Linux Weekly News

Bringing you the latest news from the Linux World.
Dedicated to keeping Linux users up-to-date, with concise news for all interests
Published July 30, 1998

Linux articles
Kernel news
Software Development
Free/Open-Source Software
Commercial/Press Releases
Links of the week
Feedback and corrections

Other stuff:
LWN Archives
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Daily Updates

Leading items

It has been interesting watching the effects of the Oracle and Informix announcements ripple through the press this week. Suddenly a lot more people are talking about Linux; many of them, perhaps, are hearing about it for the first time. Though the arrival of these big database companies doesn't make Linux itself any greater, it does serve to make the system more "legitimate" in the eyes of many people. World domination just came a step closer.

One of the jobs of the editorialist is to worry. So... Remember the Good Olde Days, back in the 1980's, when many of us were talking about what a great thing the Net was? Its potential was clear; the only mystery was just why it was taking the world so long to catch on. Sooner or later, it seemed, we were all going to be on the net. And the sooner the better.

Well, as they say, be careful what you wish for. I've heard many of my 80's colleagues wishing they had their old net back. This one has gotten too weird.

So what happens when Linux really explodes, as seems (to some) inevitable? Just how weird is it going to get? Will we look back with nostalgia to 1994, when nobody knew what we were talking about? Will we want our old Linux back? For now this is still our revolution, and we can maybe shape its future. Before long, that may no longer be true.

As an example to ponder, consider the rumors, increasing in volume and number, that IBM will jump into the Linux camp soon. Can you imagine IBM Linux, with IBM support? Certainly there would be no further problems selling Linux to the suits. And if IBM were to commit resources to Linux development, as they already have with Apache, all kinds of nice things could happen.

But remember that less than twenty years ago IBM was the fearsome monopoly, the one under antitrust investigation, the one whose disregard for standards and harsh treatment of other companies was the source of endless complaints. It was a blue world. If IBM jumps into our pond, they will make a big splash. Today's IBM seems to be interested in doing cool things; here's hoping that they'll be nice to the Linux community.

HR 2281 passed the House Committee on Commerce by an overwhelming vote of 41 to 0 on July 17th. The news release (posted to the ISN mailing list) does mention a number of amendments that were passed just prior to approval, including amendments for encryption research and protecting personal privacy.

The best report we've found so far on these amendments was contained in this PC Week article , entitled "A reprieve for 'ethical hacking".

...some cryptographers worried that the WTO treaty would have made circumventing security measures on products illegal, even if that hack was attempted to prove the software's vulnerability--so-called ethical hacking. Indeed, it would have virtually criminalized their profession. But an 11th-hour compromise amendment, added by Rep. Scott Klug, R-Wis., delays the circumvention rule for two years while the U.S. Secretary of Commerce considers alternatives. After two years, the anticircumvention rule goes into effect, although the Commerce Secretary will have the option to delay it again for two years.

An excellent summary of the continuing threat in the cirumvention rules was provided in an addendum by Scott Klug and Rick Boucher. It is nice to know that at least two of our legislators have a clear picture of the potential disastrous effects of the circumvention rules and the way in which they circumvent the constitution and our basic rights. Whatever protections Congress grants should not be wielded as a club to thwart consumer demand for innovative products, consumer demand for access to information, consumer demand for tools to exercise their lawful rights, and consumer expectations that the people and expertise will exist to service these products.

All of this gives us another two years to educate lawmakers to the need for active research, open discussion and promulgation of fixes for not only cryptography, but all of the software on which more and more of our commerce, and life, depends.

Dave Whitinger tells us that his email-based Linux news service is expanding. He now has four different "news wires," described in his note. You can learn more or subscribe at the Three Point web site.

The folks at the Linux Journal have another poll going. This one seeks to compile a list of commercial software packages that people would like to see available under Linux. If you have a favorite system you've been waiting for, let them know.

