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Leading items

The pre-2.2 kernel series has begun with five pre-releases having been done as of press time. For details on the almost-2.2 kernels please see the kernel section. But a couple of things warrant mention here:
  • This is everybody's chance to help ensure that the stable kernel release is truly stable. The more systems it is tested on, the better the end result will be. As Linus put it: "I'm going to be extremely rude to people who knew better but didn't test out the pre- kernels and then send me bug-reports on the released 2.2.0."

  • Use the kernel.org mirror sites. They work well, are updated frequently, and take the strain off the main kernel.org site. During times of heavy traffic (i.e. when new releases happen) only the mirror sites will be accessible. See the LKAMS page to see how the mirror system works.
The long wait for 2.2 is almost over; it will prove to have been worth the time it took.

Version 1.0 of our 1998 Linux timeline is available, here is the permanent site for this page. Many thanks go to the numerous people who sent in suggestions for this page; it is much improved as a result. This page has also been translated into French by Roland Trique and Gael Duval; it is available via both linux-center.com and linux-france.com.

We got queries as to whether we plan to compile similar timelines for previous years. Alone, it is unlikely that we ever will. The amount of time required is great, and we would not have the benefit of a year's worth of the Linux Weekly News to draw on. To build such a timeline would have to be a community project.

Which leads to an obvious question: does the Linux community need some sort of ongoing history project? The end result of such a project would probably not be a simple HTML timeline, but a proper database well populated with historical information from many sources. It could be a great resource for people interested in how all this came together. It could also be a motivating factor for developers; proper credit matters a lot to many free software writers, and a well-developed history database could help to ensure that credit remains where it is due.

Some of the pieces are already in place. Consider, for example, the Linux kernel history project recently put together by Riley Williams. He has created a very nice timeline - with downloadable tarballs - of almost every Linux kernel ever released.

We have created a mailing list - history@lwn.net - for discussion of a possible Linux History Project. The purpose of the list is to determine whether there is interest in such a project, and to begin to define its scope and structure. If you have an interest, please subscribe by sending a blank message to:


Speaking of history, Eric Raymond has invented some history of his own with the release of Halloween IV. Read it, and be glad we don't live in such difficult times....right?

A couple of interesting attempts to influence government: the Minnesota Public Digital Network is trying to ensure high-speed Internet access (and access to government) for all Minnesota citizens. Their goals include "Establish a cost reduction plan that will result in the elimination of spending on non-free software." Ambitious. Check out the MPDN web sitefor more.

Also, the petition to the U. S. Government asking them to consider use of open source software continues to rack up signatures and attention. The organizers have put out a press releaseregarding this petition and its progress.

January 7, 1999


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See also: last week's Security page.


Peter W wrote in to point out that he posted a wrapper script to the Bugtraq list that assigns the $TMPDIR environment value to a subdirectory of the user's home directory (and creates it, if necessary) in order to run Word Perfect 8 in a safer manner.

Sendmail 8.9.2 has been announced. This new version fixes a potential Denial-of-Service attack for Linux systems as well as including several other minor fixes. Expect to see new sendmail packages from your favorite Linux distributor soon.

Pete Gonzalez posted a note asking questions about SRP, the Secure Remote Password Protocol protocol developed at Stanford. He got a lot of responses and followed up with a summary. More information on SRP can be found in the SRP documentation. References to additional articles on SRP and other encryption techniques can be found at this site, which summarizes SRP as "a variation of password-authenticated Diffie-Hellman."

Michal Zalewski reported a security flaw in pam_unix_passwd.so in the pam-0.64-2 release. For more details, see his posting. He provides a command to quickly test whether or not you are vulnerable. If you installed pam by hand, following the instructions, you are likely to be. Andrey V. Savochkin followed the report up quickly with a patch. Note that the patch, as posted, had not yet been widely tested, though no reports of problems with the patch have cropped up. Red Hat has put out updated RPMs to fix this problem.

On the browser front, Oliver Lineham has created a web site with a working demonstration and analysis of a security flaw in the implementation of cookies which affects most browsers.

In addition, the grandson of the Cuartango Hole, impacting Microsoft WebBrowser Active X objects. The note from Juan Carlos Cuartango indicates that Microsoft has issued a "Frame Spoof Fix" to correct this.

HD Moore announced the availability of nlog 1.1b, a set of Perl scripts that can be used to analyze nmap 2.0+ log files. This version fixes a couple of security holes that were pointed out after the release of 1.1. Speaking of nmap, version 2.02 has been released.

Jason Ackley reported a potential problem with Oracle8 on Linux and NT. No confirmation or denial of the problem has been seen so far.

Sami Lehtinen reported an ssh2 security problem to comp.security.ssh (pointer is to the same article forwarded to Bugtraq). The bug in ssh2 allows a user to request remote forwarding from privileged ports without being root. Credit for finding the problem goes to Niko Tyni. The patch to fix the problem is available here.

A bug report and a fix for random.c was posted to Bugtraq by Andrea Arcangeli. The patch is against Linux 2.1.132.

Aleph One posted a Happy New Year from Bugtraq message to the Bugtraq mailing list. In it, he mentions that the Bugtraq list has grown to more than 26,000 and credits the Brown University Netspace Project for supporting this important list. For those of you unfamiliar with Bugtraq, it is a moderated list addressing security issues, with a long list of highly talented people who read and post to it. Archives of Bugtraq are available; our favorite is on geek-girl.com.

The latest issue of the Phrack magazine is available. This note lists a variety of locations where the magazine can be "harvested". Soon after the publication of Phrack54, Silvio Cesare provided a URL to a page containing a couple of articles on UNIX ELF Parasites and Virus and Runtime Kernel KMEM Patching, which he stated were excluded from Phrack54. Be forewarned; a large chunk of unrelated material is prepended to each article, the reason for the exclusion of the articles from Phrack. If you don't mind wading through that, the articles may be of interest to you.

January 7, 1999


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See also: last week's Kernel page.

Kernel development

The 2.2 prerelease series has begun; as of this writing, the current version is 2.2pre5. Your editor, typing on a 2.2pre4 system, is quite content with the results. This kernel is clearly getting closer to release quality. A snapshot of the things remaining to be fixed can be seen on Alan Cox's 2.2 jobs list, but it tends to run behind at times (Alan is busy, fortunately, doing real work!).

Testing of 2.2 has brought out a few surprises thus far, including:

  • The ISDN code is old. This, apparently, is the result of a miscommunication between Linus and the ISDN developers, who thought last summer's code freeze was a code freeze. The ISDN patch is large, and Linus has expressed an unwillingness to integrate it at this point. So this one may have to wait for a later 2.2 release.

