Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Making Linux look harder than it is (NewsForge). Here's a NewsForge article saying that Linux gurus overlook how easy it can be to run a Linux system. "Find a distribution you like, update it regularly either on your own or with one of the increasingly popular subscription-based 'automatic' update services for Linux, and there is little reason to go beyond the Graphical User Interface more than a few times a year -- and when you do, if you are a true 'user' instead of a professional sysadmin or hard-core computer hobbyist, you are probably best off strictly following cookbook-style instructions given to you by someone more knowledgeable than yourself." (This article was also published in The Register).
Chinese take sip of Linux tea (Register). The Register looks at XTeam Software, which is going public in Hong Kong. "Typically, Linux has a price advantage over Microsoft software, being free, but this advantage is lost in China where most people either buy or download pirate versions of the software. On this level-playing field and with Microsoft having coded better Chinese support into its software, its applications tend to be more popular, says Lawrence Sheed, a Shanghai-based webmaster."
Queen dismisses Linux (News.com). According to this News.com article, the British Monarchy's web site no longer runs on Linux. It appears to be a result of a change in providers, rather than an explicit technology switch. "But last Thursday, Linux's reign ended when the site relaunched with its new service provider, CCG.XM, a division of the Cordiant Communications Group. CCG.XM 'works with Microsoft Internet Information Server as standard,' a palace representative said."
States get tough in Microsoft case (News.com). News.com looks at a new proposed Microsoft 'remedy' proposed by dissenting states. "The provision also would require Microsoft to develop a version of Office for the Linux operating system. The states apparently see Microsoft's dominance in desktop operating systems and office productivity suites to be a pair of clubs the company wields to maintain share in both markets."
Open source IE, license MSOffice, says rebel States' pitch (Register). Here's The Register's take on the alternative Microsoft settlement. "If IE was fully GPLed, and open source developers embraced it (that's a very big if, but it's possible), then IE would remain the de facto standard, Microsoft would be free to incorporate other developers' improvements and innovations in its own product, and the rival browsers that do currently exist could well be road-kill."
Linux lined up as virus target (vnunet). Vnunet tells us to expect more Linux viruses in the future. "Jack Clarke, European product manager at McAfee, said: 'In fact it's probably easier to write a virus for Linux because it's open source and the code is available. So we will be seeing more Linux viruses as the OS becomes more common and popular.'"
See also: this response to that article on the Roaring Penguin site. "There is a trend under Linux to build complex, rich desktop environments which allow rich interaction between programs. These environments could, if not designed correctly, increase the chances for viruses to execute and propagate. So far, however, the designers of these environments seem to be following sensible design and security procedures. No-one, for example, has built a Linux e-mail client which automatically executes an attachment with just one mouse click."
Building a Mosix Cluster with SystemImager (SourceForge). The SourceForge "Cluster Foundry" has posted an article on building clusters with Mosix. "MOSIX is a Linux kernel extension that allows you to run normal (non-cluster aware) applications across a cluster. One feature of MOSIX that I found most intriguing is 'process migration'. Process migration is just what it sounds like -- processes can migrate from one node to another. For example, when a particular process starts to dominate a machine's load, it gets moved to another node in the cluster that has more idle resources."
Lord of the special effects (Stuff). The (New Zealand) site Stuff has an article on the generation of special effects for The Lord of the Rings. "Mr Labrie says Linux is gradually replacing Irix as the operating system of choice in the effects world."
Caldera Feeds Mid-sized Business Needs with Simple MS Exchange Replacement (Linux Journal). The Linux Journal reviews Caldera's answer to Exchange. "The solution is Caldera's Volution Messaging Server, which combines SMTP, IMAP, POP and web mail in a single, web-administered package licensed for $28 per seat."
Sun's latest Star still shuns the Mac (IT-Director). IT-Director looks at StarOffice. "Of course, the most interesting 'feature' of Star Office is that it is free. This makes it attractive to any organisation re-evaluating its technology spending - it becomes even more attractive when put against Microsoft's new licensing agreements and associated costs. This, together with features and functionality comparable with Microsoft Office, and compatibility with those competing products, is starting to represent a very real threat to Microsoft's position as king of the Office."
Linux Attacks Outlook Market (IT-Director). Here's IT-Director's take on the Evolution 1.0 release. "The IT world is split into two major camps, those who employ proprietary software tools, and Open Source fanatics. Clearly there are some realists who are psychologically equipped to asses any technology purely on its capabilities and fit with existing infrastructures without recourse to gut level opinion, but these individuals are few and far between. Until recently, for many organisations the choice of 'office' systems has been a question of using Microsoft products, IBM products, or something wacky in the extreme. However, times are changing and distinctions are blurring."
Studie empfiehlt Schily Server-Umrüstung auf Linux (Heise). Here's an article (in German) in Heise News regarding a study done for the German Ministry of the Interior on moving to open source software. The study recommends moving the Ministry's servers, but stops short of recommending Linux for desktop use. Lots more information is in the article; there is a painful Babelfish translation available for the non German-capable among us. (Thanks to Alexander Stohr).
A developer's review of LynuxWorks' BlueCat Linux SDK (LinuxDevices). LinuxDevices.com has posted a detailed look at the BlueCat Linux software development kit from LynuxWorks. "The amount of code added by LynuxWorks for this product is actually quite small; primarily consisting, as we shall see, of the BlueCat OS Loader (itself simply a Linux implementation with the ability to load another Linux system) and some fairly simple command-line utilities for constructing and deploying kernels and filesystem images. Most significantly, the entire process is extraordinarily well documented in the User's Guide, resulting in a complete and usable system."
Interview with Dr. Frank G. Soltis (IT-Director). IT-Director interviews Frank Soltis, chief scientist at IBM. "Everybody is working really hard to get Linux onto the straight and narrow. If it is going to be a commercial success then we have to stop all the solutions diverging."
Hacking the TCSX-1 for fun and profit (LinuxDevices). LinuxDevices rips into the Advantage Business Computer Systems' TCSX-1 Thin Client to see what's inside. "At first I thought I could just hack into it using some sort of shell trick. Knowing that when it is in Setup mode it's running a shell script that does a shell 'read' followed by some sort of shell 'if [ ]; then' sequence, I thought I could just give it some magic ASCII shell escape sequence to get myself to the shell. No such luck."
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
December 13, 2001