On the Desktop
Linux in the news
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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
Distributions quick to announce Itanium support. Intel announced this week that products using its new Itanium processor would become available in June. Check our Commerce page for details on some of those products and a bit of the history behind Linux and the Itanium.
Their announcement was quickly followed by announcements from three of the major Linux distributions promising support for the Itanium process now, soon or sometime. Red Hat and SuSE were the first two announcements seen, both released on Tuesday, May 29th.
Red Hat trumpeted the "in the coming weeks" availability of Red Hat Linux 7.1 for the Itanium processor while SuSE promised the availability of SuSE Linux 7.2 for the Itanium chip as of June 20th. Not far behind, Turbolinux announced the next day that Turbolinux OS 7 would support the Itanium platform. No release date for Turbolinux OS 7 was mentioned.
Other distributions are sure to follow soon. Many person-years of work has gone into adding and testing Linux support for the Itanium architecture. We are now starting to see the payoff for that work.
Yellow Dog Linux 2.0 ships. Terra Soft Solutions has announced that it is now shipping the 2.0 version of Yellow Dog Linux. Check our May 10th Distributions Summary for more details on this new release.
Additional information can also be found in this MacDisccusion interview with Dan Burcaw, Co-Founder and CIO of Yellow Dog Linux. "We've tested on every currently available Apple machine. All work pretty well. The only outstanding issues are machines shipping with radeon and nvidia video cards. Those folks are stuck in offb for now, although we're in touch with NVidia and hope to get some drivers as soon as we can."
Linux Distribution Round-Up (Duke of URL). The DukeofURL has posted a round-up of Linux distributions broken out into beginner, intermediate, and advanced groups. The information is based on distributions that have been reviewed previously, which leaves out many possibilities. Nonetheless, the information provided is useful, partially just because it is backed up by the more in-depth distribution reviews.
The round-up starts with a nice introduction to the differences between the Linux 2.2 and 2.4 kernel series, XFree86 3.X vs 4.X, Gnome versus KDE and multiple glibc versions. From there, it bravely separates the distributions into its groupings:
Lanthan Linux. Fred Mobach sent us a pointer to another distribution that was missing from our list, Lanthan Linux, out of Germany. Lanthan Linux is specifically aimed at people currently using Microsoft Windows on their PCs. A knowledge of MS Windows is expected and the distribution is tailored to help new Linux users from that environment move to using Linux on a stand-alone machine or within a small network. Note that the website is currently only available in German, but there seems to be a plan to provide an English version of the site as well.
Debian Weekly News. This week's edition of the Debian Weekly News includes discussions on packaging themes, the release of autoconf 2.50, how to detect port scanners and FTP file globbing security issues.
Meanwhile, there is still time to catch members of the Debian Project at the last two days of Linux World Expo Tokyo 2001 in Tokyo, Japan.
Caldera OpenLinux replaces Red Hat and Windows NT at Korean ISP. Here's another sign that the competition between the distributions may be heating up: Caldera International has put out a press release claiming that a large Korean ISP (i Mobile Computing) will be deploying almost 1000 OpenLinux servers, replacing a number of Red Hat and Windows systems in the process.
Linux-Mandrake Community Newsletter. This week, the inaugural issue of the Linux-Mandrake Community Newsletter was released. This first issue is only available in English; later issues will also be made available in Spanish, German and French.
Interesting news in this edition includes the Grand Opening of the MandrakeStore and development progress towards a PowerPC version of Linux-Mandrake.
Slackware News. The first betas for the next release of Slackware were released in the past two weeks, the Intel beta #1 on Saturday, May 19th, the Sparc beta #1 on Tuesday, May 22nd, and the Alpha beta #1 on Friday, May 25th. Note, however, the attached warning that the distribution is not yet fully frozen, meaning some substantial changes could go in between now and the final release.
