News and EditorialsDeMuDi (Debian Multimedia Distribution) was announced in July 2001, it generated considerable interest. Back in those days, playback of many audio and video formats under Linux suffered from two common perceptions: the difficulty in getting many proprietary formats to produce sound and images on a Linux system, and the question of complying with copyright, encryption, and intellectual property laws while doing so. Although the goals of DeMuDi were much less ambitious than initiating legal fights with the powerful music and movie industry players over the rights of Linux users, the project's name and goals sounded sweet to the ears of many who missed the trouble-free playback of audio and video on their previous operating system.
It wasn't long after the initial announcement that the project was renamed to AGNULA (A GNU/Linux Audio Distribution). The term DeMuDi was still used to refer to the Debian-based distribution, which, by then, was joined by a sister sub-project - the Red Hat-based ReHMuDi (Red Hat Multimedia Distribution). This was because AGNULA had received funding worth €1.7 million over 24 months from the European Commission, and several prominent European companies and organizations, including Red Hat France and Free Software Foundation Europe, joined the AGNULA development effort. The objectives of the project also underwent a revision - instead of embracing all of what falls under the term "multimedia", its focus scaled down to cover audio only, with the goal of producing Linux-based operating systems containing software for musicians and composers.
By the time funding by the European Commission ended in April this year, the project produced DeMuDi 1.1.0 (based on Debian Woody) and ReHMuDi 2.0 (based on Red Hat Linux 9), as well as a DeMuDi live CD for presentation purposes. Although these releases did not attract much attention in the Linux media -- perhaps due to the specialist nature of the products -- they were much appreciated by many musicians and composers. This prompted the lead developer to continue working on DeMuDi on a volunteer basis, even after funding by the European Commission dried up. Most of the development is now handled by Andrea Glorioso and Free Ekanayaka of Firenze Tecnologia in Florence, Italy.
Their continued effort resulted in AGNULA/DeMuDi 1.2.0, which was released last week. Unlike the previous version, this one is a much more up-to-date build based on Debian Sarge and complete with a recent Sarge beta installer with all its features, such as hardware autodetection and autoconfiguration, automatic boot manager setup (GRUB), and a selection of journaling file systems. Additionally, this version includes a custom dialog allowing users to choose from a list of specialist audio applications to install. The installer provides another option - a choice between Fluxbox and GNOME 2.6 desktops, recommending the fast Fluxbox for professionals and the easy-to-use GNOME for first-time Linux users.
Once the system is installed and booted, it differs little from most other Linux distribution. However, as soon as you glance under the "Multimedia" and "Audio" menus, you will be quickly reminded about the purpose of this operating system and its usefulness as a comprehensive tool designed to help creative artists. DeMuDi comes with a mind-boggling range of audio tools; here is a brief list of some of the more interesting among them:
DeMuDi is, essentially, the most comprehensive collection of free audio tools for Linux, running on top of a Debian base system. If you've ever thought about putting your musical talent to good use and compose a few original tunes, download the latest version and take a look at what is available. Even if your creation doesn't end up on the Top 40 music charts, DeMuDi is guaranteed to give you hours of free entertainment.
Distribution Newsa press release announcing the availability of Turbolinux 10 Server, a 2.6-based distribution with, seemingly, an emphasis on security. announced the November availability of SUSE Linux Professional 9.2. The usual new features are included: 2.6 kernel, KDE 3.3, GNOME 2.6, Evolution 2.0, X.org X11R6.8.1, etc. SUSE also claims improved Bluetooth support. released the second edition of its live CD distribution, which is now called simply "Move." It is based on Mandrakelinux 10.0, and is intended to be an easy way for new users to start with Linux. "Move is also a great tool for those who want a portable Linux environment. Along the lines of Mandrakesoft's recently released GlobeTrotter, Move lets users carry around both settings and files on a USB key."
The release of Mandrakelinux 10.1 Community is the top story in the Mandrakelinux Community Newsletter Issue # 96, which also takes a look some new projects in the cooker, support for LSB 2.0 and several other topics.
Mandrakelinux updates the kernel package for 10.0, with prism54 support added to the 2.4 kernel and more enhancements and bug fixes in the 2.6 kernel.Debian Weekly News for October 5 is out; it looks at the second Debian Installer testing candidate, the status of the non-US archive, Debian GNU/Hurd K7, and more.
Here's the latest update on the progress of the third revision of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 (woody).
DebConf5 will take place July 2005 in Helsinki, Finland. Some funding is available for Debian developers who would like to attend, but can't afford to. This year the organizers are starting early to take advantage of better flight prices and special offers.Issue 16 is out: FC3test2 has been released, FC1 has been passed on to Fedora Legacy, new documentation for translators, and more in this edition. DistroWatch Weekly for October 4, 2004 looks at a newsletter for Ubuntu users, OpenBSD 3.6 CDs, Bayanihan Linux and more.
New DistributionsGNUstep Live CD contains GNUstep software. GNUstep is a a free implementation of the OPENSTEP framework (which was used as the base for Cocoa in Mac OS X).
Minor distribution updatesThis release is first the 1.2.x series, which sports tighter integration with Debian, using the Sarge Debian Installer and the CDD (Custom Debian Distributions) framework." Aurox Linux has released Aurox 10.0 (Amber). "Changes in this release are related mainly to 'core' components of the system: kernel and hardware detection tools." IPCop Firewall version 1.4.0 has been released. This version supports more hardware, uses a LFS (Linux from Scratch) build system, a new GUI and more.
Distribution reviewstakes a quick look at Xandros Linux 2.5. "Want to give Linux a try with little fuss and bewilderment? Xandros may have just what you're looking for. I took a shipping version of Xandros Desktop OS Deluxe 2.5 for a spin and was pleased to find that everything just plain worked." reviews SimplyMepis 2004.01. "I have been using Mepis since 2003.10.08. SimplyMepis 2004 continues the excellent user experience and manages to top out any other desktop-oriented distribution that I have used. I originally found Mepis while searching for an affordable option for our undergraduate labs at work. I had been using Xandros Desktop 2.0 since it had been released and was very happy with it. However, Xandros' license agreement was and remains very limiting. Also, I found their file manager to be significantly less flexible than KDE's Konqueror. Mepis offers a similarly straightforward desktop experience while remaining far truer to it's Debian roots. In fact, at the end of the day, Mepis is pretty much just a well-configured and tested Debian desktop distribution with refreshingly little "special sauce" thrown in. Instead, Mepis distinguishes itself by preconfiguring many details, making the menus and defaults clean, and including the best tools for most tasks."
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