Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Distributions page.
Lists of Distributions
Please note that security updates from the various distributions are covered in the security section.
News and Editorials
Immunix OS 6.2 released. Immunix OS 6.2 has been released. Based on Red Hat 6.2, all source-available programs have been recompiled with the StackGuard compiler. "The result is a system that is compatible with Red Hat Linux, but is protected against a majority of all Internet security attacks".
For people who have a strong need for high security, the availability of Immunix for this up-to-date version of Red Hat Linux should be a real boon. StackGuard protects against buffer overflow attacks, the most common type of security vulnerability reported over the past few years. Since it is based on Red Hat, it should also be possible to run the Bastille hardening script over the system, if Immunix has not already been secured in such a manner.
Debate over the potential overhead of a StackGuard kernel has gone on for several years. In an upshot, the overhead may be very small or it may not. If you have a strong need for security, then a requirement for a faster or more powerful server may be a minor penalty to pay.
Shanghai appliance firms branch out to Linux (News.com). China and Linux continue to grow closer together. Here's a brief article in News.com about a Chinese company called Shanghai Shangling Electric Appliance, which is considering getting into the Linux distribution business. "The move would transform Shangling--a Shanghai-based home appliances maker that makes most of its money from selling refrigerators--into a computer company, in keeping with China's plan to push its biggest manufacturers into the technology age."
Outline your Linux priorities before choosing a distribution (TechRepublic). This registration-required article from TechRepublic passes on information from a Gartner Analysis. The focus is on why companies would choose to purchase Linux from a specific distributor, rather than just downloading it for free. It gives a brief feature comparison between Caldera, Red Hat, SuSE and TurboLinux. "However, before selecting any operating system, you should consider what you need the operating system for. Will you be using the OS for business-to-business purposes? Does the OS need to handle a large volume of Internet transactions? Outline the priorities of your organization and then compare the list with what the different Linux distributions offer, and the one you need will show itself." (Thanks to CÚsar A. K. Grossmann).
Minor change to our Distribution List. As you'll see when you look at the page, we've finally broken down and chosen one subset of Linux distributions, embedded Linux distributions, pulled them out of the larger list and placed them in the left-hand column. This is obviously being done partially due to the length of the list and also in response to reader requests. Additional subsets will be chosen eventually, based on the goal of identifying non-overlapping groups, something difficult to do with software as flexible as a Linux distribution. Embedded Linux is an area producing new distributions at an amazing rate lately. Given the number of commercial companies in that arena, and the potential that each of them could choose to release their "own" Linux distribution, it was an obvious choice for a first subset.
Bluepoint debuts embedded distribution. Chinese distributor Bluepoint Linux Software has announced its entry into the embedded Linux arena with "Bluepoint Embedded." "Through substantial efforts in the research and development of Linux kernel, Bluepoint has made a break through in solving problems in the area of memory space and real time interaction."
Compact Linux. Compact Linux is another new embedded Linux distribution announced on Freshmeat July 12th. It also apparently goes by the nickname of "CX": "CX is a Compact linuX distribution intended for building flash-booting ramdisk-based systems where disk/system size and ruggedness is an issue. It can be configured for ramdisks from 8M to 100M+.
Caldera announces computer-based training. Caldera announced today the availability of their new 'Quick Start To Linux' computer-based training (CBT). "Quick Start is self-paced with hands-on, guided demonstrations including the preparation of a Windows-based machine for a Linux installation, the install itself and the navigation of Linux desktops. In addition, Caldera's Quick Start CBT identifies business solutions using Linux while providing historical Linux information."
Capital Infusion Fuels Brazil's Conectiva (LinuxNews). This LinuxNews article provides more information on recent cash infusions in Conectiva. "One of the investors fueling this fire is Intel Capital. Intel's venture branch was formed in the early 1990s, both as a way of ensuring the company's ability to deliver its own products and as a means of investing in companies that filled the gaps in Intel's product line, an Intel statement said".
Hurd News. The July 12th edition of the Kernel Cousin Debian Hurd mentions the announcement of new gnumach and hurd packages. gnumach 1.2-3 and hurd-20000703 are now available for testing.
Now, a look at Argent's web page might raise some eyebrows: "Argent Resources is an eleven-year-old company that has been reactivated under new management to seek new business opportunities. The focus in the last year has been on mineral exploration projects in Mexico; prevailing market conditions have hindered Argent's efforts in this direction." So much for mining, why not try Linux?
This is, of course, one of those "reverse takeover" deals. Argent has a publicly-traded stock, but no business. LuteLinux has, with luck, a viable business; this way it gets to go public without all the fuss. LuteLinux will dominate the resulting company, with 10 million of the 17 million outstanding shares.
Rock LinuxRock Linux has announced the Rock Linux Bugzilla. They now request that bugs and patches be submitted here, instead of to the mailing list.
SlackReiser 4. SlackReiser 4 has been released. This set of disks supports installation of Slackware onto a Reiserfs partition. This new version has been pgrade to linux-2.2.16 and reiserfs 3.5.23.
SuperSlack. SuperSlack is a modified version of ZipSlack. It can be used to boot off a SuperDisk diskette.
Yellow Dog Linux
Tech briefs (Denver Rocky Mountain News). Terra Soft and Yellow Dog Linux picked up an award this week, one of six Northern Colorado (USA) "Innovation Quotient Awards".
The week's overview.As we mentioned above, Embedded Linux is an area that is producing a large volume of new distributions, and, as a result, a large amount of press about those distributions and the companies that own them. Here are a few highlights from this week:
Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh
July 20, 2000