Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Distributions page.
Note: The list of Linux distributions has moved to its own page.
Please note that security updates from the various distributions are covered in the security section.
News and Editorials
More from the Common Linux Installer Group. Last week's LWN Distributions page took a quick look at an idea from the Common Linux Installer Group, whose goal is to design and develop a standard for Linux installers. The CLIG is led by Blue Linux, a distribution that is under development. Blue Linux is also in need of an installation routine.
Standardizing the installation routines does sound like a good idea. Blue Linux is not, and will not be the only developing distribution faced with the task of creating an installation routine. Current installers, even those released under the GPL, are saturated with hardcoded references to their parent company. Often they are tied to a particular package management system as well. These points were made in the CLIG's response, which goes on to describe in further detail how they envision a standard installer would deal with package management and still allow some individuality on the front end. CLIG proposes a layered system, with customized back ends to support package management and a customizable front end to support individualized user interfaces. Inside, the main part of the installer would be a base of reusable code.
We also received a note from Anthony W. Youngman, who is working on the Linux Standards Base, v2 which, he says, will address Linux installation. Hopefully the CLIG can work with LSB v2 so that there can be an LSB-compliant standard installer released under the GPL.
Melon: Japanese Linux for the iPAQ. Longtime LWN supporter Maya Tamiya tells us about Melon, a new Japanese distribution for the iPAQ handheld. Melon is sold on a Compact Flash card, and can be booted directly from the card; it's based on the Familiar distribution. The Melon web site is in Japanese, of course, but the screenshots page is easily viewable by everybody.
Debian News. The Debian Weekly News for October 23 is out. Covered topics include the demise of Progeny Linux, the upcoming release (which, it turns out, will be Debian 3.0), coverage of free software, and much more.
The Debian Security Team announced the appointment of two Debian Security Secretaries, Matt Zimmerman and Noah Meyerhans.
FreeBSD Ports. There is a FreeBSD/ia64 port in progress that now boots into multi-user mode without any operator attendance. There is also FreeBSD ultra sparc port in progress. Check the FreeBSD website for more information.
Mandrake Linux News. Those of you who have been waiting for Mandrake Linux 8.1 to show up in physical form need wait no longer: MandrakeSoft has announced that the distribution is finally available from retail stores. It is packaged in four different forms, with varying amounts of software and support.
Also the release candidate of Mandrake Linux 8.1 for the Itanium processor has been announced. It contains a number of fixes and a couple of new packages; this is the last chance to look over this distribution and find problems before the official release.
There will soon be a Mandrake Linux Gaming Edition as MandrakeSoft and TransGaming Technologies have gotten together to announce the Mandrake Linux Gaming Edition, to ship on November 9. Included with the distribution will be a port of "The Sims" from Electronic Arts.
Here are 2 updates to ML 8.1 and another for ML 8.0. These are not security problems, but you may want these fixes:
Red Hat Linux 7.2 launches. Red Hat has announced the availability of Red Hat Linux 7.2. It contains all the usual features: ext3, 2.4.7 kernel, better admin tools, firewall configuration at install time, StarOffice, etc. Check out the announcement for the details and a list of mirror sites. There are a few unsigned packages on some mirror sites, according to this security advisory, however Red Hat says it's not a problem in this Newsbytes article.
Slackware has Emacs 21.1. Source and packages for GNU Emacs 21.1 have been added for Slackware on Intel.
SuSE News. SuSE announced the shipment of its enterprise-capable Linux distribution, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server version 7, based on the latest Linux kernel 2.4 and optimized for deployment in high-performance servers.
Terra Soft Unveils Yellow Dog Linux 2.1. We mentioned the release of Yellow Dog Linux 2.1 last week, but didn't mention the improved installer, KDE 2.2.1, 2.4.10 kernel, ext3, or the improved iBook support. Terra Soft Solutions also announced they will showcase YDL 2.1 and a Yellow briQ Node cluster running Total Impact's Centricity video rendering software at LinuxWorld Expo, Tokyo, Japan.
Minor Distribution updates
Gentoo Linux. Gentoo Linux is a high-performance ports-based x86 Linux distribution for developers and admins. It features a Python-based advanced package management system called Portage. Finishing touches are in progress on Gentoo Linux 1.0_rc6, and the team is optimistic that 1.0 final will be the next release following 1.0_rc6.
NSA Security-enhanced Linux. The third public release of the LSM-based SELinux prototype was made on October 16, 2001. This release contains several bug fixes and improvements to both LSM and SELinux and is based on the lsm-2001_10_11 patch against kernel 2.4.12. See the release notes for more details.
Sorcerer GNU Linux. Sorcerer GNU Linux 20011022 is available, with better support for internationalization. The install menu now contains options for customization of the key map, console font, language, and timezone.
ttylinux. ttylinux came out with a bugfix release on October 18, 2001. However on Oct. 19 a bug was found in the instructions for making a bootable ttylinux CD. It is necessary to replace "initrd=rootfs.gz" with "initrd=rootfs.gz root=/dev/ram0" everywhere.
Trustix Secure Linux. Last week we mentioned TSL Bugfix Advisory #2001-0020 for bind. However advisory #2001-0027 supersedes the previous announcement. "This is really the TSL-2001-0020 Bind bugfix advisory, but the MD5 checksums are updated for the TSL 1.1 and 1.2 packages as we forgot to sign them in the proper way."
Caldera targets developers with latest Workstation (ZDNet). ZDNet reviews Caldera OpenLinux Workstation 3.1. "In what appears to be a shift in focus from its user-centric eDesktop 2.4, Caldera seems to be targeting its workstation distribution directly at the developer market by adding a wide variety of development tools to its already solid desktop configuration, making this latest version well-suited for corporate in-house development."
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
October 25, 2001