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News and Editorials

An Distribution List update

It's been over a year since we've looked at the ever changing Linux Distribution List. Our last list update appeared in the March 30, 2006 weekly edition. At that time we had 455 active distributions plus 49 in the historical section. Now we are up to 485 "active" distributions, with an additional 58 listings in the Historical section.

Determining whether or not a distribution is active is not always easy. Some are just very slow paced and may go several years between releases. Sometimes, just when you think a distribution is gone for good it shows up at a new URL, with a new or newly refreshed developer. This is the case with Trinux: Linux Security Toolkit, a distribution that hasn't seen an update in over three years, but now has a new lease on life with ubuntutrinux.

Naturally it takes some time to check the links of over 500 distributions, so we can never guarantee that all of them are still in use. So while the list gets updated at least a couple of times per week; new distributions are added, existing entries are updated with new release information, etc.; older entries may stagnate for some time before being noticed and removed.

Now it's time to say goodbye to those distributions that disappeared or were otherwise removed during the past year. NSA Security Enhanced Linux was removed from the list. The SE Linux project is still very much alive, but the reference distribution that was once used to test the code is no longer needed. HA Linux was a distribution used by Motorola, not to be confused with other high availability projects. Also Circle MUDLinux, freevix, Mandrakelinux Clustering, MSC.Linux, Mustang Linux, SCMLinux, SmartPeer, System-Down::Rescue, Troppix, Vedova Linux, and XenoLinux.

As always, let us know about any additions or corrections to our list of Linux Distributions.

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New Releases

Release for CentOS-5 i386 and x86_64

CentOS-5 for i386 and x86_64 has been released. "CentOS-5 is based on the upstream release 5, and includes packages from all variants including Server and Client. All upstream repositories have been combined into one, to make it easier for end users to work with. And the option to further enable external repositories at install time is now available in the installer." Click below for download information and release notes.

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Announcing Foresight Linux 1.2

Foresight Linux 1.2 has been released. This version features GNOME 2.18.1, Linux Kernel, better wireless driver and overall hardware support, fixes for some digital cameras and scanners to allow importing/scanning of images, added Japanese support (fonts and keyboards), a new GNOME Display Manager theme, new Epiphany extensions: Greasemonkey, Tab States & Push Scroll, 2.2, and Thunderbird 2 RC1. See the release notes for more information.

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Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring: Spring Is Here!

Mandriva has announced the release of Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring. This release features 7.2, KDE 3.5.6, GNOME 2.18, 2.1, Mozilla Firefox 2.0, Mozilla Thunderbird 2.0 and Metisse, the new window environment developed by the French In Situ project.

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openSUSE 10.3 Alpha3 released

The openSUSE Project has released the third public alpha release of openSUSE 10.3. Click below for a look at the important changes since Alpha2, the Most Annoying Bugs and other information for testers.

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RedHawk Real-Time Linux Release 4.2

Concurrent has announced the release of RedHawk Real-Time Linux 4.2. "RedHawk Linux v4.2 operating system is built on the Linux kernel and incorporates many of the accepted Ingo Molnar real-time patches, overall performance and stability enhancements and improved user application space features unavailable in older kernels. Compatible with Red Hat Enterprise 4 Update 4, RedHawk Linux version 4.2 includes support for running the 32-bit version of RedHawk on AMD Opteron based systems in addition to the 64-bit version already supported. This capability benefits customers who want the advanced AMD architecture, while requiring their OS to run in native 32-bit mode for specific device driver compatibility."

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Distribution News

Debian announcements

Martin Pitt looks at PostgreSQL in Lenny and the libpq transition. "today I uploaded postgresql-8.2 into unstable. Welcome, Lenny! With this change, and the new postgresql-common architecture now being in Etch, there are a few changes ahead of us."

Steve McIntyre presents a last few bits from the 2IC. "Well, it's been a busy year since AJ was elected and blind-sided me with his offer of the delegated 2IC job. It's not all been sweetness and light since that point, but certainly a lot has happened... :-) So, my own summary of the last couple of months since last I wrote about stuff. There have been a lot of announcements!"

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A security analysis of two years of RHEL 4

Red Hat Magazine has published a lengthy article on the security issues which affected Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4. "A default installation of Enterprise Linux 4 AS was vulnerable to only 3 critical security issues in the whole two years." It is, overall, a good exercise in transparency by a distributor.

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Ubuntu: Introducing the Gutsy Gibbon

Mark Shuttleworth has sent out a message looking forward to the next Ubuntu development cycle. It seems that "Gutsy Gibbon" beat out "Glossy Gnu" for the name. "The Glossy Gnu will nonetheless play a role in this next release, because Ubuntu 7.10 will feature a new flavour - as yet unnamed - which takes an ultra-orthodox view of licensing: no firmware, drivers, imagery, sounds, applications, or other content which do not include full source materials and come with full rights of modification, remixing and redistribution. There should be no more conservative home, for those who demand a super-strict interpretation of the 'free' in free software. This work will be done in collaboration with the folks behind Gnewsense." The release schedule has been posted as well.

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Latest Ubuntu Delivers on the Promise of Open Source

Click below for a press release on the Ubuntu 7.04 release. "Ubuntu is the award-winning Linux distribution for the desktop, laptop, thin client and server which brings together the best of open source software every 6 months. Ubuntu 7.04 desktop edition includes a ground-breaking Windows migration assistant, excellent wireless networking support and improved multimedia support."

