On the Desktop
Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Distributions page.
Lists of Distributions
Please note that security updates from the various distributions are covered in the security section.
Fried Chicken Linux. In our amusements category this week falls our newest distribution, Fried Chicken Linux, from the IT University of Copenhagen. Why the name "Fried Chicken Linux"? Apparently some imaginative people think the logo for the IT University of Copenhagen looks like a fried chicken.
Fried Chicken Linux is a distribution tied to Red Hat Linux. It serves as a repository for packages specific to the IT University of Copenhagen. Those packages are then integrated with Red Hat and served up. Get your Fried Chicken here! (Thanks to Jesper Juhl).
DSPLinux. On the embedded front, RidgeRun, Inc. announced its DSPLinux distribution. In the embedded field, it is interesting to note how the terminology changes. Rather than being promoted as an operating system, DSPLinux is promoted as a Software Development Kit (SDK). "The demonstration shows how the company's DSPLinux Software Development Kit (SDK) can reduce development time by allowing application developers to work in parallel with developers writing the low-level drivers and board support functions".
In any case, DSPLinux, as the name suggests, is targeted at Digital Signal Processors (DSPs). The Linux kernel is run on the ARM chip, while real-time tasks are run on the DSP.
CDLinux. Another project to develop a version of Debian that runs directly off of CD was recently announced: CDLinux. When it was pointed out that DemoLinux, a distribution with a similar goal, is also Debian-based, the author gave a few reasons for his decision to build CDLinux instead. "There're some reasons I started to do my own, one of them is they only provide ISO images, while I'm a poor dial-up user. The other reason is their deeply involved kernel patch is for 2.2 and I feel porting the code to 2.4 is too tiresome. The third reason is I don't like there many special dialogs asking user questions".
As a result, instead of providing a separate distribution hierarchy, CDLinux will essentially be a program that will build a CDLinux image given access to "some kind of Debian archive".
Housewife's Linux (a.k.a. Linux washing powder. Housewife's Linux is a new distribution mentioned on MandrakeForum. However, we've chosen not to include it on our distributions list due to its failure to follow even the most basic rules of building a Linux distribution. "While claiming to be generic linux, this package isn't compatible with any other Linux distribution. Even the "GIC" (grains in carton) packaging format is completely different from well-known "rpm-" and "deb-" packages we grew accustomed to". (Thanks also to Christof Damian).
Red Hat News. Stephen Smoogen sent us an official announcement of Red Hat's new ftp structure. It includes a complete remapping from the old directory structure to the new.
Meanwhile, new perl packages for Red Hat have been released. They fix problems with the DB_File module introduced by the recently released Berkeley db packages (which were in turn required to support the rpm 4.0.2 release ...).
The process from upgrading from Wolverine to Rawhide is ready to be tested. If all goes well, it should be pretty slick. "How's about a virtually painless up2date session to bring Wolverine up to today's rawhide? And what if the new version of up2date actually upgrades your kernel for you?!?!" Note, this is for bleeding-edge, Red Hat testers, not for the faint of heart.
Debian News. A progress report on the Woody freeze has been released. "In short: there hasn't been any". The optimistic schedule has been bumped back a couple of months. The lack of working boot-floppies is the key stumbling block. However, not all the news is bad. "The remaining aspects of the release aren't looking too bad: almost all the outdatedness in testing is fixed (glibc 2.2, X 4, perl 5.6, debconf), and the only remaining issues (KDE and Gnome 1.2/1.4) look like they should be able to be resolved in the next few weeks".
Meanwhile, the next Bug-Squashing Party will be held this weekend, the 13th through the 15th of April.
Debian developers should also note the new instructions on orphaning a package.
"Dwarf's Guide to Debian GNU/Linux" has now been packaged up. This is a book, by Debian developer Dale Scheetz, which covers package management tools, installation and basic systems administration.