  • The kernel NFS daemon patches are missing; these patches were done by H. J. Lu and others, and have moved knfsd a long way toward actually working. According to Linus, this is a result of there being nobody who has really taken responsibility for the kernel NFS code. After this note, a few volunteers stepped forward, with G. Allen Morris III being the most attractive candidate. Allen has already contributed a number of NFS patches and is well respected in this area. Thanks are due to Allen for offering to help in this area.

    The fact remains that 2.2 will go out with a sub-standard NFS server implementation. Unless something changes quickly, NFS over TCP will not be supported, and NVSv3 is beyond hope. With luck some of that will be remedied not too far into the 2.2 series.

    There have also been some complaints about NFS file corruption, usually dealing with Solaris servers. It appears that at least some of those difficulties are due to a bug on the Solaris side.

  • People are having trouble building NTFS. Expect this one to be fixed shortly. There are also reports of problems with VFAT which seem to be being fixed quickly.

  • There are incompatibilities between the frame buffer console and some of the accelerated X servers. This one could prove harder; some video hardware is unpleasant stuff to deal with. It may be that the frame buffer console is a bad idea for people with at least some video cards.

    On a related note, people interested in frame buffer device development may want to join this new mailing list for frame buffer developers.

  • The driver for Tulip-based ethernet cards is old and fails to work properly on a number of current cards. It also seemingly has problems on SMP systems. The current driver, instead, has some interoperability problems with the current kernel code, such that Linus does not want to use it. It's not clear what the solution to this one will be.

  • The "processor type" configuration option has a stronger effect now, meaning that if you try to run a kernel built for a Pentium Pro on a plain Pentium unpleasant things will happen at boot time. Some confusion resulted from the configuration options (Do you know if your processor has proper TSC support?), leading to a couple of rounds of changes. When configuring a kernel, be sure to get this option right (or go with the 'i386' option, which works on everything Intelish).
As was already said on the front page, now is the time to be finding any other problems that remain, before the 2.2.0 release goes out.

One other area of pre-2.2 activity is in tuning the virtual memory system for better performance, especially in tight memory situations. Andrea Arcangeli has been rapidly putting out patches, one of which, hopefully, will get folded in before 2.2 comes out. (Your editor is running arca-vm-8, the latest patch as of press time, with no ill effect, though the performance gains are hard to quantify).

The Linux Kernel Archive Mirror System is now active; see the announcement for more. The system seems to be working quite well, providing generally faster access for kernel downloads than going straight to ftp.kernel.org. The one complaint that has been raised is that not all of the mirrors have both the '.gz' and '.bz' kernel images. If that is truly a big problem for you, pick a server name like:

ftp.gz.us.kernel.org, or
The first case connects to an FTP server in the U.S. which is known to carry '.gz' files. The second goes to a WWW server in the U.K. that has '.bz' files.

Kudos are due to H. Peter Anvin and all of the maintainers of the mirror sites for having set up a highly effective mirror system. Please make a point of using it when you grab your kernels.

The fourth 2.0.37 prepatch is available with lots of new updates; see the announcement for details.

The Linux-MM (memory management) page has moved. Update your bookmarks to the new site when you get a chance.

A new version of the international kernel patch is out, so that you can now add cryptographic capabilities to your 2.2pre kernel. See the announcement for details.

January 7, 1999

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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See also: last week's Distributions page.



A security alert for netstd in Debian has been posted. If you have netstd installed, they recommend picking up a newer version of the package.

Joey Hess has issued the first edition of the Debian Weekly News. The latest edition of the Debian Weekly News will be made available always at this URL.

Joey has done an excellent job of summarizing activity on the Debian lists this week, as this editor can verify, having scanned through all of them before finding his work. Look for yourself to hear about the primary topics on the lists this week. He noted the increased presence of Richard Stallman on the debian-groups, plans for a Debian presence at various upcoming Linux conferences and the reaction to a suggestion that the slink release be skipped all together, since it has taken so long to come out that many packages are now obsolete.

On that last topic, it appears that slink is very close to being ready for release, with approximately 50 release-critical bugs left. Hopefully a push will be made to get it out soon, even if that means removing some of the packages if their release-critical bugs cannot be resolved.


Project Independence has announcedthe first release (version 5.2-0.1) of their distribution. Independence has as its goal the creation of a distribution aimed at home users; thus ease of use and applications are high on their list of priorities. This distribution is based on Red Hat's, with additions such as KDE, some ease-of-use wrappers around PPP, and "software for everyday life." (Found in NNL).

Update: evidently, despite the presence of an announcement on the net, this release has not yet been made, and will not be for about another week.


The LinuxPPC folks have put up a new LinuxPPC 5.0 betawhich includes the pre-2.2 kernel.

This Techweb article talks about the reception LinuxPPC received at MacWorld. The response at the show has been enthusiastic, said Jason Haas, Web and marketing director for the company.


A new MkLinux kernel ("GENERIC-06") has been released; it's based on 2.0.36 and has a bunch of new good stuff. See the MkLinux kernel pagefor more. (Thanks to Roberto Murer).

Red Hat

Available new updates for Red Hat include New Boot Images, a fix for the pam problem mentioned in our Security Section and an update to the 2.0.36 kernel that contains updated drivers (including one for the Adaptec 7xxx cards and the 3Com905B ethernet card).

Our December 24 issue reported that Red Hat was no longer slipping updates silently onto new CD pressings, with the result that all 5.2 CD's are the same. Some folks at Red Hat took exception, however, to our statement that as a result it is no longer possible to get CD's with the updates included. In fact, for $499 per year, one can join the RHMember More program and get updated CD's in the mail every six weeks. Since updated CD's are offered "exclusively" to participants in this program, they remain unavailable to most users of Red Hat's distribution. Still, the current situation is better than what came before.


The slackware-current changelog indicates that a small number of changes were made on January 5th, 1999, including the removal of the now-obsolete /etc/ttys file, the removal of '.' from the default paths (a result of a long series of discussions on the Bugtraq archive) and a change to /etc/securetty to restrict root logins to the console.

Please note that slackware-current is an unstable snapshot of Slackware, provided to allow developers to retrieve and test new versions of packages. Once stable, the packages are then merged into the current stable release.


The German SuSE Linux page notes that their 6.0 release is already "Ausverkauft" - sold out. It will become available again on January 20. While frustrating for SuSE's customers, it can only be good for the company to have been so surprised by their sales. The page also notes that the international version of 6.0 will come out at the end of the month. (Babelfish translation here). (Thanks to Morten Welinder).