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YDL v5.0.1 for Apple PowerPC is now shipping

Yellow Dog Linux v5.0.1 for the Apple PowerPC systems are available at the Terrasoft Store. "Yellow Dog Linux v5.0.1 for the Apple PowerPC systems adds greater than 500 package updates to the next generation Linux operating system released last fall for the Sony Computer Entertainment PLAYSTATION(R)3 with support for the former Apple PowerPC product line."

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Distribution Newsletters

Fedora Weekly News Issue 83

The Fedora Weekly News for April 14, 2007 covers Fedora wiki accounts, Fedora-Extras list is closing, Fedora Development (2007-04-11) Live i386 image available, Fedora's Pidgin Plan, and much more.

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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter

The Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for April 2, 2007 covers virtual/x11 removal, Gentoo in the press and more.

The Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for April 9, 2007 looks at Developer of the Week Camille Huot, aka cam, tips and tricks and several other topics.

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Ubuntu Weekly News: Issue #36

The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter for April 14, 2007 is out. " This is probably the last UWN before Ubuntu Feisty Fawn 7.04 gets released into the wild. In this issue we cover Mark's announcement on the next Ubuntu release codename and schedule, Feisty Fawn's release parties and a small delay in the release candidate due to problemas with certain ATA chipsets, although the final release is still expected on Thursday 19th."

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Full Circle - the Ubuntu Community Magazine - issue #0

The inaugural issue of Full Circle Magazine is available (pdf). This issue contains two articles on the History of Ubuntu - from Warty to Feisty and Ubuntu 7.04 - Feisty Fawn's New Features.

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DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 198

The DistroWatch Weekly for April 16, 2007 is out. "The new releases from CentOS and One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) projects were in the centre of attention at many Linux news sites during the past week. CentOS 5, a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, is a free enterprise-class distribution with 5-year security support - perfect for any organisation with long-term operating system plans, while the first public release of OLPC -- especially its "Sugar" user interface -- also aroused much curiosity among Linux users. In the news section: Ubuntu "Feisty" gets delayed over several release-critical bugs, Linux Mint proves its growing popularity with incredible download figures, and FreeBSD gets a new file system - the excellent ZFS from Sun Microsystems. Finally, don't miss the fourth part of our overview of top ten Linux distributions covering KNOPPIX and Slackware Linux."

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Newsletters and articles of interest

Ubuntu 7.04 arrives Thursday (Linux-Watch)

Linux-Watch takes a look at the Feisty Fawn. "This new v7.04 release encompasses five versions: Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Desktop, Edubuntu, Kubuntu, and Xubuntu. Along with the self-explanatory server and desktop versions, Edubuntu is meant for educational uses; Kubuntu is a desktop platform that uses KDE 3.5.6 for its desktop environment instead of Ubuntu's GNOME 2.18; and Xubuntu is a desktop for lower-end PCs and uses the lightweight Xfce 4.4 desktop manager."

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Linux Mint issues second KDE version test (DesktopLinux)

DesktopLinux takes a look at Linux Mint 2.2 KDE edition. "The Linux Mint team this week made available the second release candidate of its Ubuntu-based Linux Mint 2.2, KDE edition. The release carries a 2.6.17 kernel (same as the most recent GNOME desktop version, which came out a week ago) along with several important improvements, according to the project. "We received a lot of feedback on BETA 020 and made important modifications in this release," said team member Clement Lefebvre. The stable release is scheduled for April 20, he added."

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Distribution reviews

Debian redefines itself with new release (

Bruce Byfield reviews Debian's new release. "For much of its history, Debian has been the major noncommercial, philosophically free distribution. Now, as Debian developers and users have deserted the distro for Ubuntu, does Debian have a purpose any more? Debian 4.0, which was released this week, represents a collective effort to answer that question. The philosophy behind the release is best summarized on the home page for the Debian on the Desktop subproject, which states, "We will do everything we can to make things very easy for the novice, while allowing the expert to tweak things.""

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Debian 4.0 Tiptoes to Leading Edge (eWeek)

eWeek Labs tested Debian 4.0. "Debian is great fit for server deployments and is particularly well-suited for hosting applications that draw on popular open-source components, such as Apache or MySQL. Up-to-date versions of these popular Web and database servers, along with multiple alternatives for each and thousands of other applications, are available for Debian and ready for installation over one of the project's many repository mirror sites."

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CentOS 5 is a solid enterprise OS ( has a review of CentOS 5. "Last week, two years since its last major release, the CentOS project released version 5 of its enterprise-focused Linux distribution. I downloaded it and put it to the test, and found that CentOS 5 has maintained its tradition of robustness and reliability while adding new features like virtualization."

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Installing CentOS 5 "Debian Style" (

Scott Dowdle looks at CentOS 5 "Debian Style". "Since I'm a Red Hat fan (which includes Fedora Core and CentOS), I'm aware of the complaints people have about "having to download multiple CDs" before they can start installing. In fact, the recently released CentOS 5 is 6 CDs (i386, or 7 CDs for x86_64). To counter those complaints, I thought I'd try a single CD install of the recently released CentOS 5 "Debian style" and then add everything in post-install. Join me if you will..."

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Page editor: Rebecca Sobol
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