sign up for a $10 membership to use the software (though the download is unrestricted).
Linux-Mandrake and MacMillan: good or bad for LM's future?. On the Linux-Mandrake forum, one reader/poster voiced his opinion that Linux-Mandrake made a mistake forming an exclusive relationship with MacMillan. "Macmillan is a big player, but they look like a newborn child in comparison with names like Ingram Micro , Tech Data, Gates/Arrow distributing, Merisel, and others .... who last year made billions of dollars in sales distributing "that other OS" (windows) and all parts that go in and out of a computer."
The semi-official response? "Due to MacMillans distribution channels, Mandrake-Linux has been catapulted from 0 to 2nd best selling Linux distribution in less than a year! And we are heading full-spead towards being number one."
Red Hat announces high availability server distribution. Red Hat has announced a new version of its distribution called "Red Hat High Availability Server 1.0". As might be expected, it's a clustering product, aimed at web server and other such applications; it includes failover and security features. It also includes a higher price tag: $1995. If you wish though, you can also download the software.
News.com took a look at the new product. "As is customary with Red Hat, the software is open source, meaning it can be downloaded and modified for free. The $1,995 version, however, offers automated setup, detailed manuals, a more hacker-proof default installation, and a year of technical support, said spokeswoman Becky Mananich."
We checked with Becky Mananich on the "more hacker-proof default installation" comment. She indicated that the High Availability Server currently incorporates all the security patches that have been released for Red Hat 6.2. In addition, the installation procedure, in comparison to Red Hat 6.2, offers a "cluster" option in which only the required components for clustering are installed and enabled, always a good choice for security.
Slackware 7.1 Preview (GnuLinux.com). GnuLinux.com reviews the Slackware 7.1 beta. "In summary, there's not a huge change between 7.0 and 7.1 (not that we were expecting one), but everything that has changed has definitely changed for the better."
Slackware Tools. A couple of Slackware tools were announced this week, including slackUp 1.0, an auto-upgrade program that can be used to keep your Slackware distribution in sync with the Slackware-current tree. Alternately, you can use it to upgrade a single package.
Version 1.1 of the Slackware package manager was also announced this week. It supports packages in both rpm and .tgz format.
Preliminary release of SuSE Linux for S/390. SuSE has announced the release of a preliminary version of its distribution for the IBM S/390 platform.
SuSE Executive Interview (32BitsOnline). 32BitsOnline interviews Volker Wiegand, President of SuSE USA. "At this point we are observing the embedded market closely, but have no immediate plans to enter the market. We believe that embedded systems are still dominated more by hardware manufacturers, and Linux is only in its early stages there. Right now, we are building up the relevant expertise and are identifying opportunities."
Reader Report: SuSE Linux (MacInTouch). The Mac community is taking a closer look at Linux, as demonstrated by this Reader Report on SuSE Linux in MacInTouch. "Summary: SuSE Linux is a very interesting UNIX alternative for those who don't have the money or hardware to use Mac OS X Server and can't wait for Mac OS X. It is perfect for a network server and the server tools included would cost hundreds of dollars on the Macintosh platform. Linux is also a great environment for programmers, it is probably less attractive as a desktop alternative to the Mac OS". [Editor note: this link works most of the time, but apparently not for everyone].
Yellow Dog Linux
Terra Soft to bundle RTLinux. Terra Soft Solutions has announced that the real-time Linux (RTLinux) patches will be integrated into future versions of the Black Lab Linux and Champion Server products.
Report from the first Embedded Linux Expo & Conference
Rick Lehrbaum has issued his report
from the first Embedded Linux Expo, held June 22. "The ELEC
technical conference was completely sold out by the morning of the event,
resulting in "standing room only" during nearly all the presentations.
Likewise, all of the expo space was fully booked by product vendors,
producing an extremely vibrant Embedded Linux Expo that was bustling with
the enthusiasm of a rapidly expanding market. One pleasant surprise
was the international flavor of the event. Although most conference
participants were from the US, the following countries were also
represented: Armenia, Canada, England, Germany, Korea, China, South
Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and the UK.
One pleasant surprise was the international flavor of the event. Although most conference participants were from the US, the following countries were also represented: Armenia, Canada, England, Germany, Korea, China, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and the UK."
Embedded Linux Consortium seats first board of directors. The Embedded Linux Consortium has announced the election of its first board of directors: Inder Singh, Michael Tiemann, James Ready, Tim Bird, Dan Bandera, and Greg Wright.
Team takes different path to real-time Linux (EE Times). This EE Times article takes a look at RTLinux. " Dubbed RTLinux, the OS doesn't try to change Linux into an RTOS, but instead provides a homemade RTOS kernel that incorporates Linux as a low-priority thread. Thus the RTOS stays as small and streamlined as possible - a principal goal of RTLinux's creators - while retaining Linux as the basis for common applications."
Group plans to launch Real Time Linux Consortium (LinuxDevices.com). Here's an article on LinuxDevices.com about plans to launch a real time Linux consortium at the second Real Time Linux Workshop in November. "The RTL community expressed their interest in a uniform and standardized API which they can rely on. Moreover, for most of them and especially for industry, the existence of such an API with a certain continuity and consistency guaranteed for a longer period, constitutes a basic requirement and condition for the use of RTL."
e-smith Launches server 4.0. Last week, we mentioned e-smith 4.0b10. Apparently 10 betas was sufficient; e-smith has announced the release of version 4.0 of its Linux-based "server and gateway" product.
TimeSys Offers pSOS support. TimeSys has joined the list of embedded Linux companies providing pSOS support, this time via a pSOS "abstraction layer" on top of their Linux distribution, TimeSys Linux/RT. They are using the RTAI (Real Time Application Interface) for their real-time Linux support.
Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh
July 13, 2000