January 7, 1999

Please note that not every distribution will show up every week. Only distributions with recent news to report will be listed.


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See also: last week's Development page.

Development tools


A review of the "Java Language Reference", by Mark Grand has been written by Rob Slade. While agreeing that the book might have shortcomings for those inexperienced in object-oriented programming, he finishes by commenting, For the serious programmer, an essential tool.


O'Reilly has announced the release, at last, of "Perl in a Nutshell", by Ellen Siever, Stephen Spainhour, and Nathan Patwardhan.

Rob Slade has posted his review of the book "Learning Perl", by Randal L. Schwartz and Tom Christiansen. There are some good reports, but also some specific criticisms, particularly directed at the lack of examples of "quick and dirty" perl scripts, something for which the language is well reputed.


Mike Orr appears to have been the editor for this week's Python-URL!. He comments that it has been a quiet week. He goes on, though, to provide pointers to a couple of new updated python packages, including PyMat 1.0 and pyslang 0.1.0. There are also pointers to some useful websites and to some humorous postings that improved this editor's mood.


Travis Griggs dropped us a note in December with some pointers to some interesting Smalltalk-related items, including The Land of Smapplets which he promises is totally cool, as well as Kai Boellert's work on Aspect Oriented Programming in Smalltalk, available here, and John Brant and Dan Roberts latest version of their Refactoring Browser. Many thanks, Travis, for the excellent pointers.


  • Tuba 2.5.b1, a visual Tcl/Tk/Itcl debugger, now with preliminary Itcl support

January 7, 1999



Development projects

Barry Kwok wrote to let us know that many Chinese Linux fans in Taiwan and Hong Kong are working to localize Linux in Chinese and to provide a pointer to one project he recommends highly, the Chinese Linux Extension (CLE). An English version of the site has also been started as well.


Miguel de Icaza announced version 0.99.1 of GNOME on December 31st. Elliot Lee has provided some 0.99.1 rpms.

The above announcement was followed by announcements of 0.99.1 versions of gnome-admin, gnome-games, gnome-media, gnome-objc, gnome-utils, and LibGTop.

Since then, althought a full 0.99.2 release has not been announced, 0.99.2 versions of several packages have appeared, including the GNOME core, gnome-libs, and LibGTop and Gtop.

New versions of the Gnumeric spreadsheet, the Midnight Commander file manager and the gwp word processor have all been announced. All of them include some new features and a variety of bug fixes.

A new version of gnome-ppp fixes the mysterious segfaults.

A web site has been set up to support gtk/GNOME development; you can find it at http://gdev.net.


The GGI project has resurfaced with a new libGGI release. GGI, of course, is trying to produce a better graphics subsystem. The libGGI release, the first in some time, brings the library up to version 2.0 beta1. This is an entirely user space library, no kernel patches needed.


Ghostscript 5.10 has finally been released under the GPL; here is the announcement for this release. The next GPL release will be 5.50, due out in September, 1999. (Those interested in free software politics may want to check out this note from Richard Stallman which mentions the ghostscript announcement. Evidently he called up the gnu.announce moderator to complain, since the announcement makes mention of the less-free version, a no-no).


Andy Tripp reports that he has made the ICEBrowserLite renderer available in Jazilla and gives details on how to get around the fact that the Jazilla broke as a result.

Andy Noble wrote up a little history on his process of doing a complete, and successful, install of jazilla, finding one bug in the process. He's extremely happy with the result.

For more news on the Mozilla front, remember to check out the latest MozillaZine.

Postfix/Secure Mailer

IBM's alphaworks issued a press release announcing an update for Secure Mailer (also known as postfix) which repairs a directory permission mistake and "several other defects". It is interesting to hear about open source software updates in this type of forum ... as you might expect, real hard facts tend to be missing.

From following postings to Bugtraq, it is clear that Wietse Venema reconsidered his design and will no longer be using a world-writable directory. Check the Bugtraq archives or the postfix mailing lists if you are interested in the details.


Adam the Jazz Guy posted a note warning that as of January 3rd, compiles of Wine will not work for people running old versions of ncurses. From the note, it appears to be a temporary problem.

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See also: last week's Commerce page.

Linux and business

Alta Technology has announced a new line of rack-mounted Linux cluster systems, built with either Intel or Alpha chips. Their announcement has details and some pictures. These systems feature a small footprint, scalability up to "thousands" of nodes, and a gigabit ethernet interconnect option. Now if only we could get one of those to build kernels on...

SSC is now announcing the availability of "The Artists' Guide to the GIMP", by Michael J. Hammel. See their news page for some info and a cover photo. Hammel knows his stuff; check out his web site for examples of his GIMP work. This book should be eagerly awaited by many. Computer Literacy Bookstore says the book is not in stock, but, according to this LinuxToday storythe books have been shipped to them. Thus they should be hitting mailboxes shortly.

Lest anybody think Microsoft is failing to take full advantage of the existence of Linux in its antitrust trial strategy: here is a press release from them trashing the testimony of Tuesday's witness: Professor Franklin M. Fisher, who evidently defended IBM in a similar action almost twenty years ago. "Not since Judge Robert Bork, who abandoned his long-held views on antitrust when hired last year by Netscape, has the world of antitrust law and economics seen a more dramatic ideological reversal. Professor Fisher's testimony would give readers of his 1983 book whiplash. Professor Fisher's economic theories also conflict with the realities of America's competitive and dynamic software industry. He makes much of the fact that there are numerous applications available for Microsoft Windows, alleging that this is a barrier to market entry -- a claim that is at odds with real- world events such as the remarkable rise of Linux." Linux is mentioned a couple of other times as well.

As a postscript, see this PC Week article where Microsoft sneeringly claims to have proved that Prof. Fisher doesn't know what Linux is...

WebCMO has published the results of their survey on the demographics of Linux users. These results can be seen on their web site. We're an awfully masculine crowd...

StarOffice Wars? Here is a lengthy document on a (mostly) unsuccessful attempt to refit an Australian office with Linux and StarOffice.

The "VirSim" VeriLog debugging environment will be supported under Linux, according to this EE Times article. The dearth of electronic design tools for Linux is finally beginning to fade.

IBMackey posted an unofficial Word Perfect 8 Install FAQ. It has received very favorable comments and some suggestions for improvement. It is definitely something to check out before you start your Wordperfect install.

