On the Desktop
Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux History page.
Five years ago Red Hat released "... the world's most dangerous Linux distribution:" Red Hat Linux - 3.0.4 (Rembrandt) BETA.
Four years ago SuSE 5.0 was released.
Three years ago (July 30, 1998) LWN wondered about the future of the Linux community as our favorite OS grew from its grassroots origin to an enterprise platform. Linux support from Oracle and Informix had been confirmed. There were rumors of IBM support and Linus Torvalds made the front cover of Forbes - an unheard-of level of recognition at that time.
A guy named Dave Whitinger announced the expansion of his "Three Point Linux News" service. A few more months later that service evolved into LinuxToday.
The development kernel was 2.1.112 - and alleged to be in deep feature freeze. The 2.0.36 stable kernel release was in the prepatch stage. The beer-drinking penguin logo in the development series came under criticism - some people thought it would cause Linux to be taken less seriously. It eventually came out.
This was also a big week for Linux distributors; "maXimum CDE/OS" was put out by Xi Graphics, Linux-Mandrake had its first release. Also SuSE 5.3, LinuxPPC Inc. announced PowerPC Linux Release 4, and Debian 2.0 included KDE.
Two years ago (July 29, 1999 LWN): The Netscape/Sun alliance backtracked and said that the Netscape Application Server would not be made available for Linux. Both IBM and VA Linux Systems announced plans to get into the Linux support business. Rumors went around that the (rumored) Transmeta processor would be used in the (rumored) new Amiga.
Speaking of rumors in 'Three years ago' (above) we noted rumors about IBM supporting Linux. By this time, those rumors had become fact. ZDNet reported IBM Falls Hard For Linux.
IBM has already announced it was offering contract support for Linux through its Global Services Unit. It will finish moving its DB2 relational database system to Linux at the end of July and will make the Lotus Notes Domino Web server available under Linux by year's end. With software and services in place, the last piece of the IBM's Linux strategy was hardware support.
IBM was still gearing up.
No kernel releases happened this week; the stable kernel remained at 2.2.10 and development at 2.3.11. Stephen Tweedie's raw I/O patch was accepted, however, providing a long-missing functionality to the system.
Both the SourceXchange and CoSource.com were ramping up their operations and Bruce Perens launched Technocrat.net. CoSource.com is still in business. SourceXchange developers CollabNet pulled the plug on that project. Though Techocrat.net has not been active for a while, archives are available on that site, along with a note announcing that a new Technocrat.net is "coming soon".
One year ago (July 27, 2000) LWN editors were in a mood to reminisce, looking back to the July 30, 1998 edition (see three years ago, top). In '98 we wondered how the Linux community would handle the transition into a mainstream OS. Our conclusion in 2000:
Will commercial pressures tear the development community apart? Or maybe the developers will take off looking for the next cool thing, now that Linux is mainstream. All of those things could yet happen, but, thus far, they have not. Things look good for Linux development.
The distributions page also remembered the many distribution announcements made this week in 1998 (see three years ago, above).
LWN editor Jon Corbet had just returned from the Ottawa Linux Symposium. His description:
With a program dominated by Linux developers, lots of time set aside for people to talk, access to good beer, and no exhibit floor it was truly a hacker's event.
The 2600 case (2600 Magazine was sued by the MPAA for having mirrored the DeCSS code) had just concluded testimony in New York. LiViD project leader Matt Pavlovich demonstrated a working open source Linux DVD player during the testimony.
SecurityPortal's Kurt Seifried released his Linux Distribution Security Report. This was, perhaps, the first serious attempt to track how various distributions responded to security announcements.
The current development kernel release was 2.4.0-test4. Alan Cox pulled out of 2.4 work. Linus called for a new status list maintainer, as Alan's departure meant that no one was doing that job. Ted Ts'o stepped in and is now the list maintainer.
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.
July 26, 2001