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 distribution: Madeinlinux. Out of Italy comes this announcement for a new distribution called Madeinlinux. It comes in both workstation and server versions, includes ReiserFS and XFree86 4.0. In keeping with modern fashion, the first release is "Madeinlinux 4.0."
There are a couple of interesting features of this new distribution. The obvious one, of course, is its tight market definition. This is a Linux distribution tailored for Italians. To bolster its appeal in that market, they have extended "Italian support" past the installation menus, Gnome menus and man pages, to include the use of Italian in the shell and in the boot and error messages. More extensive documentation has been provided in Italian as well. In addition, though no specific details have been provided on what they changed, they promise that Italian law has been taken into consideration and the distribution tailored to adhere to it. As Linux develops and spreads, it will be interesting to see how well such nationalized distributions do against distributions that are working hard to set an international standard, such as Red Hat, SuSE, Linux-Mandrake, etc.
Meanwhile, one of the other emphases of Madeinlinux is the inclusion of a modest set of packages, designed to only include the five to ten applications that an individual is likely to use constantly, plus all the software needed to support those applications. As a result, the workstation and server versions each fit onto their own CD. To achieve this, they've made choices for the customer, instead of providing a range of options and allowing the customer to choose.
This is becoming a common theme among many of the new distributions we are seeing. While Debian's packages continue to expand almost infinitely, and even Red Hat expands to multiple CDs after years of holding on to a single CD for the base operating system, new distributions are choosing a different path. In order to differentiate themselves from the older distributions and to make Linux less daunting for newcomers, they are willing to make hard choices, even politically difficult choices, as to what packages will or will not be included by default.
Of course, if you don't like their choices, you can download the software you prefer. However, newcomers to Linux are less likely to do this. As a result, they are likely to choose a distribution that supports the packages that have been recommended to them and, once they learn a specific package (such as an email client), they are likely to stick with it, unless faced with an overwhelming reason to change.
From the history we have so far, we know that distributions tend to expand over time. They have to continue to include packages that people are actively using, yet they need to include the latest and greatest new packages as well. New distributions can take a different tack, starting from scratch and without existing customers to offend. If they do a good job, they'll attract new customers. Meanwhile, their workload for maintaining, supporting and improving the distribution is decreased.
Will that also help them survive in such a crowded market? We'll have to wait a year or two to tell.
For more information on Madeinlinux, check out their response to the LWN Distributions Survey.
Other New Distributions
First version of Ute-Linux available. The first version of Ute-Linux has been released. Ute-Linux comes out of the Timpanogas Research Group, and is intended to be a platform for their NetWare and clustering technologies; it's built with Red Hat and OpenLinux packages. See the announcement for a long description of the distribution and how it's built.
JBLinux -- 'Just the Best of Linux'.JBLinux is a new distribution promising to offer speed and stability. Echoing this week's editorial theme, it also promises to include only the "most essential software" for Linux. The website also warns that it is not recommended for beginners. JBLinux 1.1beta 6 was announced on October 16th. In addition, in response to requests, the author has also provided a package list for the latest version. JBLinux is currently only available in ISO format.
TurboLinux ships Workstation Pro 6.1, cluster server. TurboLinux has announced the release of TurboLinux Workstation Pro 6.1. This release includes an IA-64 version; TurboLinux thus claims to have the first commercial IA-64 Linux.
The company has also announced the release of "TurboLinux Cluster Server 6." It's a high-availability clustering system, aimed at web servers. Interestingly, the PR points out that the cluster server can be installed on top of Red Hat's distribution.
Debian News. This week's Debian Weekly News covers VA Linux's announcement of new servers pre-installed with Debian, Debian GNU/Hurd CD images that are available for the first time and a milestone in the port of Debian to the HP-PA RISC architecture.
The October 12th Debian Kernel Cousin covers eight threads from debian-devel, including the installation of packages in non-standard directories, a new version of lintian and more. It is a nice way to keep up with Debian development issues without pouring through several hundred mail messages a week.
The latest issue of the Kernel Cousin Debian Hurd shows increased development activity, now that the summer months are over. Progress has been made getting XFree86 3.3.6 up and running under the Hurd. A memory leak has been reported and is still being investigated.
New Caldera FAQs. Caldera has added several new FAQs to their support knowledge base. Topics covered include Samba, printers and hardware-specific installation questions.
Linux-Mandrake news on AvantGo. For you Palm users out there: MandrakeSoft has announced that Linux-Mandrake news is now available via AvantGo.
FTP version of SuSE 7.0 available. SuSE has announced the availability of the FTP version of its 7.0 release. (Scroll down in the announcement to get the English version).
Mini/Special Purpose Distributions
e-smith server and gateway.A new version of e-smith server and gateway has been announced. e-smith server and gateway 4.0 is based on Red Hat 6.1 and promises "more modular design, improved dialup support, user groups, email forwarding, virtual domains, network time server support, IMAP support, printer sharing, bootable CD-ROM, and incremental upgrade". e-smith server and gateway is from e-smith, inc. and is used on their line of Internet appliances.
Minor distribution updates. Here are some minor updates to distributions that have been announced this past week:
Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh
October 19, 2000