On the Desktop
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
Yellow Dog Linux 2.0. We spoke with Kai Stats, co-founder and CEO of Terra Soft Solutions this week about their upcoming release of Yellow Dog Linux 2.0. Yellow Dog Linux is one of two Linux distributions that focus exclusively on the Apple PowerPC and IBM RS/6000 hardware platforms (the other is LinuxPPC).
For the past two years, Terra Soft Solutions (makers of Yellow Dog Linux and Black Lab Linux) have felt that the biggest barrier to adoption has been the installer. As a result, the Yellow Dog Linux development team has spent the last fourteen months building a brand-new installer for YDL 2.0 from the ground up. Kai Stats just returned from a road tour demonstrating beta versions of YDL 2.0, culminating last week with a presentation at the Macintosh Business Expo in Portland, Oregon.
During my road tour, I had the chance to watch resellers (who are not always that technically-savvy) install Yellow Dog Linux without needing a manual or guide. That was really exciting for me. The feedback from the audience was very positive.
The team of people who put the new release of Yellow Dog Linux together include a couple of TerraSoft executives wearing dual hats, Kevyn Shortell, former Linux Technologies manager from Apple Computer, who is now Chief Technology Officer for Terrasoft Solutions and Dan Burcaw, co-founder of the company, and also Chief Information Officer. In addition, Hollis Blanchard and Ben Mesander have both worked part-time on the new release under contract to TerraSoft Solutions.
There is another big change coming with the release of Yellow Dog Linux 2.0. Formerly, TerraSoft Solutions supported two PowerPC-based distributions, Yellow Dog Linux, the more general-purpose distribution, and Black Lab Linux, which was tailored both for embedded systems development and for high-performance, parallel computing. Now, however, the two distributions will become one.
Black Lab Linux, instead of being separate from Yellow Dog Linux, will be available as an enhancement CD providing developer tools for Yellow Dog Linux customers. This has allowed Black Lab Linux developer Jeremias Sauceda to focus on adding new functionality to the developer tool set rather than on the many tasks involved with supporting a full distribution.
Like most Linux distributions, looking at the staff actually paid by the company behind the distribution (if there is one) only tells part of the story. TerraSoft Solutions also thanks community members Tom Rini, from MontaVista Systems, who helped with various video driver issues, Andrew Clauson, the author of parted and Jeremy Smith, for his work on "propaganda".
The source code to the new installer will be released under the GNU GPL.
Meanwhile, the development team is turning their attention to the next release of Yellow Dog Linux where they will be fine-tuning the new installer, and porting some new applications. "We expect to gain a lot of feedback from our customers, both upgrade and new, and put their suggestions into action", said Kai in summary.
The ROCK Linux Philosophy (O'Reilly Net). From the O'Reilly Network we get this essay on the philosophy behind the ROCK Linux distribution. "ROCK Linux aims to be admin-friendly. There is no YaST, Linuxconf, or Control-Panel. Configuration is done where it has to be done: in the config files. A configuration tool has to help an administrator -- not replace him (I don't think that it's possible to replace an administrator with a config tool.)."
Red Hat News. For those of you who have been following Red Hat's development of Red Hat Linux 7.1 via the Wolverine mailing list, note that the Seawolf mailing list opened up on April 16th and is covering issues in the new version of the distribution.
Debian News. The Debian Weekly News has returned, as of Sunday, May 6th with a new three-person editorial team to replace former editor Joey Hess. The new editors are Jean-Christophe Helary, Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier and Tollef Fog Heen. We're happy to see DWN return and we wish all the new editors the best of luck.
Meanwhile, after this week's DWN was published, Anthony Towns sent out his second progress report on the state of the Woody freeze. Most importantly, strong progress has been made solving the problems with the boot-floppies, so a preview release of Woody is now expected to make it out in the next few weeks.
The Kernel Cousin Debian Hurd for May 8th is also available.
Linux-Mandrake News. Those of you interested in Linux installations on laptops may want to check out this description, covering installing Linux-Mandrake 8.0 on an IBM Thinkpad. "Wobo has sent me a description of Tractopel instalation on his Thinkpad, and his description starts with 'WOW, that was really smooth'."
If you're in Germany and would like to meet up with a couple other Linux-Mandrake enthusiasts, check out the planned road-trip.
Slackware News. Massive changes have gone into the Slackware trees this past week, the highlight of which is an upgrade to Gnome 1.4. Mozilla, Galeon and Nautilus packages have been made available, along with a package of Ogg Vorbis utilities, Samba updates, new elflibs, mc, xf86prog and freefont packages. "Do we know how to prep for beta, or what?"
FreeBSD News. The FreeBSD'zine is a bi-weekly on-line magazine that reports on FreeBSD. Here is the May 2nd edition.
Linux for the S/390 News. A bug database has been added to the Think Blue site, along with some updated packages.
Minor Distribution updates
Comparison: Red Hat 7.1 and Linux-Mandrake 8.0 (Newsforge). Newsforge is running an article by Jeff Field comparing Red Hat 7.1 and Linux-Mandrake 8.0. "Mandrake and Red Hat are very similar, at most one revision off from each other. Already in this fast-paced world both are outdated, as the 2.4.4 Linux kernel has just been released. However, Mandrake is the winner in up-to-date major software releases."
Distribution ErrataPer reader-request, three of the distributions on our distributions list have officially been moved to the inactive list: Alphanet, Gentus, and Storm Linux.
Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh
May 10, 2001