Press Releases:

  • CSM-USA, network proxy system for Linux.
  • Winchester Systems, OpenRaid system with 36GB disks.
  • RSA Data Security, SSL toolkit with arbitrary key length (developed in Australia and thus free of obnoxious crypto export problems).
  • VA Research, Linux Journal Readers' Choice Award.
  • Chase Research, multi-modem card.
  • Active Concepts, Funnel Web 3.0 "will be" available for Linux.
  • Intel, new Xeon processors, with, of course, Linux support.
  • DrayTek, new ISDN TA with "future" Linux support.
  • KRFTech announced their WinDriver device driver development toolkit now supports Linux

January 7, 1999


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See also: last week's Linux in the news page.

Linux in the news

Here's this week's recommended reading:
  • Builder.com's Frederic Paul has a set of predictions for 1999. Number 4 has to do with Linux and open source software. "This is the year we see a new open source killer app that runs only on Linux. Microsoft will scramble to re-create it for Windows, but whatever this application turns out to be, it will give open source devotees even more encouragement."

  • Tech Capital has a long feature article about Linux and the businesses surrounding it. It talks about, among others, Red Hat, Corel, Applix, and Linux Hardware Solutions. "At a trade show like Comdex, attendees interested in a particular company swipe their name badges through a reader to request follow-up information. At the 1996 show, LHS got 40 swipes, 60 in 1997, and some 1,500 in 1998." (Found in Linux Reviews).

  • A worthwhile read is Nicholas Petreley's lengthy LinuxWorld column on why he thinks Linux could lose a lot of its application support if the Microsoft trial goes the wrong way.

  • Here is an interesting New York Times column asking a number of lawyers what they expect to see happen in "cyberlaw" this year. The predictions are worth reading. Most relevant here is this one, regarding the Microsoft trial: "The right answer is to make slight compulsory licensing changes to allow the volunteer programmers all over the world who write the free GNU/Linux operating system to release code freely that would make GNU/Linux run Windows applications programs. That way anyone who now uses Windows-based programs of any kind could run those programs either under Windows or under a much more technically sophisticated but completely free alternative operating system." (Thanks to John Franks). (Note that the New York Times is a registration-required site. As usual, "cypherpunks" as username and password will get you in if you do not wish to register).

  • Here is an extremely positive review of the GTK+ toolkit in "PCHelp." "The API used by GTK+ is one of the best that I have ever used." (Thanks to Joshua Go).

Once again, the press this week was dominated by articles of the "retrospectives and predictions" variety. Here's a selection:

  • This PC Week column on New Year's resolutions has a rather lukewarm sort of endorsement. "You owe it to yourself to seek as many alternatives as possible. You don't like Windows? Try something else. If that means learning Linux and having your PC be idle for months while you figure how to mount the hard drive, then so be it."

  • ComputerWorld ran this retrospective. "Indeed, 1998 'could probably be called the year of Linux. It became a market force to be dealt with,' says George Weiss, an analyst at Gartner Group Inc. in Stamford, Conn."

  • Dan Gillmor has come out with a set of highly optimistic predictions for 1999. "Eighth: A revolution called ``open source'' will become much more popular in large enterprises and in the consumer market.... IBM and other major companies will offer soup-to-nuts open-source support to their big corporate information-systems customers, who will increasingly realize that it's at least as good as the commercial competition."

  • A prediction from InfoWorld: "Linux will become just another Unix. The Internet lost its charm when big business discovered it. The same will happen with Linux. Linux will wipe out SCO and Unixware and gain ground against NT, but will lose its soul in the process."

  • Yet another retrospective: this one from the Boston Globe's Hiawatha Bray. "Once in a while, I hit the bull's-eye. Back in February, I began singing the praises of the free Linux operating system as an alternative to Microsoft Windows. I even suggested that embattled browser-maker Netscape Communications Corp. do a deal with a Linux distributor to hit Microsoft where it hurts. From my keyboard to Jim Barksdale's brain."

  • Here's a Raleigh News-Observer retrospective which mentions Red Hat as a local business. "Red Hat and its Linux brethren are supposed to play David to Microsoft's Goliath, breaking the giant's grip on software that runs PCs. Microsoft executives and techies are quaking in their T-shirts. Really, they are."

  • This 1999 "look forward" in CNN (seemingly reprinted from InfoWorld) puts Linux in its number 1 spot. "Look for Linux to get support from chief information officers across IT organizations."

  • Here's an MSNBC retrospective with numerous mentions of Linux. "Linux and the open source movement is the big story. It's not that Linux was new, but it became the most famous story of the year. Every major hardware vendor, like Sun and Apple, has supported it. Nobody wants to lose a hardware sale because their hardware doesn't support Linux."

  • There's a brief mention in news.com's 1998 retrospective; "open source" is number 8 on their list of interesting happenings. "In 1999, look for Linux to gain more usage among corporate America's 'mission critical' servers."

    Another brief mention is in this Information Week look forward. "Linux, the freeware operating system, will become a more viable option for enterprise deployment this year."

  • Another retrospective, this onefrom net.Opinion. Linux wins as a server, but the author is undecided about Linux on the desktop. "The Linux community's unwillingness to unify behind KDE -- a killer GUI for Linux that is easily equal to Windows or the Mac OS -- is also keeping this sector from moving forward." (Thanks to Paolo Amoroso).

  • Here's Salon's retrospective for 1998. "Why did it spread so fast? First, people are passionate about open source -- it's just more fun to be part of a world in which people are encouraged to share and cooperate. Second, the evidence keeps mounting that the open-source development model actually produces better code." (The article will shift out from under this link at some point; we'll try to catch that and fix it when it happens). (Thanks to Robert Graziani).

  • CBS News has a 1998 retrospective that briefly mentions Linux; they seem to think Linux was invented by Red Hat, though.

  • This ABC News column says that "Many analysts are predicting that 1999 could be the year that competition returns to the operating-systems market." They see most of the competition coming from Apple, but Linux also gets a mention.

  • Red Hat's Bob Young is one of the Triangle Business Journal's top newsmakers of 1998 (scroll to the end). "In February, Red Hat will move more than 130 employees into more than 60,000 square feet of office space. It's now the area's most famous start-up. As Young and Szulik note, Red Hat now faces the task of living up to its huge national stature."

  • A brief mention in this CBS Marketwatch "Serious Scores 1998" column. "NouveauGeek writer Rebecca Eisenberg: 'I would say that the biggest surprise victory of the year was the fast ascent towards credibility of the free operating system Linux...'"

We had the usual assortment of introductory articles:

  • Business Week has an introductory article about open source software. "Linux makes the strongest case for the somewhat improbable claim that the army of volunteers that updates and maintains it can produce better software than Microsoft's well-paid minions." (Thanks to Ramana Juvvadi).