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Linux in the news

The August 10 issue of Forbes magazine has open source software (and a picture of Linus) on its cover. Inside is a lengthy and reasonably accurate article on how it all works. "A World Wide Web search engine finds 7,192 matches for Sun Microsystems' chief executive, Scott McNealy, 8,580 for Oracle's Larry Ellison, 16,604 for actor Tom Cruise-and 20,419 for Linus Torvalds." Forbes also includes a small table comparing open-source companies.

Here's another must-read Petreley column in InfoWorld: "When I heard that Steve Ballmer was promoted to the office of president at Microsoft, I couldn't help but wonder if he was being set up to take the fall when Windows NT 5.0 proves to be a catastrophic market failure and Linux supplants Windows NT as the future server operating system of choice."

Newsbytes is carrying a story about a different NASA Beowulf system: this one is operated by their "Computer Crimes Division" and is used to track down "cyber criminals." "'Because Linux source code is available free,' Talleur said, 'now we have the control and computational power that we need without being dependent upon specific vendors.'."

Didier Legein sent in a note pointing out this LAN Times article. Ostensibly about Informix, it's really about the author's discovery of Linux. "I sat laughing snidely into my notebook until they showed me a PC running Linux. And oh! It was as though the heavens opened and God handed down a client-side OS so beautiful, so graceful, and so elegant that a million Microsoft developers couldn't have invented it even if they had a hundred years and a thousand crates of Jolt cola." The author is clearly playing on the "hyperbole" surrounding the announcement, but she concludes: "So if the Linux developers seem a little excitable, a little frantic, and a little, well, over the top, listen anyway. Developers become IS managers, and someday we may all think of Linux as just the way things are."

Lots of press about the Oracle, Informix, and Netscape announcements, of course. Here's a subset:

  • Internet Week on Informix.
  • PC Week on Informix (with minimal talk about Linux).
  • InfoWorld on Oracle and Informix.
  • Information Week on all three. "As Microsoft's schedule for rolling out Windows NT 5.0 slips, it may be creating an opportunity for a surprising contender--Linux."
  • Internet World with a longish and very positive article on why people like Linux.
  • InfoWorld again on the various announcements. This columnist speculates that IBM will be supporting Linux within a year.
  • The Boston Globe's Hiawatha Bray is back. His slant on the situation has to do with Richard Stallman's grumpiness; rms's day was not made by the Oracle announcement.
  • ComputerWorld chimed in as well. "But it is unclear whether such endorsements will be enough to push Linux beyond the niche level in corporations."

National Public Radio talked about Linux again in this "Talk of the nation" segment on Windows alternatives. The program is available in RealAudio format.

Wired news covers the Navy "smart ship" fiasco that we mentioned last week. Interestingly they go on to talk about John Kirch's outstanding Unix vs. Windows NT paper, and come just short of saying that Linux would have been a better choice.

Time for some FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) from Ziff-Davis. An otherwise interesting column titled Microsoft vs. Linux: Code-to-code combat blows it by neglecting the support options available to Linux users. And this Inter@ctive Week article on the database announcements makes its position clear in the first sentence: "The Linux operating system is hard to install. It lacks applications. By most accounts, its user interface is lousy. " (Please, if you respond to the authors of these articles, do so in a polite and dignified manner!)

More InfoWorld stuff: A column by Mark Tebbe states that "...this increasingly popular OS is starting to look like a viable computing platform," but maintains that world domination has a while to go yet. They also review Red Hat's Extreme Linux product, concluding that it needs a lot of work (which is true), but that Beowulf is very much a thing to watch (which is also true).

Sm@rt Reseller's "@lex" put out this flame bait asking " Linux getting more attention than it warrants? How much of the demand for Linux is really just a vote for ABM (anything but Microsoft)?"

Don Crabb's ZDNN column provides some rather, well, crabby commentary on Apple and its support of Linux.

