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
New Debian development tree: testing. Currently, the Debian development is generally split into two trees: stable and unstable. Debian 2.2, now that it has been released, has become the new "stable" tree. It will be maintained, bugfixes and security fixes released against it and probably point releases will be issued against it every six months or so. The new unstable tree began as soon as Debian 2.2 was frozen for testing. Given how long Debian 2.2 stayed in freeze, the new unstable tree ("woody") has been underway for many months.
Anthony Towns has started a new tree (called a "distribution" in Debian circles, but given the use of that term in this summary, we are avoiding it) called "testing". Testing will lag behind the unstable tree by a couple of weeks and will avoid integrating packages introduced into unstable that then rapidly log bug reports against them. The goal is to produce a development tree that is more up-to-date than stable, but relatively bug-free compared to unstable. This tree would then be the one frozen and released as stable, allowing a shorter time cycle between major releases.
One disadvantage to the new testing tree will be yet another place where bugfixes have to be introduced. Currently, when Debian releases a security advisory, they generally provide updates for both the stable and unstable tree, for each architecture. Now they'll have to release updates against three trees, stable, testing and unstable, an approximately 50% increase (sometimes the updates for either "stable" or "unstable" will be the same as those needed for "testing").
Nonetheless, the idea has merit. Debian has been struggling for a couple of years now, debating ideas for speeding up their release cycles without sacrificing their commitment to quality. It will be interesting to see if the "testing" tree offers at least a partial solution.
Five new products hit the Linux arena (CNN). CNN looks at a few interesting announcements from LinuxWorld. "On the front of new distributions is Kondara MNU/Linux from Digital Factory USA Kondara's innovation enables you to use multiple languages at the same time without requiring a reboot to switch your Linux OS to a different language version."
DistributionWatch Review: Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 (LinuxPlanet). LinuxPlanet reviews Debian 2.2. "Pretty anticlimactic stuff, when it comes down to it, and therein lies one of the strengths of Debian GNU/Linux. The project moves forward at a seemingly ponderous pace, but a little time spent reading through the myriad developer and user lists reveals a disarmingly feverish quest for perfection."
Review: Corel Linux Second Edition (LinuxISO). LinuxISO.org has put up a review of Corel Linux Second Edition. "The most outstanding feature in this distribution, and in line with Corel's stated ease-of-use goals, is the HTML-based Help system. Both context-sensitive and system-wide help are readily available, with Index and Search functions included in the main Help program."
PocketLinux. We mentioned PocketLinux on last week's Front Page as one of the spiffier announcements from the LinuxWorld conference. PocketLinux is an embedded Linux distribution for handhelds, currently supporting the VTech Helio and the Compaq IPaq.
For more detailed information, you may wish to check out this PocketLinux introduction from Jim Pick. For the adventurous, it appears they may have some VTech Helios available for new developers.
Repairlix. Weighing in at 12MB in size, Repairlix is designed for installation on a business-card-size CD for use as a system recovery tool.
Fd Linux. A new mini-distribution, Fd Linux, has come to light. It uses two floppies and provides a Linux system with networking, logging and firewall capabilities.
General Purpose Distributions
Debian Weekly News for August 22. The Debian Weekly News for August 22 is out. It covers how the 2.2 release is going, the new "testing" distribution, and more.
If you want to download an ISO of Debian 2.2, be sure to pick up version 2.2rev0a, since some of the initial ISOs had problems (particularly Sparc and Alpha ISOs).
A tale of two Linux Expos (ITWorld). ITWorld's George Lawton dwelled on Debian quite a bit in this article on the highlights of LinuxWorld. "Much attention has been paid to the commercialization of Linux, but the spirit of open source that drives Linux may be best seen in efforts like the Debian development group, which is something of a labor of love for the programmers involved."
It also provided a nice, concise list of the highlights of the Debian 2.2 release. "Version 2.2's adherents say it is more scalable and robust than previous versions, and supports the ability to update the underlying OS or applications without rebooting the machine. It runs on major hardware platforms, including Pentium, PowerPC, Sparc, Alpha, and even old 68000-based machines like the Amiga and Atari. Debian 2.2 also supports multiple languages, including Japanese, German, and French; support for Chinese is nearing completion. It supports authentication and LDAP, and is said to include better support for the new Linux File Hierarchy Standard."
Debian GNU/Hurd. The Debian Kernel Cousin Hurd from August 16th provides the latest information from the development of this non-Linux free software operating system.
LinuxPPC employees go to jail for good cause. LinuxPPC has put out this press release on a fundraising effort by employees Jeff Carr and Mariam Darvish for the battle against neuromuscular disease; it involves "going to jail" (in a motel room) until the fundraising goals are met.
Slackware Linux Essentials. You can now check out Slackware Linux Essentials: The Official Guide to Slackware Linux on-line. The print version of it is also available, either by itself or as part of the retail boxed set.
Blue Cat Linux. LynuxWorks has announced the release of BlueCat Linux 3.0. In a separate announcement, the company states that BlueCat Linux now supports the Hitachi SuperH processor; and there's even one more on the new support for the ARM architecture.
PeeWeeLinux 0.50 released. From LinuxDevices.com we get the news that PeeWeeLinux 0.50 has been released. This is the first stable release of PeeWeeLinux, which is a distribution aimed at embedded applications.
Special Purpose DistributionsBuild Your Linux Disk 1.0beta3 was released this week and now includes ftp, telnet and busybox.
Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh
August 24, 2000