Slackware News. All three platforms got security updates this week for ntp, joe and splitvt. Symlinks have been added to support Java and other packages that expect to find basic commands (date, echo, false ...) in /usr/bin. Openssl has been upgraded to 0.9.1a. GNU screen-3.9.8 was installed, but is not setuid root by default due to security concerns. This means that the 'w' command will not work with it correctly and neither will 'talk'. Many other package updates went in this week as well.
Both the Intel and Sparc platforms got a merge of the recent ham package updates from Arno Verhoeven.
Linux-Mandrake News. Last week, we managed to miss Mandrake Forum's transformation into a multi-lingual site. The site now supports German, French and English, so you can follow threads in the language of your choice. This doesn't guarantee that all posts will be translated into all languages, and the most active is still English, but if you prefer to post in German or French, you can, and only readers that have asked to see posts in that language (presumably because they can read them) will see your comments. Fun stuff.
Tractopel RC1 is out. Of course, this is better known as the first release candidate for the upcoming Linux-Mandrake 8.0. Problems have already been reported with this version, so don't plan on installing it on any production systems. Another candidate will likely be out shortly.
Also out this week was the first release candidate for MandrakeSecurity, (a.k.a MandrakeFirewall, a.k.a Mandrake Internet Security Pack, a.k.a "cookfire"). MandrakeSecurity is a light-weight version of Linux-Mandrake aimed at creating an easy-to-use firewall. The latest version has been upgraded to Linux 2.2.19 and contains many other additional features as well.
Progeny Linux ships. Progeny Linux Systems, Inc. announced the release of the first edition of Progeny Debian. The download edition is available now at www.progeny.com/download. The box set will be available on April 23rd.
Trustix Secure Linux News. Trustix has announced the release of Trustix Secure Linux 1.4.80, a beta release toward the 1.5 stable version. It is nicknamed "Ooops," and is incompatible with 1.2 in a number of ways; read the announcement closely.
Conectiva News. Conectiva published this description of various updates made recently to their High Availability support, including an update to the more stable heartbeat 0.4.9.
Redmond Linux News. Redmond Linux Beta 3 had been released. This distribution is aimed at personal use and is intended to be an easy introduction to Linux for the newcomer and casual computer user. "'This Beta 3 release brings Redmond Linux to the level of stability and number of features needed for home use,' he [Joseph Cheek] continues. 'We've got everything a home user needs - full Internet access, word processing, spreadsheet, and financial management software, multimedia, and entertainment - without the excess software that's commonly attached to an operating system'".
deepLinux News. After a year of near-dormancy, deepLinux has been reformed. The company will announce a number of new product offerings, including a web server, a firewall, and a database server, in the very near term. One of those announcements made it out this week, their release of deepLinux ExOp Server beta 1, a full version of GNU/Linux featuring the SGI-optimized Apache Web server.
A similar functionality that covers multiple RPM-based distributions can be found on Rpmfind.net.
Hard Hat News. MontaVista Software Inc. announced the 2.0 release of its kernel 2.4 based Hard Hat Linux operating system. Hard Hat Linux includes support for x86/IA-32, PowerPC, StrongARM, MIPS, and SH architectures. For more details on their Hitachi SuperH support (SH), check this press release.
BlueCat News. Also from the embedded space, LynuxWorks' BlueCat Linux 3.1 now supports the MIPS architecture. "Supported architectures now include MIPS, Intel's Pentium, XScale and x86 compatibles, ARM family (including Thumb extensions), StrongARM, PowerPC (including PowerQUICC) and Hitachi SuperH".
Astaro Security Linux News. Astaro Security Linux, a Linux-based firewall solution that also includes stateful packet inspection, released version 1.803 this week. This minor update to the stable tree includes new virus pattern files.
Conectiva Linux 6.0. We seemed to have missed this originally, but C|Net did a rather reasonable review of Conectiva Linux 6.0 back at the end of March. "Although we were generally impressed with the installation procedure, we were frustrated that Conectiva installed headers for kernel 2.2.18 rather than the included 2.2.17 kernel--an annoying oversight. Thankfully, the problem is easily fixed by downloading a new kernel or the correct headers from Conectiva's Web site."
Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh
April 12, 2001