News and EditorialsKnoppix live CD has justly earned a reputation of staging a mini-revolution in our Linux world. By delivering an instant and portable Linux operating system that anybody could use without having to go through a sharp learning curve, the Knoppix developers have not only provided a superb rescue tool for Linux power users, they have also created the best possible advocacy tool to entice computer users not yet familiar with Linux. And although more than a hundred Knoppix clones have sprouted all over the Internet in the last year alone, none of them has surpassed the popularity of the original king of the Linux live CDs. The much awaited Knoppix 3.4 was released last week, inclusive of all the latest software packages, and for the first time, kernel 2.6.
What's new in Knoppix 3.4? The lion's share of the development work is done by Klaus Knopper (the founder of Knoppix), Christian Perle and Fabian Franz, and much of their effort goes into one of the following four areas: software updates, hardware auto-detection, the "cloop" compressed files system, and the "knoppix-installer".
Knoppix 3.4 continues in the tradition of excellence by providing many of the latest open source packages on the Knoppix CD, by continuously adding new hardware to its extensive hardware database, and by developing interesting new features. As the undisputed leader among Linux live CDs, Knoppix is an indispensable rescue disk, a demonstration tool, and a quick Debian installer all-in-one. An already remarkable product has just gotten better.
Distribution NewsDebian Weekly News for May 11, 2004 covers the New York version of PacMan (PacManhattan), EU patents, Debian OASIS membership, documentation, the Debian-Installer release process, a draft proposal for modification of the Debian Free Software Guidelines, Debian trademarks, Debian Day at LinuxTag, and several other topics.
The upcoming stable Debian release (sarge) will feature fully integrated XML support. Multiple toolchains for XSL(T) processing, a fully standards-compliant XML catalog system, and a Debian XML policy document for both Debian developers and users provide the backbone of a complete, out-of-the-box system for XML developers and authors.
Here's some information about the DebConf key signing party.Fedora News Updates #11 is available; it features a message from project leader Cristian Gafton, notes on the Fedora Core 2 Test 3 release, an update on Fedora Legacy, and more. DistroWatch Weekly for May 10, 2004 looks at source based distributions and other topics.
New DistributionsOpenLab GNU/Linux is a product of South Africa's DireqLearn, an organization that seeks to make a significant positive impact on education in Africa. It is a thin client-enabled Linux distribution based on Slackware Linux, and is designed with an educational focus. It features unique desktop themes for maximum user friendliness without sacrificing compatibility, integrated thin client support that requires no complex setup, the 2.6 series kernel for maximum desktop performance, many DireqLearn enhancements, a unique system administration interface, KDE, and Dropline GNOME. OpenLab joins the list at version 3.0.5, released May 11, 2004. (Thanks to Joe Klemmer)
Minor distribution updatesKnoppiXMAME has released v1.3 beta 19 with major bugfixes. "Changes: This is a preview of what 1.3 will be like, minus the features of NTFS write access and arcade monitor support. VIA AC97 sound is fixed, and the NVidia binary driver is now supplied." Lineox has released v3.0 of the Lineox Enterprise Linux Desktop. Click below for more information. Onebase Linux has released 2004-r3. "This release features a number of package updates including improved kernel driver support and hardware detection. The installer itself has been given more polish and some issues were resolved. The most noted item of this release is OLM version 2.2.1, which comes with a significant amount of improvements." PLD Live CD has released v0.95 with major bugfixes. "Changes: [0.94] is mainly a bugfix release, in which some packages and a few script mistakes were fixed. New features include new packages (KDE 3.2.2, GNOME 2.6.1, and many more) and improved autodetection (more PCI IDs for network, IDE, and SCSI controllers and better PCMCIA controller detection). Some unusual screen resolutions for laptops are now supported. [In 0.95] The kernel has been upgraded to 2.6.6. It works on nforce2 and i865 chips now." ThinStation has released v2.0 with major feature enhancements. "Changes: The Dillo and Mozilla Firefox Web browsers were added to the contribs section. The Samba options were improved, and a USB keyring can be mounted as a Samba share. VT220 and TN5250 terminal emulators were added. rdesktop was upgraded to version 1.3.1, which features 24-bit color and sound. XFree86 was upgraded to 4.3.99.rc2. A bootable CD that works everywhere (like Knoppix) can be created. Lots of new keymaps were added. A boot splash screen with a progress bar was added. A Web Management package was added. Most software was updated to the latest versions." XoL has released v18.00 with major feature enhancements. "Changes: This version features a full desktop and OpenOffice environment in both English and German. The unique USB-TO-GO feature offers you the freedom to continue your work on any other system using XoL and a USB storage device. KDE and GNOME are included. The entire distribution fits on one standard 700MB CD. Multimedia software includes voice and video-over-IP applications, DVD-players, MP3 players, and many more. XoL can also be installed onto a hard disk."
Distribution reviewsreviews SuSE Linux 9.1 Personal Edition. "Personal Edition includes all of the basics: CD playing, ripping and writing software and other multimedia tools; office software in the form of the much-acclaimed OpenOffice.org suite; the KDE desktop environment; photo and graphics editing software; and the Konqueror web browser with built-in plugins for Macromedia Flash and the Sun Java Runtime Environment. In other words, you have everything you need for a standard home computer." looks at the Sun Java Desktop System. "I've had JDS installed for more than two months, and I've used it off and on since then. Overall, it's a solid distribution but I can't say I was "wowed" by it. I had seen screenshots of Sun's JDS prior to actually installing it, and I was pleasantly surprised when I sat down and started using it. The screenshots I had seen certainly didn't do it justice."
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