  • Jon Hall's Penguin's brew column for February (in Performance Computing) is up. As with the first one, it's of a highly introductory nature, talking about Linux documentation.

  • The New York Times has run this positive article about open source software. "Once widely denigrated by commercial developers as chaotic programming by committee, open source is now expected to come into its own this year as a business model, with potentially far-reaching consequences for developers and consumers of computer software." (The New York Times is a registration-required site). (Thanks to Donald Braman).

  • The L. A. Times has an article about open source software, the threat it poses to Microsoft, etc. "Microsoft faced an unexpectedly tough opponent in 1998 in the form of the U.S. Department of Justice, but in 1999 the software giant is likely to contend with an even more potent force: the free-software movement..." (This article also appeared in the (Canadian) Financial Post).

Business-oriented articles:

  • Here's an article in Salon about Transvirtual and Kaffe (their open source Java virtual machine). Transvirtual's business model is a centerpiece of the article.

  • Multimédium has an article (in French) about some folks who are building a video recorder which records onto disk in MPEG2 format - and which is powered by Linux. More details (still in French) can be found in this VNU Newswire article. For folks wanting to read in English via Babelfish, here's the links for Multimédium and VNU Newswire. (Found in NNL).

  • Network World Fusion's Linux vs. NT faceoff is still going on, with a continued series of posts in their discussion area. (Registration required).

  • Here's a lightweight article in Information Week about the future of Linux. "Such conditions could be ripe for Linux to grab enough seats in IT shops to move out of its niche role and score that once-in-a-lifetime hole in one."

  • The Puget Sound Business Journal has an article about the Internet and business which includes Linux in its survey. They suggest Microsoft may offer a low-cost "embedded NT" product as competition.

  • Here's some mild support FUD from news.com. The subject is databases, and how support may be harder to obtain than the database itself. "[Giga Analyst] Sun adds that even if database software and application makers offer a full range of support options on Linux, getting answers to technical problems with Linux itself can be a problem." (Found in Slashdot).

  • Is the Linux desktop DOA? asks PC Week. "According to International Data Corp.'s preliminary 1998 numbers, Linux captured only 2.5 percent of the worldwide desktop market, positioning itself between the Macintosh and IBM's OS/2 in the OS pecking order. Compared to Microsoft Windows' 86 percent market share, it isn't much to base a business on." (Thanks to Richard Storey).

  • As a sign of the times we now live in, here is the entire brief mention of Linux in this PC Week article about the new Silicon Graphics NT box: "The ease with which the new SGI boxes will run Linux is a question many resellers would like answered. While SGI has worked with Microsoft on the new systems, in 1997 the company began working with the open source community on a Linux port."

  • Sm@rt Reseller talks of The Cathedral, the Bazaar, and the Reseller. "By focusing on service, on exploiting our technical expertise, resellers can do more than make profit, they can grow rich from installing and running open source software." They also hint that they will be reporting more on open source in the future.

  • Computer Reseller News ran an interview with Silicon Graphics' Rick Belluzzo. The last question has to do with Linux. "Linux is increasingly important. I can't go on a customer visit without somebody asking about Linux. Basically, people want the robustness of Unix, but they want a more vendor approach to it. We will look at it, and I believe we will have some announcements about that in the future." (Found in LinuxToday).
And here's the remaining assortment:

  • This article in Sm@rt Reseller talks about how great Cisco routers are. But then: "I'm going to let you in on a dirty, little open secret about Cisco routers. There's nothing in them that the PC on your desk does not already have in it. You can buy a half dozen Pentium IIs and rig them up as routers, using Linux or BSDI, for about the price of one Cisco 4700." Great stuff. (Thanks to Richard Fane).

  • Our previous issue mentioned this PC Week article which suggested that Beowulf clusters may force changes in U. S. export laws. This week they ran a letter to the editor from Jonathan Day explaining why he thinks any such move would be useless.

  • This article in the Australian "I.T." is about GNOME, Rasterman, and the Enlightenment window manager. "Enlightenment now looks set to become the default graphical user interface for upcoming distributions of Red Hat Linux." (Thanks to Hao He).

  • Performance Computing's "Unix Riot" contemplatesthe pronunciation of "Linux," Apache's increasing market share, WordPerfect, and so on. (Thanks to Alberto Schiavon).

  • Here is a positive introductory article (in German) in Der Spiegel. It gives special attention to KDE, among other things. (The Babelfish translation is available but is tough going). (Thanks to Thomas Jaeger).

  • There is a pair of articles (in French) in Libération. One talks of Netscape and its "Gecko" release; the other is an interview with Richard Stallman. The articles may also be read in English via Babelfish. (Thanks to Gael Duval).

  • The Australian APC Magazine considers the future of Linux in the context of previous disappointments like Java and network computers. "If Linux has one advantage over these previous pretenders to the throne of IT supremacy, it's that it grew a significant user base before the hype began." (Found in LinuxToday).

January 7, 1999


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Announcements page.




Jim Severino has put up a "Linux for MCSE types" document on his web site. It's an introductory piece aimed at folks with the mindset of that other operating system.

For those of you wondering what to do with those CD's you have lying around with old versions of Linux, this is a reminder that you can register to give them away via the Free Unix Give-away List. Donations of CDs, literature and even hardware are welcome.

The first edition of the ARLAN 2Mbit/sec Wireless HOWTO has been published, the authors are looking for comments. Have a look and let them know what you think.

Richard Stallman has put out a call for folks with good writing skills to help out with the documentation of GNU packages. See his note if you think you may be able to help out.

The FSF has put out a new noticeabout the Wassenaar agreement and its effect on free crypto software. Even though the agreement seems not to apply to free software, they think that continuing to make preparations is a prudent move. (Thanks to J.H.M. Dassen).

A new Linux publication ("Linux User") is starting up in the UK, with the first issue coming out on March 1. They are looking for participants in this project, writers, editors, etc. See the announcement for details and a mailing list you can subscribe to.

Rob Slade has provided a review of "The Indispensable PC Hardware Book", by Hans-Peter Messmer. The author insists that even beginners could read this book--and he has every right to do so. If you are interested in the hardware at this level, the explanations are clear and well sequenced.

He also reviewed "TCP/IP Network Administration", by Craig Hunt. This one can only be described as glowing. In spite of the nature of the topic, Hunt has done a superlative job in ensuring that the content is not only clear, but readable as well.


The SANS Institute is sponsoring an interview with Stephen Northcutt, chair of the National Intrusion Detection & Response conferences, which will cover the topic of `Emerging Patterns in Intrusion Detection'.

