Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Distributions page.
Please note that security updates from the various distributions are covered in the security section.
News and Editorials
Clustering and the Linux distribution. Distributions that manage computer clusters have a somewhat different task than the usual server or workstation distributions. Good clustering software will create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. But when the software is not properly configured, the cluster could instead become less than the sum of its parts. There are several cluster distributions already on the LWN list, scattered over several categories. For example, the Rock Linux Massively Parallel Processing(MPP) project is closely tied to its well known parent.
MSC.Software built MSC.Linux for high-performance, high-availability, cluster computing. Clearly it's a special purpose distribution. Also specialized, but listed under CD-based, is ClumpOS. ClumpOS is a Linux/MOSIX mini-distribution designed to allow you to quickly, or temporarily, add nodes to a MOSIX cluster.
In addition to these distributions, there are a number of clustering packages that are designed to run on top of an operating system. There are commercial packages that will even support the use of multiple operating systems within the cluster. These products are not in the scope of this page. However, other projects provide a specially configured distribution, bundled with its unique cluster management software. These later products may evolve into unique distributions. Thanks to Andrew Shewmaker, we'll introduce two cluster projects that may have crossed that fuzzy line between a software package and a Linux distribution.
Red Hat based OSCAR is a fully integrated and easy to install software bundle designed for high performance cluster computing. OSCAR v1.2.1rh72 is based on RH 7.2; OSCAR v1.2.1 is based on RH 7.1; and OSCAR v1.0 is still available, and is based on RH 6.2.
NPACI Rocks is built on top of Red Hat 7.2 releases, and supports x86 processors. Rocks makes complete OS installation on a node the basic management tool in order to reduce the complexity of cluster management.
ClosedBSD. ClosedBSD is a firewall and network address translation utility which boots off of a single floppy disk or CDROM, and requires no hard drive. ClosedBSD is based off of the FreeBSD kernel, and uses ipfw as its native ruleset management system, and natd as it's network address translation utility. (Thanks to Werner vanWaesberghe)
Debian News. The Debian Weekly News for May 15 is available, with coverage of the bug tracking system redesign, the second Debian Conference, the new SGML/XML policy group, and numerous other topics.
Debian Leader Bdale Garbee has sent out his second 'Bits from the DPL' column; this one looks at the numerous architectures supported by the Debian distribution. "A more recent example (that we are working through right now) is how our security team can quickly get a new package version built and uploaded for all of our architectures. A good solution, that involves giving them a high priority path through our autobuilders, is nearly implemented and is the last major hurdle before woody releases."
Here is final Debconf schedule, barring any changes of course.
Mandrake Linux. MandrakeSoft has released new grpmi packages for ML 8.2 on PPC systems. This should fix that segfault you got when downloading updates with rpmdrake.
Red Hat kernel enhancement for S/390. Red Hat has released updated 2.4 kernel packages for Red Hat 7.2 on S/390 and zSeries systems. Included in the new kernel is the Open Source LCS driver for both the OSA-2 Ethernet Token Ring card and the OSA-Express Fast Ethernet card in non-QDIO mode.
Turbolinux. Turbolinux has announced the availability of Turbolinux (TL) 8 Workstation. This release has the latest volume management capabilities and provides a complete desktop solution for development and multimedia environments.
Minor Distribution updates
ALT Linux. ALT Linux announced a new ALT Linux Master for education program which includes discount prices on ALT Linux Master 2.0 for educational institutions which use or plan to use Linux-based training in their educational programs. There is also a new mailing list, created to discuss issues of using free software in education. Subscribe to Freeschool@altlinux.ru here.
Sorcerer. Sorcerer has a new Install/Rescue ISO9660 available. "Due to a few reports of people having trouble with the May 1st ISO9660, I rechecked it, smote a few small and inconsequential bugs, updated the installed software, and uploaded a new one. The xdelta update is half a meg."
The Debian Packaging System (LinuxGuru). LinuxGuru looks at the Debian packaging system. "Debian's packaging system contains a very useful and advanced (speaking in a coders point of view) feature called 'apt-get'. 'Apt-get,' is a command of the Debian packaging system that allows you to get applications off of the Internet, or CD-ROM."
Mandrake Linux 8.2 reviews. MandrakeForum points to three reviews of ML 8.2.
Reviews of SuSE Linux 8.0. This review on Linux and Main is not very flattering. "It's unlikely that anyone who is not already running SuSE Linux is going to show much interest in the new version. There is no compelling reason to switch on 8.0's account, nor is there any technical reason among current distributions to abandon another one in favor of SuSE. This means the question comes down to whether there is anything about 8.0 that would lure existing SuSErs to upgrade. If there is, we didn't find it."
Tux Reports does not paint a better picture. "After only spending the weekend with the system we can't recommend this distribution on the PL133 chipset board. Red Hat 7.2 seems to have worked beautifully but SuSE 8.0 is too slow. The system slows and stops - sometimes at random."
SuSE fans. Instead of writing to us to tell us why these reviews are "wrong", please point us to better reviews, or write your own, to let people know the good things about SuSE 8.0 Pro.
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
May 23, 2002