The Netly News has an article about and their desperate financial situation. Part of the credit for their recovery seems to be attributed to their support of Linux.

Performance Computing is running a tutorial article on Samba, excerpted from Komarinski and Collett's Linux System Administration Handbook.

SunWorld Online published the results of their open source software survey. Seemingly large companies aren't as hostile to free software as we have been led to believe.

Another article noted by Didier Legein: Linux is gratis, maar niet voor niks in the Belgian De Standaard. It is seemingly in Flemish, so it is hard for us to say much about it; Didier says it is "an excellent introductory article." It does appear to be comparing Linux to the cartoon character Asterix, which can only be a good thing...

Jerry Pournelle thrashes Ellen Ullman's "Dumbing Down of Programming" essay in this article. What can we reads just like a Pournelle article. Thanks for Christof Damian for the pointer to this one.

C't Magazine reviewed the Webmin system administration tool. (Thanks to Jon Bendtsen).

For our German-speaking readers: Linux Magazin has put up a translation of Eric S. Raymond's "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" in German. (Thanks to Christof Wiegand).

Peter Mastren pointed us to this article in Computer Technology Review. It is positive, describing why system VARs find Linux appealing. The usual support stuff comes out too, of course...

  Top / News / Security / Kernel / Dists / Ports / Devel / Free / Commercial / Announce / Links / Feedback  

Caldera Security Advisories can be found at Please note that they issued a large number of security advisories on July 21st and 22nd, so OpenLinux users should check out this page.

CIAC has posted an alert regarding the multiscan or mscan tool, which enables the user to scan domains and ranges of IP addresses for widely known vulernabilities. The posting also includes pointers to alerts on the vulnerabilities for which mscan tests.

A buffer overflow problem has been reported in recent versions of mutt. A temporary patch is provided in the posting, but version 0.93.2(i) will also be coming out shortly, with a full fix. Patched versions of Debian's mutt package have already been uploaded.

For those using cfingerd, a warning has been posted about a potential security problem.

IRC problems have been a common topic this week. This posting provides a good background and a claimed fix for all current mIRC exploits. Even better, mIRC v5.41 has been announced and addresses these and other bugs in the 5.4 release. An espernet irc bug was also reported.

At the tail end of a long debate on BugTraq on secure programming, came a message with a summary of good references on Secure Programming.

A problem has been reported for people using Squid 1.2beta and Netscape 4.x. It is recommended that different server names be used for your HTTP and Security (SSL) proxy as a result. For more for details, check out this followup from Henrik Nordstrom.

Here is a pointer to the Cert Advisory for the imapd security problems we mentioned last week. It includes information from Caldera and Red Hat. Although many Linux distributions are still missing, it is good to see CERT providing more Linux-specific information.

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[Kernel] The current development kernel release is 2.1.112. Since the 2.1 kernel is in feature freeze mode, there is not much in the way of new features to point out. Work continues on stomping bugs, getting some last minute works in, and low-memory performance. Note that 2.1.112 is hostile to SMP systems, due to a last minute typo. SMP folks should wait for 2.1.113, which may well be out by the time you read this.

The first pre-patch for stable kernel 2.0.36 is available. Alan Cox's announcement tells what's in there. For what it's worth, Alan has been seen to say that 2.2.0 is likely to be released before 2.0.36...

The work on performance on low-memory machines seems to be going well. Stephen Tweedie did some analysis on low-memory behavior, was mostly happy with what he found, and supplied patches for some of the remaining problems. Bill Hawes produced a memory defragmenter which tries to produce larger contiguous blocks when one does not exist naturally; this one does not seem to have gone into Linus's tree yet. Meanwhile Chris Wedgewood found that he could boot 2.1.111 in 3MB of memory, though the resulting machine is not much fun to work with. Alan Cox ran some NFS tests, useful since NFS can require larger memory chunks than the rest of the kernel; his results show a lot of improvement in 2.1.111.

Mark Spencer and Paul Mackeras are doing some last-minute work on the PPP driver. They want to better handle synchronous lines and make a better API to the whole thing - all to go in to the 2.2 kernel. They are looking for comments on what they are doing; if you are interested in PPP please help them out.

Alex Buell has posted a HOWTO for the vesafb framebuffer driver present in recent 2.1 kernels.

Would you be willing to run a mirror FTP site for the Linux kernel? If so, H. Peter Anvin would like to hear from you. The main site on is having a hard time dealing with the load...

One more time... Joseph Pranevich has tossed out the final version of his 2.2 kernel change summary document. Check it out.

Did you ever wish you could put a patch into a running kernel without rebooting and resetting that precious uptime counter? This week two separate people came up with ways of doing that. Adam Sulmicki has a Live Kernel Patching Kit (with preliminary source available)which can "modularize" kernel functions on the fly. Chad Giffin's Live Kernel Updating System is rather more ambitious, seeking to suspend the operations of the entire system so that a new kernel image can be slipped in. It would take an awful lot of confidence building before a lot of people would be willing to mess with a running kernel, but maybe these guys will get there.

A serious discussion took place on whether the IDE driver should use direct memory access (DMA) by default. Linus turned off DMA in 2.1.111 after hearing some reports of silent file system corruption when DMA was used. It seems that DMA works fine on most systems, but a very small percentage gets trashed. A number of possible reasons for this problem have been produced: overly long IDE cables, a certain manufacturer's low-quality drives, a driver bug, or even an SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) bug.

Disabling DMA was a controversial action, since using DMA can greatly increase performance on IDE drives. Some of those who believe that the problem originates in hardware seemed to be especially opposed to the change. The discussion reached a high level of heat, with some high-profile kernel hackers threatening to quit. The point that Linus makes, though, is that silent corruption is just not something that Linux should do, even if it happens on a very small percentage of machines. It is a good point, and, in any case, what Linus says goes in a case like this. Unless somebody can truly put their finger on this problem and come up with a safe way to enable DMA by default, 2.2 will go out with DMA disabled.

Some progress has been made toward solving the problem. Alan Cox gathered some statistics from people who were having problems, and concluded that some of the the problems resulted from bad disk drives. A blacklist will probably be added to the driver that avoids DMA with these drives. There appears to be another problem which is SMP related, though, and that one remains unsolved. Alan is asking for corruption information still; if you have experience filesystem corruption on your system please drop him a note describing your hardware. Your information will help to nail this one down.

But the really serious discussion of the week had to do with the beer-drinking penguin logo that shows up at boot time on systems with the frame buffer console enabled. Johan Myréen asked whether such a logo was "politically correct," given that some people, believe it or not, are offended by penguins with beer. Needless to say, a post of that nature drew a lot of responses, which mostly fit into one of three categories: (1) "I like the penguin, get a life," (2) "the penguin will get us in trouble in the parts of the world where alcohol is not tolerated," and (3) "the penguin will cost us respect in corporate boardrooms, where alcohol may be well tolerated indeed, but where computers are supposed to be serious." No conclusion was reached; odds are, however, that the poor penguin will have to go on the wagon. least until 2.3.1 comes out...

Since we're a weekly publication, chances are we'll be behind a rev or two on the kernel release by the time you read this page. Up-to-the-second information can always be found at LinuxHQ.
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[DISTRIBUTIONS] A flurry of distribution announcements this week...

The folks at XI Graphics have announced "maXimum cde/OS"; its main claim to fame seem to be that it has their Accelerated X server and CDE bundled into it.

On the free side we have the first release of Mandrake. This distribution is based on Red Hat 5.1, but integrates KDE as well. It appears that they have plans to sell CD's and technical support in the future.

The Stampede distribution also put out a new release, version 0.86. See their announcement for more.

