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
Linux DA. The Linux DA O/S, made by Empower Technologies, is an embedded, Palm compatible distribution that has been in the news this week. Some has been very favorable, and some has not. LinuxDevices covered the PowerPlay III PDA which runs Linux DA O/S for the Dragonball processor. Peter Kis wrote a review of LinuxDA that is mostly favorable.
So far so good, but then this Newsforge article accused Empower of not playing by the rules of the GPL. LWN took a quick look at the Linux DA website. In the legal section the Linux trademark is mentioned, but the GPL is not. We did download the source code for Linux Kernel, available from the download section and used tar -t to look at the contents. There are some source files (.c and .h and Makefiles), but we also found gif files, core files, object files, and other things not usually found in a source package. The GNU GPL did not seem to be included. According to LinuxDevices, Empower has promised to comply with the terms of the GNU GPL. Time will tell.
Debian News. The latest edition of the Debian Weekly News includes discussions on using HFS+ with Linux, a summary of the talks on the use of the Java "repository" directory, and a preview of the new Ghostscript packages.
The latest Kernel Cousin Debian Hurd includes discussions on syncing with Linux, xmalloc, xrealloc And Friends, and lists some packages that have been ported.
Last week we posted a note about an opening for a Debian Security Secretary. Here is some clarification. You do not have to be a current Debian developer to apply, though a knowledge of Debian would certainly be helpful.
Gibraltar News. Gibraltar is a Debian-based router/firewall distribution, fully workable from a bootable, live CD-ROM. Log files can be stored on a hard disk, and configuration data is stored on a floppy disk and kept on a RAM disk during run-time. Version 0.99.1 was released on September 24, 2001 and contains bug-fixes and new features. This product is "Free To Use But Restricted".
Kaladix Linux. Kaladix Linux is designed to be a hyper-secure Linux distribution. Version pre-0.4 was recently released along with a move to a new domain. Old pointers to Kaladix no longer work, however the link in the LWN distributions list has been updated.
LWN first covered Kaladix in the June 6, 2001 Security section. Since last June Kaladix has changed to the GNU General Public License and FormatGuard has been replaced by libsafe.
Linux From Scratch. Linux From Scratch (LFS) is a project that provides you with the steps necessary to build your own custom Linux system. LFS has just released a new stable version, 3.0. See the change log for details on what's new. By allowing users to build their own custom system, LFS tries to teach users more about the internals of Linux. That's why we are now listing Linux From Scratch under 'Education' (on the right sidebar).
Mandrake Linux News. Don't miss out on the Mandrake Linux Special 8.1 Preorders. Mandrake Linux 8.1 will be released soon.
We also received the Mandrake Linux Community Newsletter in German this week.
MSC.Linux News. MSC.Linux, self-styled as the "definitive cluster distribution" is designed for demanding computational environments in engineering and life sciences. On September 21, 2001 MSC.Linux version August 2001 was released. Version numbers just aren't for everyone.
Slackware News. A new -current directory was started last Friday. For now, this will be used to hold upgrades to Slackware 8.0, starting with KDE-2.2.1.
Those alert people who downloaded the above mentioned KDE-2.2.1 package right away may have noticed that something was missing. koffice-1.1/: source and packages for KOffice were added on September 24.
Slack-Pack is an apt-get like program for Slackware Linux. Slack-Pack queries a mysql server and, if the package is found, Slack-Pack reports it, while a second program handles the downloading and installation. Please Note: Slack-Pack is not produced by the Slackware developers nor is it supported by them. (Found at userlocal.com)
These step by step instructions on how to Build Securely a Shadow Sensor Step-by-Step Powered by Slackware Linux were also found at userlocal.com.
SuSE Linux Firewall and Nimda. The recently introduced SuSE Linux Firewall on CD is capable of protecting your network from the Nimda worm. Of course the Nimda worm won't affect your Linux system, but it's not nice to pass it on to others, and that can happen. The Squid proxy server, one of the open source components of the SuSE Firewall on CD, can be configured to block files such as the one one in the Nimda worm.
Wasabi Systems ships NetBSD v. 1.5.2. Wasabi Systems, Inc. announced shipment of NetBSD v. 1.5.2. This version includes additional machine support for Apple iBook and PowerBook laptops; security fixes for Kerberos, BIND, ssh, ntpd, ftpd, telnetd, and IP filter; performance enhancements for NFS, LFS, Symbios/NCR SCSI, sendmail, and dhcpd; and support for running Linux VMWare on NetBSD/i386.
Minor Distribution updates
Mindi v0.41. Mindi Linux builds boot/root disk images using your existing kernel, modules, tools and libraries. The latest release (tgz, RPM, SRPM), was made on September 23rd. See the changelog for details.
Sorcerer GNU Linux 20010924. Sorcerer GNU Linux is a source-based ix86 Linux distribution designed for advanced Linux administration. You get a bzipped bootable ISO9660 installation CDROM image. Everything else will be built from the source code. It features menu and command line interfaces that enable sysadmins to download, compile, and install source tarballs directly from the software authors' homepages. The 20010924 release contains minor feature enhancements. The latest Install/Rescue ISO9660 contains glibc 2.2.4, linux 2.4.10, and utilities for kick-starting a new box such as the linux master boot record and a menu driven installer with support for ext2 and reiserfs. Sorcerer GNU Linux is released under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
Red Hat's market-leading Linux (ZDNet). ZDNet has posted an analysis of Red Hat Linux, covering the various product options and some of the limitations on those products. "Red Hat Linux is a bargain. The Red Hat package not only gives users the Linux source code to modify in any way they please, it offers a great deal more in terms of packaged applications, Apache, SMP support, and documentation. Further, clients have access to Red Hat Network, its online solution for managing a network of Red Hat Linux systems. All Security Alerts, Bug Fix Alerts, and Enhancement Alerts can be downloaded directly from Red Hat."
SuSE Linux 7.2 Professional (ComputerShopper.co.uk). SuSE Linux 7.2 gets a favorable review on ComputerShopper. "In use, SuSE 7.2 is nice. It's a filesystem hierarchy standard-compliant (FHS) distribution based on the 2.4.4 release of the Linux kernel with features such as support for up to 64Gb of Ram and Pentium 4 processors. As well as up-to-date copies of a bunch of packages including KDE 2.1.2, Gnome 1.4, XFree86 4.0.3 and StarOffice 5.2, the big improvements in this version are support for encrypted and journalling filesystems." (Registration required - Flash required.)
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
September 27, 2001