Linux Expo is looking for speakers for their business track, see their announcement for more. If you can talk for an hour on some sort of interesting Linux business topic, drop them an abstract by February 26.

Linux Expo has also extended its call for papers - interested authors now have until January 14 to get an abstract in, and March 1 for those giving a talk without a published paper. See the revised call for papersfor details.

Web sites

The Corporate Desktop Linuxproject is "a new open initiative to make Linux the premier choice for the enterprise desktop." They are, not surprisingly, looking for help. Check them out and consider giving them a hand. After all, what do you want to be working with in your cubicle?

Linux Archives is a new site with a simple goal: "...to have all software ever released for general download." It's heavy with advertisements, but may develop into something useful.

User Group News

Rik van Riel sent us a note about the European University Linux User Groups project, which is designed to bring together user groups from Universities all over Europe into a wider community. There is a web page and a set of mailing lists; see Rik's note for the details.

The UCLA Linux Users Group, in Los Angeles, California has recently been formed. The general public is welcome; it is not restricted to students. Their web page provides more details, which mentions that they will be providing classes on a variety of subjects, including "UNIX basics, the vi text editor, Emacs, HTML, PHP, CGI, Perl, and Tcl/Tk, perhaps even Qt and/or GTK+."

January 7, 1999



Software Announcements

Last week's software announcements were made available via the daily updates page, but, since the weekly newsletter did not publish, may not have been seen by all. Those who missed them may check them out here.