Yet another previously unknown (to us) release: NoMad Linux is available. This one has yet another package format... As they say in their web page: "It's main purpose is to keep it's creators happy and give them something to do in their free time."

And, as if that weren't enough, there is also an announcement for DLD 5.4; since DLD is a pure German distribution, the announcement is also in German.


Caldera issued security advisories on July 21st and 22nd for problems with metamail, pine, ntalkd, minicom, slang, ncurses, libtermcap, fcntl, the TZ environment variable, RPC, imapd, mailx, xterm, the Xaw library, XConsole and INN. It looks like Caldera is making a strong effort to improve the responsiveness of their security efforts (their last previous alert was from April). Hopefully, this indicates that Caldera will continue to keep abreast of security problems in the future.

Erik Ratcliffe posted a Call for Contributed RPM Packages to the caldera-users list. After an internal fight to get the contrib area reopened, they are anxious to see support for OpenLinux compatible packages grow. Of course, that comment highlights the growing concern that RPM packages must be tailored to work for each distribution, something that is likely to continue to cause fragmentation in the Linux community.

Evan Leibovitch has made available a web-based chart which describes the feature differences between Caldera OpenLinux 1.2, SCO UnixWare 7.0 and Windows NT 4.0.


The big news of the day, of course, is the Debian 2.0 Release Announcement. Now admit it, you thought it would never happen ... now that Debian has also made it over the libc5 to glibc hump, updated versions should start coming out on a more regular basis. It looks like only the Intel and m68k platforms made it for the 2.0 announcement, but Alpha, Sparc and PowerPC versions are promised for Debian 2.1.

For those interested in details on the status of the sparc version, check out this posting by Michael Shuey, which covers the topic in detail.

KDE made it into the final Debian 2.0 release by the skin of its teeth, due to a concern that the way in which Qt and KDE were being distributed violated the authors' rights. Brian White posted the decision to keep KDE in, along with some background on the issue.

The full announcement of the Debian Ultra-Linux project is available. They are looking for help, so if you like Debian best and have some UltraSPARCs around you'd like to run it on, time to step up and lend a hand!

Steve McIntyre came back from Usenix with a bunch of ideas that he'd like to see done in Debian. It generated a nice little discussion and most of the ideas are either being done or are certainly doable.

In spite of the preparations for the release of 2.0, the longest discussion on debian-devel was triggered by mention of Red Hat and the GNOME project. Although most of the talk was typical flames, overall it underscored a truth: as Red Hat has the money to hire more developers to work on Linux (which we all think is great), the fear that they will use this to influence the software that is written will continue to grow. Still, in the midst of the flames, some useful ideas on improving menu systems were discussed and even passed back to the GNOME group.

By the way, the flame was started from rumors that both Federico and Miguel, well-known GNOME developers, were going to work for Red Hat. These are actually incorrect. Miguel send in this message stating that Federico was working for Red Hat, but that he is still employed by the University of Mexico at present and would be heading to California to work for Cobalt later this year. He also listed many of the other active programmers involved with GNOME.

Dpkg and associated tools has been successfully compiled on the HURD.

Red Hat

The Red Hat Linux User's FAQ is now available for your favorite browser. The posting contains a list of available mirrors and a mention that they are running a Logo Contest for the FAQ.

Red Hat has released new 5.1 RPMs for inn, tcp-wrappers, ispell, glint, fetchmail, the kernel, iBCS, pcmcia support, ncurses and initscripts for all platforms. Only the kernel and ncurses changes seem to be security related.

Red Hat has made a contribution to the continuing support of sunsite. This is a wonderful idea. Sunsite is a tremendously important central site for Linux software, and other free software, of all shapes, sizes, distributions and more.


For those that missed it, here is the announcement for S.u.S.E. 5.3. Apparently there is an impressive list of new features, including 2.0.35, GNOME, and SaX, a new XFree86 configuration tool from S.u.S.E. They also put out a separate announcment for their inclusion of KDE in 5.3. Note that the new version will not be available in the U.S. until early September.

Not contenting themselves with software, the S.u.S.E. folks are also now selling T-shirts and stuffed penguins.

Please note that not every distribution will show up every week. Only distributions with recent news to report will be listed.
  Top / News / Security / Kernel / Dists / Ports / Devel / Free / Commercial / Announce / Links / Feedback  


Armin Ollig has ported the HotJava web browser (v1.1.4) to the Alpha. It has a couple of limitations yet; see his announcement for more.

Want to play with the LEDs on your AXPpci33 motherboard? Nils Faerber has released a driver which allows program control of the LEDs, and which includes a couple of demo applications.


PowerPC Linux Release 4 has been announced. This release claims greater speed, and comes with KDE as a standard feature. It "runs on virtually every PowerPC produced". See the announcement for more info.


For those annoyed by problems with the keyboard repeat rate under Debian 2.0 on Sparc, check out this explanation and workaround from Anders Hammarquist.
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[Software Development]


TYA 1.0 has been announced. This popular JIT compiler is designed as an add=on to the Java ports for Linux and is distributed under the GNU license.

The July version of the java-linux FAQ has been posted.


Umm ... we're light on *real* Perl news this week, so we'll just mention that hotel rooms for the Perl Conference have sold out. O'Reilly has made backup plans with the local Hilton, so check it out if you're planning on going and are currently without reservations.


Ken McDonald is working on yet another Python book. He has posted a table of contents and a request for comments.

  • DCOracle 1.0, commercial Python package for Oracle from Digital Creations
  • MxTextTools 1.00, a python extension package providing fast text scanning and processing tools
  • oracledb 0.2pre1, python interface to Oracle
  • Implementation of Greg's GUI API, a preliminary implementation for X Windows, based on the X-extension
  • PyApache, an Apache module to allow it to interpret Python directly. Useful for sites with a lot of Python CGI stuff.


  • Slate for Tcl 8.0 and Itcl 3.0, an implementation of a useful layer of abstraction over the regular Tk canvas
  Top / News / Security / Kernel / Dists / Ports / Devel / Free
/ Commercial / Announce / Links / Feedback
[Free/Open-Source News]

Free/Open-Source Software News


Check out the Mozilla Performance Project, which has just opened its doors.

Pat Gunn has started collecting and documenting graphic resources in mozilla.

We learned on the newsgroups that Netscape 4.5 has already incorporated the Smart Browsing code from Mozilla, so we are reaping immediate benefits from the release of the Netscape code.

The July 26th version of the Mozilla Newsletter mentions a lot of recent successes in the Mozilla/Netscape camp and warns developers to check out the new autoconf process, since it will become the default in the future.

Over 15 new technical documents explaining subsystems of NGLayout (Mozilla's next-generation layout engine) have been published to

From the Jazilla camp, Thierry Bezecourt reported that URLs can now be downloaded with Jazilla.

  Top / News / Security / Kernel / Dists / Ports / Devel / Free / Commercial / Announce / Links / Feedback  
        News/Press Releases]

Linux and the Commercial World

Commercial announcements:

  Top / News / Security / Kernel / Dists / Ports / Devel / Free / Commercial / Announce / Links / Feedback  


Package Version Description
Aeleron   Email client for WindowMaker, similar to NeXTSTEP's
Amcl 0.2 A simple Mud CLient for X written in GTK libs.
Apache 1.3.1 High performance, UNIX based HTTP server
arcem 0.40 An Acorn Archimedes emulator for Un*x
asapm 1.3 X11 application with AfterStep look for monitoring APM on laptops running Linux
AVFS 0.2 C library add-on, which enables all programs to look insidecompressed files
Bash 2.02.1 sh-compatible command language interpreter
Beautifier 1.0 A free, small and fast automatic indenter for Java source files
Bezerk 0.3.1 IRC client written with the GTK toolkit
Blackbox 0.35.0 WindowManager for X11 written in C++
bttvgrab 0.12 Provides high-quality grabbing suitable for video recording
BurnIT 0.61 BurnIT is a Java front-end to cdrecord and mkisofs
CDDA Paranoia alpha 7.9 CD ripping application
Chebyshev 0.01 Engine for forwarding email service (w/spam filtering)
DDD snapshot 19980724 Common graphical user interface for GDB, DBX and XDB
DECnet for Linux 0.0.7 DECnet socket layer and applications
Djvu Compressor 0.9 beta Innovative document image compression technique
Djvu Plugin for Netscape   Netscape plugin to decompress and view Djvu images.
egcs 19980727 Experimental set of enhancements for the GNU tools
eMusic DR0.6.1 CD, mp3, mod and wav player for Linux
Ethereal 0.3.0 GUI network analyzer
Fetchmail 4.5.4 Free, full-featured, robust, well-documented remote-mailretrieval utility
fltk 0.99 C++ user interface toolkit for X and OpenGL
Font Print 3.0.2 Allows you to use vga consolefonts when printing a file
FreeBSD JDK 1.1.6 FreeBSD Java-Team's Sun JDK port
FreeWRL 0.14 Free VRML browser for Linux
gEdit 0.4.5 GTK+ based text editor
gIDE 0.0.4 gtk-based Integrated Development Environment for C
Gmp3 0.074a GTK based front-end to mpg123
GNU Plotutils 2.1.4 Utilities for plotting scientific data
GNUS 5.6.27 Emacs news/mail reader
got_it 0.33 Simple URL grabber
GRadio 0.9.7 GTK-based interface to RadioTrack/RadioReveal cards
GTK+ 1.1.0 Library for creating graphicaluser interfaces
Gwydion Dylan 2.1-980723 Compiler for Dylan, an dynamic, efficient, object-oriented language
hexedit 0.9.3 View and edit files in hexadecimal or in ASCII
HPP 1.1 Simple including and conditionalities for HTML like cpp.
http-analyze 2.01 Log analyzer for web servers
ImageMagick 4.0.8 Package for display and interactive manipulation of images for X11
IMP 1.0 IMAP and PHP3 based webmail system
inn 2.1 Complete and full-featured Usenet System
IPAC 0.99 Linux IP accounting package
Jikes 0.36 Java compiler that translates Java source into bytecoded instruction sets
Kalendar 0.4i simple, easy to use calendar and to-do list manager
kcrontab 0.1.81 Crontab editor for KDE
KOrganizer 0.9.9 Personal Information Manager for the KDE Desktop Environment
Lesstif 0.86pre1 LGPL'd re-implementation of Motif
linleech 2.1.1 Program that automates the process of downloading USENET articles
Linux Logo 2.07 Displays an ANSI or ASCII Linux penguin, along with some sytem information
Linux Quake Howto 1.0 Install, run and troubleshoot Quake,QuakeWorld &Quake 2 under Linux
Linuxconf 1.11r14 Sophisticated administrative tool
Lynx 2.8 fully-featured, text-based World Wide Web browser
Mesa 3.0 beta 7 3-D graphics library which uses the OpenGL API
Micq snapshot 980720 Publically available ICQ clone for the console
NetBeans Developer 2.0 beta 2 Java based IDE - based on Swing, generates pure Swing/AWT code.
News Peruser 3.12 An offline newsreader for Linuxand X11
pcmcia-cs 3.04 Card Services for Linux is a complete PCMCIA or ``PC Card'' support package.
perfs 2.5.0 perfs is a tool that helps dispatching processes over a network
Perl 5.005_01 High-level, general-purpose programming language
PFlow 2.5 Fluid Dynamics Demonstration Program
PHP 3.0.2a HTML-embedded scripting language
ProFTPD 1.1.5pl4 Advanced, incrediblyconfigurable and secure FTP daemon
qps 1.4.3 Displays processes in an X11 window
rsync 2.1.0 File transfer program to keep remote files into sync
Saint 1.2.6 Security Administrator's Integrated Network Tool
SANE 0.74 Provides standardized access to any raster image scanner hardware
sed 3.01 GNU Stream Editor
Shadow 980724 Shadow password file utilities
SNMP Sniffer 0.7b SNMP promiscuous packet sniffer/decoder.
Spong 1.1 Simple System/Network Monitoring
tircproxy 0.3.3 Transparent IRC Proxy with DCC CHAT and DCC SEND support
Tripwire 1.3 Intrusion Detection System for Linux
truc 1.0.6 Two shell scripts that allow you to transfer big files via e-mail
UW Imap Server 4.3 BETA Univerity of Washington Imap server
vile 8.0 Extensible vi-like editor w/ optional X window and win32 support
Vim 5.2h Popular vi clone that features syntax highlighting and an X11 interface
Visual SlickEdit 3.0b Graphical programmers' editor
Virtual Network Computing 3.3.2 R2 Cross-platform Virtual Network Computing
Webalizer 1.20 Web server log analysis program
Webmin 0.60 Web-based interface for system administration for Unix
WindowMaker 0.17.5 X11 window manager with NEXTSTEP look and feel
Wine 980726 Emulator of the Windows 3.x and Win32 APIs.
wmakerconf 0.5 GTK based configuration tool for WindowMaker window manager
wmapm 1.1 Small dock-app that shows continually-updated APMstatistics
wmsound 0.6.1a Sound server package for WindowMaker
WPP 2.01 Small perl5 script that allows preprocessing of HTML files
X-Mame 0.33b7.1 The Un*x version of the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator
Xlab 0.8.3 Automates any X application by recording and playing back X-events.
Xlogmaster 1.4.1 Tool to monitor logfiles & hardware status
XRoads v0.2 A 2D maze/shoot-em-up game for X
Xscreensaver 2.26 Modular screen saver and locker for the X WindowSystem
XSIDPLAY 1.1.7 C64 music player and SID sound chip emulator
yagIRC 0.65 GTK+ based IRC client


A web site for the DECnet for Linux project has been announced.


Marco Iannacone wrote in to say that version 0.9a of the Italian Linux FAQ is available.


The first Apache conference will be in San Francisco this October.

Web sites

The LuCAS (LDP in Spanish) web pages have moved. See their announcement for the new location.

David Hallowell is putting together a Linux advocacy site for the U.K.. He's looking for people to help him with this task.

New user groups

Dwight Johnson wrote in to tell us about the Olympic Peninsula Linux Users Group. His note mentions that Linux is emphasized in a local high school. Lucky kids; not only do they grow up in an outstandingly beautiful place, but they can graduate with three years of Linux experience as well... Their next meeting is August 12, for interested folks in the area.

Johan Swenker asked us to announce the Groningen, Netherlands Linux user group. They meet the second Wednesday of every month, at least once the summer holidays are over.

A user group for the San Fernando Valley (California) is forming. See their announcement and drop them a note if you're in that area.

Our software announcements are provided courtesy of Freshmeat.
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Linux links of the week

A while back we pointed out the new Google search engine, which uses Linux. We've become fond of it since then; it has an uncanny ability to turn up exactly the page you want at the top of the list of results. Thus it was pleasant to find their new Google Linux search feature, which limits the search to Linux-related sites. Now you can search for "samba" and not get a single site about dancing...

Since some people think that a beer-swilling penguin is insufficiently serious (see the Kernel section, above), it's good to remind ourselves of the kind of goofiness that can be found in the offerings of large, allegedly serious software concerns.

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Feedback and Corrections

Glenn Hudson wrote in to request that people write to [the U.S.] Congress and tell them that branches of the government should not be standardizing on NT.
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