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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
Conectiva's Snapshot and quality measurements. Conectiva provides access to a snapshot version of Conectiva Linux, containing all the current development work for the next release. As part of that process, they have put together a method for "measuring" the quality of the snapshot from a user's point of view (rather than from the developer's point of view, which is expected to be quite different).
They sent to us this explanation of the snapshot measurement, which depends heavily on input from users. In fact, one of their assumptions is that if users are affected by a bug, they will report it to the bug tracking system. For the stable version of a distribution, this would be a rather unsafe assumption. Hopefully, though, people brave enough to work with a development snapshot probably want the opportunity to air the problems that they find.
In any case, any type of quality measurement is interesting. As long as the measurement consistently improves as the distribution improves and degrades as the quality of the distribution degrades, then it will have some long-time value.
Check out their snapshot page to see how they currently rate their own snapshot. They've got a ways to go to get it to a level acceptable by their own standards. Of course, it is good to have goals that challenge you! Do note that the snapshot quality measurement process is currently in draft form.
PPC Linux news: Jason Haas quits, Yellow Dog 2.0 is coming. LinuxPPC co-founder Jason Haas has announced his resignation, and, indeed, his retirement from the computer world. You did a lot of good work, Jason, you'll be missed.
Terra Soft Solutions, meanwhile, has announced that Yellow Dog Linux 2.0 will be demonstrated at the Macintosh Business Expo.
ROCK Linux 1.4.0. The ROCK Linux 1.4.0 stable release is out. It includes a great many updates, including the 2.4.3 kernel. Although this is a stable release, it comes with a caveat: "ROCK Linux 1.4.0 is _intended_ for production usage, but given that it's a dot ohh!? (.0) release, you might proceed with care while we hold tight to the brown paper bags".
For more information on Rock Linux, check the April 5th Distributions Page, which contains a link to the distributions survey for Rock Linux.
Rock Linux 1.4.1 is promised in the near future and will include support for non-Intel platforms (which were not shipped with 1.4.0).
Console Linux. Thanks to Andre Leao Macedo for giving us a pointer to Console Linux, a new Linux distribution out of Brazil. The available information is in Portuguese. The distribution is based on Red Hat Linux and remains tied to Red Hat, promising 100% compatibility with Red Hat while providing Portuguese versions of the distribution and installer.
Here is one rough quote from the site, translated using Babelfish and some guesses: "The Linux Console was created as the the result of a dream, the belief that open software is the only way to improve the technological growth in the area of computer science in Brazil. Stimulating new minds will not happen just in the classrooms, but also in on-line communities, thus allowing more Brazilians to develop their creativity and help democratize this area of Brazil". [Note that all translation errors are the fault of this editor, please accept my apologies in advance.]
Red Hat News. In addition to security-related updates for Red Hat (which are covered in the security section), Red Hat also released a slew of bug-fixes recently. Below is a list of them with some information on their relevance:
In Red Hat Linux:
In Red Hat Powertools:
Debian News. A new version of dpkg was released this week, closing 90 bug reports. Many additional enhancements and new features are included as well.
The Debian Project will be exhibiting at two upcoming events, the Multimedia-Market in Stuttgart, Germany, May 2nd through the 4th and the Braunschweiger Linux-Tage in Braunschweig, Germany, May 4th through the 6th. This will provide an excellent opportunity to talk with Debian members, particularly the speakers, Peter Ganten, Thomas Lange and Martin Schulze.
A new Kernel Cousin Debian Hurd was published this week and includes discussion about what would be required to allow the Debian Hurd to join the upcoming release plans for Woody as an official Debian platform. No new Kernel Cousin Debian has been published since March 28th.
Slackware News. No changes were recorded to the Intel or Alpha Changelogs this week, but the Sparc port finally got the upgrade to XFree86 4.0.3, along with a host of other small updates or fixes to maintain compatibility with the updated XFree86.
Linux-Mandrake News. A summary of printing improvements in Linux-Mandrake 8.0 talks a bit about CUPS and other new features.
ASPLinux News. Last week, we erroneously reported that ASPLinux 7.1 had already been released. This was incorrect. Unfortunately, there is a numbering difference between the Russian versions of ASPLinux and the Singapore versions of ASPLinux. The Russian ASPLinux 7.1 is functionally equivalent to the Singapore ASPLinux 7.0. The Singapore ASPLinux 7.1 is due out within the next three weeks and they promise it will be both different and more comprehensive than their release of ASPLinux 7.0.
NBROK News. NBROK 0.5 was released this week. This is the first "stable" version of NBROK to be released. NBROK is based on Slackware and tailored to run off of a ZIP drive.
SuperRescue CD News. A minor update to SuperRescue CD, version 1.3.1a, was released this week. It contains minor bugfixes.
RT-Linux News. RT-Linux has announced support for several multi-processor PowerPC machines, including the dual G4 PowerMacs and the dual and quad IBM RS/6000 systems. SynergyMicro multiprocessor PowerPC boards will also be supported in the near future.
Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh
May 3, 2001