Package Version Description
AbiWord 0.3.1 Fully featured word processor
abs 0.5 Full featured spreadsheet for X11
ALE Clone 1.14pre6 Clone of WarCraft II
AleVT 1.4.0 Videotext/Teletext decoder and viewer
ALSA driver 0.3.0-pre2 An alternative implementation of Kernel sound support
Apache JServ 1.0b1 Java servlet engine
Artistic Style 1.6.0 Indentation and reformatting filters for C, C++, Java
asapm 2.4 X11 application with AfterStep look for monitoring APM on laptops
asbeats 0.2 A beats clock dockable in the windowmaker dock
ascpu 1.2 A CPU load monitor.
asp2php 0.49 Converts Active Server Pages (ASP) to PHP3 scripts
Aspell .26 Intelligent Spell Checker
astime 1.5 Analogue clock for X windows
aterm 0.2.0 xterm replacement with fast transparency, tinting and NeXT scrollbar
autoconf 2.13 Package of m4 macros to produce scripts that automatically configures sourcecode
Auto Engineer
4.2 Schematic and layout editor for printed circuit or integrated circuit design
bogtk 1.0.1 The back orifice client with a gtk interface
bscxlpr 0.0.1 X11 interface to lpr/lpc, using Motif 2.1 on glibc system
BurnIT 1.5pre1 Java front-end to cdrecord and mkisofs
Cabinet Library 0.20 Portable Cabinet Library and Utilities
camwatch 0.0.7 Small app to view a remote webcam by updating a window with pictures from a url
cdr 1.0 CD ripper and encoder frontend
CGIWrap 3.6.3 Wrapper for securely allowing all users to use CGI scripts
Cheops 0.59a Network User Interface
ClanLib 0.1.12 The platform independent game SDK.
cole 0.1.0 A free C OLE library
Cryptonite 1.0.0 Pure Java Strong Encryption Package
Dancer 4.13 IRC defense bot, protects your channel and your users
Dave Gnukem 0.3 GGI-based 2D scrolling platform game, similar to Duke Nukem 1
dBot 0.1.2 Java clone of FrontPage WebBots.
DCC6502 1.1 Portable disassembler for the 6502 microprocessor, with cycle-counting
DDD 3.1.3 Common graphical user interface for GDB, DBX and XDB
DejaSearch 1.0 DejaSearch is a frontend to DejaNews, the leading Usenet archive
Dlint 1.3.2 A Domain Name Server Verification Utility
Drall 0.10.2 Allows users to access their directories and files remotely via a web browser
Eggdrop 1.3.23 IRC bot, written in C
eMusic 0.7.9 CD, mp3, mod and wav player for Linux
Eraserhead RPG 0.0.2 RPG/II, RPG/III Compiler
Ethereal 0.5.1 GUI network protocol analyzer
exscan 0.3 An enhanced network/Internet port scan utility
Fake 1.1.0 Utility to switch in backup servers on a LAN
Fetchmail 4.7.4 Free, full-featured, robust, well-documented remote-mailretrieval utility
fookb 0.4 Xkb state indicator
Free Pascal Compiler 0.99.10 Turbo Pascal 7.0 and Delphi II compatible 32bit Pascal Compiler
freecell 1.0.2 Another implementation of famous solitaire game
freshmeatGrinder 1.0 freshmeat digests, digested
gaim 19981231 GTK based AOL Instant Messenger
Gconfig 0.4 A router configuration tool
GeniusTrader 0.01 A stock market trading software
gentoo 0.9.21 Two-pane filemanager using GTK+, 100% GUI configurable
gfont 0.0.5 Font Viewer
GLib 1.1.12 The GLib library of C routines
GNOME 0.99.2 GNU Network Object Model Environment
Gnumeric 0.6 Spreadsheet, a new foundation for spreadsheet development, part of GNOME
Gnusniff 0.0.5 A packet sniffer for Linux using GNOME.
GoldED 3.0.0 Mail/newsreader for Fidonet and Internet
gpak 0.2.5 GPak is a utility to extract files contained in Quake II PAK-files.
GQ 0.1.6 LDAP client
Grip 0.7 A gtk-based frontend for CD-rippers
gRun 0.8.0 GTK based Run dialog
GTK+ 1.1.12 Library for creating graphicaluser interfaces
GtkAda 0.4-beta Ada95 binding of Gtk+ version 1.0.4 and 1.0.5.
GtKali 0.1.6 Gtk+ interface to Kali using Jay Cotton's kalinix.lib
GtkEditor 0.0.5 Source code editor widget for GTK.
gtkMeat 0.5.4 A Freshmeat new submissions ticker
GTKmp3make 0.42 GTK front end for cdripper and mp3 encoder
GtkSamba 0.3.1 Gtk front end to configuring Samba
gtkSlash 0.5.4 Gtk+ based Slashdot headlines news ticker
GTKWave 1.0.0 Wave viewer for Verilog simulation
GTKYahoo 0.3 GTK based Yahoo! Pager client
GtkZip 0.3 A program for maintaining your Iomega Zip drive disks underLinux
guiTAR 0.0.6 A tar frontend for Gtk+
GXedit 1.19 Simple GPL'ed graphical editor using GTK
icewm 0.9.27 Window Manager designed for speed, usability and consistency
ident2 0.998b An auth/ident server.
ImageMagick 4.1.7 Package for display and interactivemanipulation of images for X11
IMP 1999-01-02 IMAP and PHP3 based webmail system
ImPress 1.0 Beta WYWIWYG publishing and presentation tool
ircd-hybrid 5.3p6 Internet Relay Chat daemon
Jabber 0.5 Instant Messaging Platform
Jazilla 1998-12-26 A port of Mozilla into Java
jEdit 1.3pre3 Powerful text editor
Jigsaw 2.0.0 W3C's leading-edge Web server platform
Kalendar 0.5a simple, easy to use calendar and to-do list manager
kbquery 0.05 Command-line search util for the linux knowledge base
klm 0.3.0 KDE frontend for the LM SENSORS linux kernel
Kover 0.10 An easy to use WYSIWYG cd cover printer for KDE
Krabber 0.3.0 KDE audio cd grabber and mp3 encoder front-end
laddr 1.0.1 Lesstif Address Book
LEAP RDBMS 1.2.5 A free Relational Database Management System
libprint 0.0.3 Printing and Font Management Library for Application Development
Licq 0.50 alpha 3 ICQ clone for linux with most of the functionality of the official Java version
Listar 0.115a Mailing list managementsoftware
lm_sensors 2.1.0 LM78 and LM75 drivers
MAGE Adventure Game Engine 0.1.0 Framework for playing and (in the future) authoring text-based adventure games.
MailMan 1.0b7 Mailing list manager with built in web access
midentd 1.3 identd with masquerading support
Midnight Commander 4.5.6 Unix file manager and shell
miniBar 0.05 Small, Fast, Single click program launcher.
MM.MySQL 1.1f JDBC Drivers for MySQL
mod_roaming 0.9.0 With mod_roaming you can use Apache as a Netscape Roaming Access server
mod_ssl 2.1.6-1.3.3 Apache Interface to SSLeay
mount.app 2.1 Window Maker dock app for managing storage devices
MP3 Requester 0.3 Mp3 Request web interface
mtv A realtime MPEG Video+Audio player
MultiMail 0.22 Offline Mail Reader (QWK)
Muppet 0.04a A web-based IMAP client written with PHP3
Mutt 0.95.1 Small but very powerful text-based mail client for Unix operatingsystems
MySQL 3.22.14a SQL (Structured Query Language) database server
Nannie 1.0 System file watcher and notification program
Ncurses Hexedit 0.8.8 Ncurses file hex editor - edit/insert/delete/search
Net::RawIP 0.03f Perl module for easy manipulation of raw IP packets directly from Perl
OpenLDAP 1.1.2 LDAP suite of applications and development tools
PAiN Linux Loader 19990102 Linux Loader for the PAiN diskmag
Petey 0.98f Fortune like application for story generation
phpSearch 0.2 Extendable generic search re-director including major search engines
PiGTK 1.1.1 Provides GTK+ bindings for Pike
pload 0.9 Display ppp statistics in an X window
pload 0.9.1 a program to monitor ppp activity for X
PostgreSQL 6.4.2 Robust, next-generation, Object-Relational DBMS(ORDBMS)
qotdd 0.5 Quote of the Day daemon
qps 1.4.5 Displays processes in an X11 window
RealTimeBattle 0.9.4 RealTimeBattle, a robot programming game for Unix
Ripenc 0.2 Bourne shell script frontend to Cdparanoia, and Bladeenc.
rxvt 2.4.11 A VT102 emulator for the X window system
Samba 2.0.0beta5 Allows clients toaccess to a server's filespace and printers via SMB
Scour Media Agent 1.0.0 Allows easy downloading of SMB files off Scour.Net
Sendmail 8.9.2 Powerful and flexible Mail Transport Agent
sidentd 0.5 Secure identd written in perl, allows per-user fake replys
sirc 2.211 An IRC client for Unix programmed and programmable in perl
SkyeCheck 1.00 Checks for new mail on a POP3 account
SkyeMail 0.41 Java based email client
Softdog 1.21 watchdog daemon that interfaces with the watchdog kernel drivers
statusd 1.01 Daemon that allows you to check on your servers from remote hosts
suck 3.10.3 Grabs news from a remote NNTP news server
SyncBuilder 19990105 Build synchronization applications with a Palm device in Java
t1utils 1.8 Tools for manipulating PostScript Type 1 fonts
TCFS 2.2.0a Transparent Cryptographic File System
Teaser 0.3.0 Server for the Teaser and Firecat System
The Guild 0.84b A fully 3d-rendered/raytraced first-person interactive adventure
TiK 0.51 Tcl/Tk version of AOL Instant Messenger
tkWeather 1.0-pre4 Get up-to-date weather information for any city, world wide
TuxEyes 1.0 Javascript and pictures needed to add an XEyes-like Tux to a web page
UESQLC 0.2.1 Universal Embedded SQL Compiler for C++
Uptimed 0.02 Uptime record daemon keeping track of the highest uptimes the system ever had
Web News 1.3 CGI Script that takes random announcements from a list
Web Pages 1.1 CGI script to merge several distributed webpages into one
Web Secretary 1.21 Web page monitoring software
Welcome2L 2.02 Linux ANSI boot logo
Wine 990103 Emulator of the Windows 3.x and Win32 APIs.
wmbattery 1.0 APM status dock app
WMGlobe 0.1 All the Earth on a WMaker Icon
wmmixer-alsa 0.3 A hack of wmmixer to make it use ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture)
wmpinboard 0.5.5 Window Maker pinboard dock-app
wmsensors 0.99.0 wmsensors draws graphs of data from your sensor chips
WMSysMon 0.2 System monitor dock app for WindowMaker/AfterStep
X-Chat 0.5.0 GTK+ Based IRC Client. Alot like AmIRC (Amiga).
X-Mame 0.34.1 The Unix version of the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator
XawTV 2.33 TV application and a few utilities
Xcd-Fnord 0.4 GUI frontend to various mp3-rippers and mp3-compressors
Xclasses 0.40.2pre1 C++ layout library for the X Window System
XDaliClock 2.14 Digital clock for the X Window System
XDelta 1.0.1 Library and application for computing and applying file deltas
XEmacs 21.2.8 Internationalized text editor
Xfiles 1.0.1 Xfiles file tree synchronization and cross-validation
xmp 2.0.0dev36 A multi-format module player for UNIX
XScreenSaver 3.07 Modular screen saver and locker for the X WindowSystem
xtermset 0.2 Changes xterm title, font, colors and size from the command line
Yadex 1.0.1 Doom/Doom II/Heretic level (wad) editor for X
YAX Window System 0.2.2 (Lieutenant) A small window system for Unix.
ypbind-mt 1.4 ypbind-mt is a complete new implementation of a NIS binding daemon
ypserv 1.3.6 Simple network lookupservice consisting of databases and processes
Zircon 1.18.205 An IRC client written in tcl/tk


Our software announcements are provided courtesy of FreshMeat


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Back page page.