Large numbers of package updates went in this past week. The most notable of which were probably glibc-2.2.3 (Mozilla was rebuilt on it without errors, so it was declared 'good to go') and the 2.4.5 kernel. Note also that Alexander Viro's patch for reiserfs was added into 2.4.5, so the Slackware 2.4.X kernel is no longer unpatched. Of course, that could change with the release of 2.4.6, presuming it incorporates the required reiserfs fixes.
On the Alpha front, an important XF86 patch to (hopefully) clear up some problems that caused crashes on some machines has gone into the Alpha development tree.
On the Sparc front, reiserfs support was added this week and a README on how to create bootable SPARC CD images is now available (booting from floppies is not supported on the Sparc platform).
SuSE 7.2 coming in June. SuSE preannounced the availability of the next version of their distribution for the IA32 platform, which will be out June 15th. The latest release will include KDE 2.1.2 and focuses specifically on improved security and multimedia support.
ASPLinux 7.1 released. The folks at ASPLinux have announced their latest version, ASPLinux 7.1. The new version is 100% compatible with Red Hat Linux 7.1 and comes with a preconfigued Web Hosting solution based on HSPcomplete (proprietary). ASPLinux 7.1 will be available via retailers and authorized resellers the first week of June.
JBLinux 2.0. JBLinux 2.0 has just been released. Like many recent distribution releases, JBLinux 2.0 includes a new installation process. In this case, they've expanded file system support to include SGI XFS filesystems in addition to ext2 and reiserfs. "The software has been upgraded to the 2.4.4 kernel, glibc 2.2.3, gcc 2.95.3, XFree86 4.0.3, and others. KDE 2.1.1 has been added, and GNOME has been updated to Ximian GNOME 1.4. This release uses Mozilla 0.9, and galeon 0.10.6 and lots of other goodies".
For more information on JBLinux, check our initial coverage of the distribution, from October 19th, 2000.
Redmond Linux build 34. Joseph Cheek sent out a note this week announcing Redmond Linux build 34, a new development snapshot foreshadowing the next Redmond Linux release. Build 34 finally has a functional version of their new update tool. An updated kernel, KDE 2.X and webcam support have been added, among other new features and bug fixes.
Coyote v1.29 Repackaged. A bug was shipped with Coyote Linux version 1.29 which prevented it from booting on most systems. This was traced to the environmental support for a serial port console. Coyote 1.29 has been repackaged without that support. If you downloaded Coyote 1.29 prior to May 28th, 2001 and you are having problems booting, it is recommended that you download the repackaged version to use instead.
cLIeNUX pasties. cLIeNUX author Rick Hohensee sent out a note introducing cLIeNUX pasties, "commands that are halfway between shell command aliases and a menu-driven mouse interface in a text terminal with a mouse".
cLIeNUX is best known for having specifically chosen to break compatibility with the Linux Standards Base and the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard. Check the March 2nd, 2000 edition of LWN for more information on cLIeNUX.
Minor Distribution updates
Review: Progeny Linux (DukeOfUrl). The Duke of URL reviews the Debian-based Progeny Linux distribution. "For the busy user, more administration tools would be nice. While I prefer the more manual approach, many users are too busy to want to mess with text files. This is essential if Progeny is to make it to the corporate desktop. There are many tools available, such as LinuxConf, which could easily be incorporated, that would make it easy for the point and click generation."
Review: e-smith server and gateway (NewsForge). NewsForge reviews the e-smith server and gateway distribution. "The e-smith software adds a useful Web interface for managing and configuring the server. While it does not address every possibility, it does seem to cover most of the basic functions. With these Web pages, someone with no experience as a system administrator could conceivably set up and manage this server."
On a related note, e-smith also released updated documentation this past week, including a new version of their user manual, new HOWTO documents and template, a new mailing list for discussion of e-smith documentation and a new document describing the e-smith Documentation Process.
An index of RPMs for freely distributable add-on modules contributed by e-smith developers has also been made available.
Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh
May 31, 2001