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
Good news for SPARC. Times are good for people wanting to use Linux on the SPARC platform. Both SuSE and Slackware made new announcements this week. SuSE announced the availability of the first beta for SuSE Linux 7.1 for SPARC. The announcement contains a list of known bugs that you'll want to review before you decide to take it for a spin.
The Slackware Linux Project announced that the "-current" tree for Alpha machines is now publicly available. This is in a much earlier development stage than the SuSE port, but it is gaining some enthusiastic involvement.
For those of you interested in the Slackware port, be sure to check out the Slackware Port-SPARC forum. From it, we gleaned success stories for booting Slackware on a SPARCstation 20, but IPC and ELC users appear to be having a harder time getting started.
Debian News. This week's Debian Kernel Cousin covers discussions on security issues and quirks with the "man" command and its caching capability. A compromise was reached on how to handle changes to the standard options for the "tar" command. And a huge number of Linux conferences in Germany and elsewhere in Europe were mentioned.
Of most importance, though, was a report from Bdale Garbee on bind 9.1.0. For those of you that remember back that far, the bind 8.2 series generated some controversy in September of 1999 due to its implementation of the RSA algorithm, something that almost caused Debian to drop the use of bind and work to develop a free alternative. A compromise was worked out and bind was kept, but relegated to non-free. Bdale now reports that he's been able to work out similar issues with bind 9.0.0 and 9.0.1, which would have made them incompatible with the Debian Free Software Guidelines as well. As a result, the soon-to-be-released 9.1.0 version of bind will be fully compliant with the DFSG -- but will still reside in non-US, due to its cryptographic components.
This week's Kernel Cousin Debian Hurd reports on the progress of a project that is developing a set of Hurd installation CDs. While progress is being made, don't expect to see these CDs available anytime soon.
Linux-Mandrake News. A look at the Linux 2.4 kernel from a strictly Linux-Mandrake point of view was provided this week. After all, like most major distributions, Linux-Mandrake already uses a heavily customized version of the Linux 2.2 kernel (including ReiserFS support, for example). So why should a Linux-Mandrake user get excited about seeing Linux 2.4 in a future distribution? PCMCIA, USB, Fire-wire and ISA PnP support, NFSv3, improved SMB support, improved network security, stability and speed, video support and more. "Nope, we aren't likely to get bored this year..".
Slackware News. Userlocal.com is a new site that is focusing, in particular, on the Slackware community. We always welcome the addition of new sources of information on Slackware and we expect Slackware readers will also.
An updated version of SlackReiser, a set of boot and root disks to support installing Slackware on a ReiserFS file system, was released this week. The changes were minor.
Although neither a development tree nor a bootable CDROM image is currently available, Chris Lumens is also working on an Alpha port for Slackware. Alpha-related questions can be mailed directly to him.
Microwindows 0.89pre7 released. Greg Haerr posted an announcement for Microwindows 0.89pre7 this week. This is a development release containing some major enhancements, small additions and bug-fixes. Microwindows runs on PDAs, WebPADs and set-top boxes. Support for the G.Mate YOPY PDA has been added and extensive auto-generated documentation is now available. Freetype font caching has been enabled as well. The list is much longer that that, so take a look yourself if you are interested.
Mini/Special Purpose Distributions
ClarkConnect. Another distribution aimed specifically at taking an older system and turning it into an Internet gateway is now available. ClarkConnect is aimed specifically at home users with broadband Internet connections. It is based on Red Hat 6.2, but trimmed down and secured.
Minor distribution updates. The following distributions released minor updates this week:
Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh
January 25, 2001