Linux links of the week

If you haven't seen it already, check out the new design of FreshMeat. The new arrangement is far more readable and easy to deal with; a definite improvement. (For some coverage of the furor that erupted when the new site was unveiled, check out this LinuxToday article).

Another Linux news and articles site is Matts's House. Matt recently sent us a note stating that he is looking for folks to contribute articles for his site. Have a look at the site, and help out if you like.

January 7, 1999



Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor should be sent to editor@lwn.net. Preference will be given to letters which are short, to the point, and well written. If you want your email address "anti-spammed" in some way please be sure to let us know. We do not have a policy against anonymous letters, but we will be reluctant to include them.
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 09:29:13 -0500 (EST)
From: Zack Brown <zbrown@lynx.neu.edu>
To: editor@lwn.net, will@localhost
Subject: Free Commercial software? Not quite yet, thanks.

Amid all the whooping for joy about the various commercial programs
being ported to linux, people seem to have forgotten about one of the
basic flaws in most commercial software, including WordPerfect: their
essential unfriendliness to other programs.

Ever cat a WordPerfect file to the screen? Pretty messy. They didn't
have to do it that way. It was done specifically to tie users to their
particular piece of software by making it difficult to use other
programs with that data. Most commercial software venders do
this. That's also why they keep changing their data formats.

IMHO, this completely goes against the purpose of having a powerful
system in which pipes and whatnot can transform data in arbitrary
ways. It limits productivity to the small set of functions that the WP
(and other proprietary) venders think is important to include in the
binary itself.

This is one of the reasons Microsoft systems are so much less useful
than linux systems: because they all desperately want to lock each
other out, each vender must duplicate the code of each other vender in
order to get the same functionality, with the result that much less
software can fit on the harddrive.

This very real, very ugly nightmare is about to come to Linux, full
steam ahead. And while we may all be cheering now, we may not be so
happy a year from now when our sleek, powerful linux systems have
grown top-heavy with 30- and 40-megabyte packages that really don't
give anything back to the system they live on.

Drag-n-drop will only make it easier to invoke these huge beasts. The
beasts themselves will remain virtual black-boxes in terms of
automated usability and advancing functionality. While things like TeX
may not be everybody's wet dream, TeX does at least understand the
need to put (or allow) real power in the hands of the user: The power
to transform data in arbitrary ways.

Now I'm not saying everyone should run out and learn TeX. That system
has its own problems and limitations. But people should keep in mind
that up until now Linux has remained a fully integrated system, with
everything talking to everything else. Why should office and
productivity suites be above all that? Why should the linux community
allow linux to become just a cheaper and more stable version of
Windows 98?

In the coming months, let's learn to put open file formats and
scripted automation on a par with open source. The gimp is a good
example of something that does these things already. Let's let the
commercial venders know that if they want to run on linux, they have
to let linux run on them.

Zack Brown

Date: Sun, 27 Dec 1998 13:28:03 -0500 (EST)
From: Peter Teuben <teuben@astro.umd.edu>
To: editor@lwn.net
Subject: GNU struggling?

In your significant development list of the year "The bazaar approach
shows its viability for large projects":

I didn't like your wording that GNU has been struggling along for 10
years in comparison with the sudden hype about the bazaar approach and
open source. GNU has been a major major force in the bazaar's success,
as Eric and most of us will probably agree with. If GNU had failed,
the bazaar approach would have never happened, I believe. The reason
the bazaar approach is suddenly working is conditions are just
right. Good overall internet acccess, good websites to serve educating
the people (remember open source has been around as long as GNU, there
is nothing new there, just a new name in a slightly upgraded jacket)
with a lot of computer users outside just academia. Going back 15
years when I saw "open-source" work for the first time on uucp and
newsgroup one can understand why growth was so slow. All what we see
is a natural outcome of this whole growth process.

I don't disagree with your final conclusion, but it takes a lot of
work and utilities to get the KDE and GNOME developers to even start!
So to just push GNU in the struggling camp, is understatement in the

Peter Teuben

From: Barry.Randall@minnesotamutual.com
To: "editor(a)lwn.net" <editor@lwn.net>
Subject: FUD
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 09:58:27 -0600

Dear Linux Daily News

I'm a dedicated reader, and I appreciate your work in assembling all
the Linux info. It sure makes my life easier.

One suggestion: please stop referring to any criticism of Linux as
"FUD." You seem to do this reflexively, which makes you look bad. It's
ironic too: many people (including myself) see Linux as being more
robust because it is continually subject to the "peer review" of many
independent programmers. Yet you seem unable to tolerate any viewpoint
but your own, which makes you seem pretty thin-skinned. It's a healthy
attitude to believe that a) Linux is imperfect; and b) constructive
criticism is part of the process of making it less so.

Of course there is FUD in the world, but counter it with thoughtful
rebuttals instead of teenager-ish defensiveness, and you will take the
higher road.

Good luck, and thanks again for your work.


Barry Randall
Equity Technology Analyst
Advantus Capital Management
St. Paul
Date: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 15:16:59 -0800
From: Jason Tuomy <tuomy@glyphix.com>
To: editor@lwn.net
Subject: Linux Win!

I would like to report that we have successfully
installed/configured/tested Oracle8 on RedHat Linux 5.2.  ODBC from MS
is working and the Oracle8 Client for NT sees it and works perfectly.
It is now our database server, immediately replacing our Microsoft SQL
Server 6.5.  It was not hard at all making the decision to move.  We
will be using a third party tool on NT to port all of our databases
from SQL Server to Oracle8.  Our prelimenary tests show that
connecting to Oracle is already faster than SQL Server.  We are
already in the process of moving our file serving from NT to Linux.
We have a mix variety of workstations; Linux/Mac/Windows.  Linux has
already proven to work as a file server using Netatalk and Samba.  And
is very stable.  I would like to let you know and hope this is
encouragement for other Linux Enterprise pioneers.

Eklektix, Inc. Linux powered! Copyright © 1999 Eklektix, Inc., all rights reserved
Linux ® is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds