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Minutes after last week's LWN went to press, IBM announced support for Red Hat Linux on their systems. See the press release for the description of the deal in their own words. Needless to say, this announcement created a flurry of articles in the press; these articles have been collected on our Linux in the News page. Perhaps most amusing were the claims that IBM's announcement was responsible for a decline in Microsoft's stock price.

On a first reading, there's less to the announcement than one would expect after all the hype. What they have announced is the following:

  • IBM and Red Hat will work together to make Linux work better on IBM's hardware.
  • The two companies will collaborate to provide technical support.
  • They will conduct joint marketing to "enterprise developers."
Red Hat will also host its web pages on Netfinity servers.

This is clearly an important announcement, but it isn't quite the full dive into Linux that has been expected of IBM. They are still expecting others to put Linux onto their systems, for now. Thus, if you buy a Thinkpad, you still have to do the Windows refund routine.

The alliance, however, puts IBM's name onto the list of support providers for Linux. That, at least, should address the complaints of those who have criticised Linux and the support available for it. The "Linux has no support" attack has become even harder to defend. It's about time.

What else is missing at this point is any sort of arrangement with any other distribution; rumors in the trade press for a while have been saying that IBM would take a multi-distribution approach. One can still hope that these rumors turn out to be true. The diversity of distributions is not a weakness of Linux - it's one of Linux's greatest strengths. It would be a very positive thing if a company like IBM would understand and promote that strength.

HP, too, will be making announcements shortly. They are expected to announce greatly expanded support for Linux, including the long-awaited PA-RISC port.

The LinuxWorld Expo is next week. This is likely to be an interesting event for a number of reasons. It may well turn out to be significant turning point in the evolution of Linux.

This conference is the first Linux event put together by a large publisher. IDG has managed to annoy some people on the way, and it has not always been clear that they have the best interests of the Linux community at heart. (Their registration of linuxexpo.com, for example, seems intended to create confusion with the long standing Linux Expo event). But the numbers speak for themselves: this should be the largest Linux gathering yet held.

IDG has announced a set of awards that will be passed out at the conference, including a $25,000 prize ("the IDG/Linus Torvalds Community Award") "...to be shared equally between two recipients that have established themselves as Linux developers and visionaries in the community."

Quite a few companies are putting together big announcements for this conference. The character of the business side of Linux may well look somewhat different afterwards. Expect it to be better funded, and more competitive. Linux is exploding, and an awful lot of people are beginning to smell money. We will see how many of them intend to get their piece of this pie at next week's conference.

And for the folks who are thinking ahead, IDG has issued a call for papers for the next LinuxWorld Expo in August; the deadline is March 15.

LWN will be at LinuxWorld in force. We will be producing next week's LWN entirely in San Jose (anybody want to let us borrow a net connection?). So while parts of next week's LWN may be a little thin, our conference coverage should be complete. Keep an eye out for us!

Software patents in Europe? This publication has spoken out about the problems with software patents in the U.S. before. These patents, which are often handed out for seemingly trivial and widespread practices, pose a real threat to free software in the future. So it is with some consternation that we see indications that the European Union is considering American-style software patents of its own. This would not be a step forward for Europe. People who are interested in this issue may want to have a look at freepatents.orgsite, which is currently featuring an interview with Michael Widenius, of MySQL fame. (Thanks to Stéfane Fermigier).

LWN will be available in Japanese starting with a translation of this issue. It will show up on this sitesometime on February 27. Thanks to Maya Tamiya and associates who will be doing this work; we wish them the best of luck.

And now, a word from our sponsor. Eklektix, Inc., the producer of the Linux Weekly News, has expanded its Linux training program to include open registration classes. The first such class - a week-long hands-on Linux system administration course - will be held in Boulder, Colorado on April 26-30, 1999. Please have a look at our Linux learning for Real Life pages for details, and we hope to see you there!

February 25, 1999


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See also: last week's Security page.



As predicted, hacks for Intel's Pentium III serial number are already available, at least according to claims in this Wired News article. "...contrary to Intel's claims, the identifying Processor serial number in the Pentium III can be secretly turned on and off without the user's knowledge by a small software program."

Beginning March 2nd, Tripwire Security will be releasing its Linux version of Tripwire 2.0 for free. They will have CD's of their 2.0 version available for a limited number of people at next week's LinuxWorld conference. For more information, check out their press release or visit their booth at LinuxWorld.

Denial of Service Reports reclaim the spotlight. This comp.risks report on how to create denial of services attacks specifically aimed at filling the system process table came out Friday, February 19th. Finger is the primary service targeted by the report, but the authors state their belief that the UW imap and sendmail daemons could be used in a similar manner. Several people brought up the use of alternatives to inetd, such as xinetd or tcpserver to prevent such problems.

Kevin Lyda responded to initial reports of the problem with finger with patches and rpms for finger. The problem is also recorded as bug 1271 with Red Hat's Bugzilla. New versions of the finger rpms are available from contrib.redhat.com. Red Hat has not made an official report or new rpms.

Security Reports

Brian Jones has found and reported an overflow in autofs. His posting indicates that the problem impacts both the Linux kernel versions 2.0.36 and the later 2.2.1 series. He does not mention 2.2.2, but it seems unlikely that a fix for this problem has made it into the series as of yet. He provides a patch for the problem, but mentions that the autofs author has been notified and plans on fixing the problem in a different manner.

Chris Evans reported yet more problems with zgv. In his Bugtraq posting, he details why he thinks anyone with security concerns should just remove zgv from their system, along with any other SVGAlib programs. It seems that the current problem stems from the fact that zgv holds a vital resource, a writeable file descriptor to /dev/mem, even after it properly drops root privileges.

Steven Hodges reported a vulnerability in the TetriNet daemon (Tetrix) and provided a patch for the problem. Note that a follow-up message indicated that the patchh, as written, did not work.

xtvscreen under SuSE 6.0 can be used to overwrite any file on the system, according to this note from Andre Cruz.

Shane Wegner reported problems with the ".nu" domain registration system. It appears from his note that anyone willing to pay a $25 fee can knock out or redirect a host belonging to someone else.

Pavel Machek reported several Thinkpad gotchas with security implications. If you own a Thinkpad, you might want to check out his list.

Julien Nadeau reported a buffer overflow in NcFTPd, a commercial ftp server. It initially does not appear to be exploitable, according to his posting, though since it does not come with source code, this is difficult to verify. Mike Gleason from NcFTP software confirmed that there is a one-byte overflow and NcFTPd 2.4.1 is available to fix the problem.


As a result of the recently reported bugs in super, the program has gone through two quick updates. A description of some of the problems in older versions of super is available in this note from William Deich. It also includes pointers to the source code and notes that it is available under either the GNU or the Artistic License.

ISS has responded to recent discussions about the ISS Internet Scanner. Their response mentions a new version of the scanner to be released in March and mailing/discussion lists for their customers.

Red Hat has released an update for the lsof vulnerability. This appears to be a relatively minor hole on Red Hat systems, but it's probably a good idea to drop in the update anyway.


Version 0.06 of the Net:RawIP perl module for manipulating ra ip packets has been announced.

A review of "Top Secret Intranet" by Fredrick Thomas Martin from Robert Slade reports some "mildly interesting" information about some of the US Governments "secret" practices, but not much of anything useful to someone interested in building their own secure Intranet.


SANS will be sponsoring the web-briefing "What the Hackers Know About Your Site, III". In this briefing, Rob Kolstad and Steven Northcutt will interview nlog-developer H. D. Moore and John Green. For more information, check out the description of the briefing from the ISN list. The briefing is free and will be held Tuesday, March 2nd and is free, though registration is required. For those unable to make the first briefing (maybe because of the LinuxWorld conference next week ...), re-runs of the briefing will be scheduled.

Computers, Freedom, and Privacy: The Global Internet is the title of an upcoming conference in Washington, D.C., scheduled to be held April 6th through the 8th. Check out the conference web-site for more details.

February 25, 1999


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See also: last week's Kernel page.

Kernel development

The current kernel release is 2.2.2; this release was announced (sort of) on Monday, rather later than originally intended. This was intended to be the last stable release for a while, but some problems have cropped up (it does not compile on Alpha systems, for example) that may force a 2.2.3 release relatively soon.

A preview of that release can be seen in Alan Cox's 2.2.2ac3 patch, which contains quite a few fixes, but does not yet fix the Alpha problems.

BitKeeper is nearing release. BitKeeper is Larry McVoy's source management system that will, it is hoped, help to organize the kernel development process and take some of the pressure off of Linus. BitKeeper was covered in the October 15, 1998 issue of LWN; interested people can also have a look at the slides for Larry's LinuxWorld Expo talk.

Larry has created a mailing list to help with the resolution of some final isues before BitKeeper is put out there. See his announcement if you think you may wish to participate.

Speaking of mailing lists, Rik van Riel has announced the linux-testers mailing list in his continuing attempt to divert traffic away from linux-kernel. This list is intended "to discuss and speed up the development of new and exiting kernel features by bringing the testing and evaluation of the patches out in the open." See his announcement for subscription information.

Reiserfs is nearing readiness. Reiserfs is a new file system developed by Hans Reiser and others which attempts to achieve greater performance and space efficiency through the use of balanced tree algorithms. See the reiserfs web pagefor no end of details on how it works. The reiserfs team has been claiming substantially greater performance than ext2fs in recent times. They are at the "benchmarking and tuning" stage; expect to see more high profile releases before too long.

Various patches and releases out there: Richard Gooch is up to devfs version 92. Ulrich Windl has put out a second nanosecond time patch and is looking for testers. Jeffrey Jones has put out a new AMI megaraid driver (version 0.96) which has been folded into the 2.2.2ac* patch series. Jakup Jelinek has an updated RAID patch for 2.2.2. Alexander Viro has released a new rename patch which fixes some unpleasant race conditions; if all goes well he's getting ready to submit it for inclusion in 2.2.3.

2.2 hint: automatic power off on halt does not work as it once did. Under older kernels, selecting the "power off on halt" configuration option would cause the computer to do exactly that - assuming the hardware had that capability. With 2.2.2, it is necessary to halt the system explicitly with "halt -p" to bring about a power off.

And, unfortunately, that is often not enough. In most run levels, "halt" simply calls 'shutdown -h'. Things eventually work their way around to the system halt script (/etc/rc.d/init.d/halt on Red Hat, take out the "rc.d" component on some other systems). There "halt" gets run again at run level 0 and really brings things down. For power off to work, halt must be called with "-p" in that script. For the short term, until all the distributions have their act together, it may be necessary to edit this script to get "power off on halt" behavior.

Changes in the CDROM application interface. We got this note from Jens Axboe, the developer of the ATAPI driver about a small change that needed to be made in the meaning of the O_NONBLOCK flag when opening CDROM devices. This change creates a problem for applications which have not been updated. He gives instructions on how to make the fix.

A new version of autofs is in the works, and H. Peter Anvin is looking for suggestions on what should be in it. Before sending mail, please review his note to see which features will not be included, and refrain from asking for them.

Kernel information from Ziff-Davis. ZDNet has put out a 2.2 kernel compilation HOWTO article spanning eight pages. The information seems reasonable, though basic and written in an overly casual style. "This article has been scientifically optimized to be read in the same amount of time it will take you to download the Linux 2.2 kernel, so start your download here and then come on back!" Yes, they even offer the kernel source for download. (Found in LinuxToday).

February 25, 1999

For other kernel news, see:


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See also: last week's Distributions page.



We have gotten a note from Caldera regarding updates for the wu-ftpd hole. An update is now in place, and their security updates page has been updated to reflect all of the patches they have made available recently. Erik also noted that Caldera users have never been vulnerable to the reported problems with pine/metamail, explaining why no update for that problem was released. It is good to see their commitment to improving their security-related communications.

Here is their official advisory as well.

Andrew McRory's HakPack has been updated to include 2.2.2 Linux kernel binary and source RPM packages. HakPack is a set of RPMs that bring an OpenLinux 1.3 system up to the point where it can run a 2.2.X Linux kernel. HakPack is available on the Caldera ftp site.


Debian has an official release candidate for Debian 2.1. Brian White officially announced restrictions in uploading changing to the i386 version to allow the other ports to catch up by the planned March 2nd release date.

Debian will have a booth at LinuxWorld next week, so here is your chance to stop by and meet some of the Debian developers.

A new version of mutt with a fix for the the metamail vulnerability was uploaded to Debian last week.

A final test build of XFree86 for the slink release has been done. Branden Robinson sent out this note and Steve Dunham followed upwith links to sparc binaries.

A Debian distribution based on FreeBSD was suggested this week, generating a long discussion. The Debian Weekly News reports that "Most of the favorable opinions expressed were based on the argument that there should be a Debian distribution for as many open source UNIX variants as possible. This was countered with the argument that this would drastically increase the workload of the package maintainers. "

This week's Debian Weekly News was published on February 22nd.

A new mailing list for debian-gtk-gnome has been created and imlib/gtk/gnome package maintainers should probably get signed up for it. Along similar lines, Jim Pick has put together a proposal for creating Staging Areas for project like gtk-gnome that are changing too rapidly to integrate well even into the unstable tree.

Definite Linux

Rpms for the latest lsof hole are available from the Definite Linux website.

PROSA Debian GNU/Linux

PROSA is a Linux distribution for Italian speakers. It is based on Debian GNU/Linux 2.1. Check out their announcement for more details. Prosa is also offering commercial support for this distribution.

Red Hat

Red Hat has made detailed instructions available on how to upgrade your Red Hat 5.2 system to use the new Linux 2.2 kernel. Michael O' Shaughnessy was kind enough to send us a pointer to the instructions.

Red Hat has released an update for the lsof vulnerability. This appears to be a relatively minor hole on Red Hat systems, but it's probably a good idea to drop in the update anyway.

Frank Heldt sent in a report on RawHide 1.2.9 which was extremely favorable and he felt boded well for the quality of the eventual Red Hat 6.0 (or however it is named) release.


Slackware will have a booth at the LinuxWorld Expo. The Slackware site promises installs, information, demos, and not-to-be-missed t-shirts.

/usr/bin/filesize has been patched to fix a bug dealing with filenames containing white space, which was reported by Rene Seindal.

Slackware wu-ftpd was upgraded to 2.4.2-beta-18-vr14 on February 22nd to fix problems that caused the previous version of wu-ftpd to hang.

Enscript-1.6.1 was added to slackware on February 24th.


SuSE's official advisory on the ftp security problems was published Thursday, February 18th. It provides pointers to updated packages for ProFTPD and wu-ftpd.

Lenz Grimmer of SuSE sent us this note correcting some of his instructions (quoted in the February 18 LWN) on how to use GNOME with SuSE 6.0. He claims to be looking for a brown paper bag...


InfoWorld wrote an article on Trinux entitled "Trinux introduces the Linux-shy to the world of security tools with compassion and ease". What can we say? They like it a lot. "This miniature version of Linux is the Swiss army knife of network and system security."

February 25, 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


As promised, Steve Byrne's has created a new web-page just for status information on the JDK 1.2 as it makes its way through the JCK process. Last updated Saturday, the page currently only has information for the x86 ports. The page is nicely color-coded, so when a line in the table goes green, we'll know all the JCK tests are being passed for that specific platform. For now, nothing is green.

Does this really help you know when the JDK 1.2 will be released? No, no one knows when all the tests will run successfully. However, it sure is a lot more fun to check the status on this page and wait for changes than to just be told to check back in about a month. Thanks, Steve!

JavaWorld published a review of JVMs. The results is very interesting. Surprisingly, IBM's JDK 1.1.7 on OS/2 actually had the best performance with the Tower TowerJ 2.2.7 on Linux coming second. The Blackdown Linux port is definitely lower in performance than these front-runners, but garnered some good comments, particularly for the performance improvements from tya. It is unfortunate that they were unable to get good results from their efforts to test Kaffe.

The latest JDC newsletter is available.


The latest development version of perl, 5.005_55, was made available on February 18th.

The Second German Perl Workshop is scheduled for March 8-10, 2000. More details are promised for the near future, along with a wrap-up of the first Workshop. Keep an eye on the Perl Institute's News page for new information.

yapc: yet another perl conference, organized by Kevin Lenzo, is a low-cost conference scheduled for June 24 and 25, 1999 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This is a grass-roots conference, with beginnings in various Perl mongers groups.

O'Reilly will be hosting Perl tutorial programs in Boston, Massachusetts on April 27th and 28th, and Santa Clara, California, May 4th and 5th. Check on the O'Reilly site for more details.

A discount awaits you if you are a Perl Monger planning on attending the Internet '99 Conference in Lisbon, Portugal ( on March 15th and 16th. Contact Brent Michalski for more details.

Perl Training is available in Melbourne, Australia. Check this website for details.


Python 1.5.2 beta 2 has been released. The actual 1.5.2 release is still scheduled for mid-march. Information on downloading this version is available.

There is also a a new version of Fnorb - the Python CORBA ORB - out there.

The latest Python-URL! was released on February 23rd. This week's edition was moderated by Mike Orr.


This week's TCL-URL!, moderated by Mark Roseman, is now available.

February 25, 1999



Development projects


HP is releasing a version of GDB customized for HP-UX. Their website indicates that the WDB, as they call it, is supported on HP-UX Releases 10.20 and 11.00, and debugs HP C, HP aC++, and Fortran programs. They also list an impressive number of HP-specific enhancements, including support for HP-Fortran, for a curses-based terminal user interface (in addition to gdb's line-mode) and a subset of XDB commands. Put together with their plans to provide broad support to the open development community and the results are bound to be beneficial.


The Gnome port of NetHack has been officially released. GnomeHack 1.0.0 is the popular role-playing game based loosely on Advanced Dungeons and Dragons(tm). A screenshot is available, along with a home page.

The Gnome cross-referencing tool, LXR, is back. Martin Baulig was finally able to determine the cause of the problems that had broken it.

Gnumeric went through two releases this week. The latest is gnumeric 0.14, dubbed "Simplified Bonobo" by Miguel.

Martin Baulig has released LibGTop 0.100.0. Here is his announcement, which also contains some comments on the license for LibGtop, which will remain LGPL, but not necessarily because that is what Martin would like to see ...

Midnight Commander 4.5.18 is out. This latest version contains mostly bug fixes but has new device support and a cool hack.


With the release of version 1.1 of icecast, the icecast team are excited to announce that they have pulled ahead of shoutcast in available features and performance.

A great article on icecast is available on the mp3.com site. It talks about the reasons for developing icecast even though a Linux port of shoutcast was available and details a lot of what they've accomplished so far.


Linux-Magazin will be regularly producing Korner, a feature on KDE. For more details, see this note.

Updates to kweather, kspline0 and kmandel have been announced by Juergen Hochwald.

Version 0.6 of Phil Thompson's Python Bindings, pyKDE, has been announced. They include support for KDE 1.1 as well as many new Qt and KDE classes.

As mentioned last week, KDE 1.1 rpms for SuSE are now available.

Some people's favorite text editor, KFTE now has a new version out. The primary features of the new release seem to be bug fixes that actually allow it to compile out of the box and work as installed. That's always a good place from which to start!


The Linux Image Montage Project (LIMP) is a community-building exercise that is "attempting to distill Linux community, company, and orginizations spirit into one very cool looking poster". The poster will be a montage of smaller images built up into a version of Larry Ewing's Tux. The result will be available for free on the web-site, or in 4-color print from the LinuxMall.

Linux Standard Base

A new beta version of the LSB-FHS test suite has been released. The Linux Standard Base folks are hoping that they will get testers on as many different distributions and platforms as possible in order to weed out any remaining dependencies there. Head on over to the download directory to find README files and the release itself.


The LinuXML project is attempting to change the way many users experience Linux by modifying commands to produce output in XML. Said output can then be more easily parsed and displayed by higher-level tools. They are looking for "feedback and helpers," see their announcement for more.


Netscape has released an updated version of their license. The new license and generated quite a bit of comment on Slashdot. Overall, after a bit of sifting, response to the license changes appears to be mostly favorable, which is clearly the hoped-for result, based on comments in the FAQ.

Doczilla, a full-fledged SGML and XML browser based on Mozilla code, is scheduled for release next quarter. Doczilla's home page and the official press release are available.

Apprunner, dubbed "the future of Navigator", is now being included in the nightly Mozilla builds with a new UI in place. For more details, check out MozillaZine.


The Wine FAQ has been updated. As of February 24th, the Wine FAQ has returned, after an extensive delay.

The Case for Wine (2) is a summary by Francois Gouget on reasons for working with Wine.


Zope 1.10.2 has been released. This release contains a lot of bug fixes, and adds a management interface for the importing and exporting of objects. The folks at Digital Creations hope that this is will be the last release for their non-developer version for a while.

Also released: the confera threaded discussion system under an open source license. See their announcement for more.


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See also: last week's Commerce page.

Linux and business

Perhaps the most-hyped rollout at LinuxWorld next week will be that of LinuxCare, a new Linux support operation. LinuxCare is not the first company to make a go at providing support to Linux users, but it seems to be the best financed, and with the best PR. They have taken a chunk of venture capital and set up an extensive call center and database in anticipation of the support calls to come. Happily, they claim that their support database will be made freely available; this should be a major donation to the Linux community. With any luck, LinuxCare will drive another nail into the coffin of the old "Linux has no support" line that we have been hearing for too many years. (See: their latest press release, and pointers to articles on the press page).

As if the attention they are getting were insufficient, the folks at LinuxCare evidently think that Linux folks don't deal with enough bugs, so they're throwing one into the mix. This one, however, is a 1999 model made by VW, so you may not want to squash it. See their announcement for full hype and details.

Cool toys department: the folks at LinuxPPC Inc. will be demonstrating a quad-CPU PowerPC system at LinuxWorld Expo. See their announcement for more.

Caldera and Helius Systems have announced a Satellite-based Internet Router running Caldera OpenLinux. Their joint announcement promises easy installation anywhere in the world. This is a satellite downfeed only, one of the reasons why approval for the system can be gotten in just about any country. An uplink is also needed to get a fully-functional Internet link, though the uplink can be as small as a 33.3Kb modem on a phone-line. Performance on the system is rated at an average of 326.4 Kbytes per second (test in question used 10 workstations doing simultaneous ftp downloads). The upfront cost is under $3000, with a monthly access fee of $109, making this a good solution for small businesses, schools or communities, but not for a typical end-user. The real strength of the system comes in its ability to provide Internet access to remote locations. Helius already has customers in Japan and Taiwan and has tested the system in a remote village in Alaska. They will be sponsoring the 10th annual Distance Learning from Telecoop, a Telecommunications Coop for Colorado, in Breckenridge, CO, in April and will be demonstrating the satellite router by providing Internet access for the conference.

Caldera also announced a RAID "enterprise storage" product built with MTI's "Gladiator" RAID system. Details in their press release.

Sun has a deal whereby they will provide board-level UltraSparc systems to a number of system integrators to be built into Linux boxes. Sun seems to be increasingly seeing an interest in supporting Linux on their hardware. See their press release for details.

Version 0.90 of the Uniform Driver Interface (UDI) specification has been announced. Also announced (again) were the future availability of reference implementations, including one for Linux done by Intel. See the press release for more.

Virus protection for Linux? Saphos came out with a press release this week announcing the availability of their "Anti-Virus" product for Linux ("Unix finally receives professional virus protection"). This announcement brought out a bit of curiosity in some, since Linux is not known for having serious virus problems. What reason would there be to buy this product?

LWN gave the folks at Saphos a call and got some answers. This product is intended for server systems which have clients running certain other operating systems which do have occasional virus problems. It will scan files on the server looking for viruses that can infect those other systems, and scream when it finds something. The product is also evidently capable of looking for Linux viruses, but they currently have none in their database. So, as Saphos put it, if you are running a pure Linux environment there is "not much reason" to run this product. If you have more susceptible systems around, however, it may be worth a look.

A new Linux consulting and support company, Blackspring Communications, has announcedits existence to the world.

Linux training in England. The folks at GB Direct in London have announceda set of Linux courses starting in April. Titles include Linux - the commercial reality and Care and Feeding of a Linux system.

Press Releases:

February 25, 1999


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Linux in the news

Another busy week in the Linux press. Companies are gearing up for their LinuxWorld announcements. The biggest item of interest this week, of course, was IBM's announcement. But first, here's this week's recommended reading:
  • Feed Magazine tries to make sense out of the politics of free software in a lengthy article. "Trying to talk about the politics of Open Source using the categories of traditional political taxonomy is like using mammalian anatomy to explain the respiratory apparatus of fish: there's a certain overlap, but the underlying architecture is so different that it's better off defining the terms from scratch." (Thanks to Ramana Juvvadi).

  • The San Jose Mercury has published this lengthy hatchet job against Bill Gates and Microsoft by Jon Katz. "Strangely, or perhaps fittingly, as we lurch toward the end of the decade, the Microsoft Age has sputtered, fizzled, with little fanfare. The Linux Penguin is a much more apt symbol of the times." (Thanks to Rodney Van Meter).

  • The inimitable NTK weighs in with a suitably sarcastic article about Bruce Perens' resignation from the OSI. "Watch for the resultant explosion on the usual mailing lists: as ever, we're expecting a huge release of light, heat, sound, nervous energy - but strangely, no additional code."

  • Here's a Business Week article, about the task of getting W2K and it's 30+ million lines of code into working condition. "The 'daily build' begins at 6 p.m. That's when engineering managers gather all of the new features and bug fixes that thousands of programmers produced during the day and bolt them together like so many auto parts. Twelve hours later--if all goes well--the build is done and quality assurance technicians take over. They test the code on 200 computers and ferret out anywhere from 250 to 400 new bugs." There is also a brief quote from Linus. (Thanks to Marty Leisner).

  • If once again the Linux press has seemed just a little too positive, head over to The Minneapolis Star Tribune. This author decided to try out the system, and did not have much fun. "Where Windows hides the complexity of computers behind easy-to-use icons and pull-down menus, Linux showcases that complexity in lengthy text commands, obtuse manuals and a frustrating GUI, all of which makes it difficult even to boot a CD-ROM." (Thanks to Petre Scheie).

OK, brace yourselves, here's the flood of IBM stories:

  • Here's one in Forbes magazine. "So why bother? The answer is actually very simple--services. Services have helped the IBM resurgence, even as its hardware sales are sliding lower. By shipping Linux with its hardware, IBM can now get additional revenues by providing Linux OS-related services to its clients."

  • The Swiss paper Le Temps has run an article (in French) about IBM's recent moves and the perceived threat to Microsoft and an editorial about free software and the arrival of large corporations. Babelfish links are available for the IBM article and the editorial. (Thanks to Erik Rossen).

  • The (London) Times ran an article about the effect of Linux (and the IBM announcement in particular) on Microsoft's stock price. "A PROGRAM invented by a Finnish computer hacker and handed out free in 1991 cost investors in Microsoft $11 billion (£6.75 billion) this week." (Thanks to Eddie Bleasdale).

  • IBM puts on a penguin suit in the Red Herring.

  • This Arizona Central article is an example of the AP article that showed up in papers all over the U.S. this morning.

  • MSNBCis carrying the Wall Street Journal article.

  • New York Daily News. "Microsoft shares fell on the news, dropping 4¼ to $145.75, while IBM rose 3¾ to $174.25."

  • Austalian Broadcast News. "The biggest reason keeping more people from using Linux up to now has been the lack of technical support, according to a Red Hat statement."

  • CBS News in an example of the Reuters wire service article.

  • Wired News. "Linux has taken another big step toward commercial legitimacy."

  • Inter@ctive Week.

  • Computer Reseller News. "The deal with Red Hat is expected to the first of IBM's key moves within the Linux arena. IBM is expected to unveil more of its Linux at the Linuxworld conference on March 1 in San Jose, Calif."

  • CBS Marketwatch.

  • The (Raleigh, NC) News & Observer covers IBM's announcement. "The announcement was the first from a major hardware company that goes beyond the server market, in which Linux was the fastest-growing operating system in 1998, to the Microsoft-dominated desktop market....IBM will sell a full spectrum of hardware preloaded with Red Hat Linux -- servers,workstations, desktop computers and Thinkpad laptops." (Thanks to Robert A. Wagoner).

  • Salon Magazine has a brief piece. "n the not-too-distant future, it's possible that the only applications that won't run on Linux will belong to Microsoft."

  • Computer Reseller News has a pre-announcement article. "At the start of the agreement, IBM is not planning to preload Linux onto hardware developed by its Personal Systems Group..."

  • InfoWorldhas a similar sort of article. "In addition to IBM's work with Red Hat, the company next week will announce support for Pacific HiTech and Caldera Systems."

  • News.com. "Responding to increasing customer demand by Fortune 500 companies and other business clientele, the computer colossus is advancing its global Linux strategy on several fronts. It is bringing the operating system onto two computer lines, adding Linux support to its services business, and porting its software to the relatively new operating system."

  • The New York Times. "But despite its power and stability, Linux has not gained wide acceptance because corporations have had nowhere to turn for support..." (Registration required; the "cypherpunks" account works as usual). (Thanks to Donald Braman).
HP is doing significant things of its own, but got rather less press. Here's what we were able to find:
  • PC Week ran an article about HP's upcoming Linux-related announcements at LinuxWorld Expo. "Some critics of Linux in the enterprise have cited its wide open development community as a major deterrent to adoption. Too many versions of the OS and too many application development efforts lead to chaos that commercial vendors don't experience when developing in-house or with licensed ISVs, critics argue. But HP's reliance on The Puffin Group is a direct challenge to that criticism. Not only can the open source development community work with Linux in the enterprise, but it can do it as well as or better than commercial vendors." (Thanks to Justin Hall).

  • TechWeb covers the upcoming HP announcements. "In the software area, HP plans to bring its entire software and applications lines to Linux, with the aim of positioning Linux as the preferred development strategy for HP."

And to finish out the business-related articles:

  • Computer Associates will release a version of its Unicenter system for Linux, according to this Network World Fusion article. (NW Fusion requires registration; "cypherpunks" works as usual).

  • TechWeek has a lengthy article touching on Windows refund, LinuxCare, LinuxWorld Expo, and introductory topics. "Southwestern Bell, for example, uses Red Hat Linux 5.2 running on VA Research workstations for its mission-critical 24 x 7 network control center. The Baby Bell was attracted to Linux's superior stability and performance and 'access to source code for debugging,' says Red Hat Software Inc. CEO Bob Young."

  • AsiaBizTech ran an article about increasing Linux business activity in Japan. "Database products and application programs that run on Linux are being launched in rapid succession in Japan, prompting solution providers to set up support systems."

  • They also have a brief piece on a company called Vertex Link, which is selling Linux-installed systems. "The server model comes with two 450MHz Pentium II CPUs. It is built according to specifications, with an emphasis placed on stability. For example, five 6.5GB HDDs are configured into a RAID5 system and a duplex power supply is standard..."

  • And Nikkei News has a brief article about a company called In4S which is coming out with a Linux-based "thin server" box. "A firm with no specialized personnel can create a companywide network in about 10 minutes after turning on the iStation. The unit's menus can be used to create a home page and administer employee e-mail."

  • Also in Nikkei News: this article on the increase in Japanese interest in Linux. "But the software is gradually attracting corporate users because it lets them reduce development and maintenance costs for their information systems. The OS first became popular for use in web and e-mail servers at Internet service providers. But more and more small businesses are taking up the free OS because of the need to cut costs amid the tough economic situation."

  • The Utah-based Deseret News has an article about Caldera and its upcoming initiatives. "Caldera Systems Inc. develops training and business programs for the Linux operating system and is currently in negotiations with IBM Corp., Compaq Computer Corp. and Oracle to create a training alliance."

  • News.com has an article about SCO's Linux compatibility moves. "SCO has made the Linux compatibility software source code--the original programming instructions--publicly available ... giving the code back to the open source programming community that has developed Linux." (Thanks to Ramana Juvvadi).

  • LinuxCare gets a brief mention in the New York times (scroll down a page). "...starting next month, Linuxcare intends to make its 'knowledge base' of technical information freely available to the public over the Web. That data base will be continually updated, the company said, as new information pours in from its experience providing technical support." (NY Times is a registration-required site).

  • Yet another LinuxCare story appears in Internet World. "Industry analysts lauded the efforts of the fledgling LinuxCare but cautioned that it must build partnerships with computer vendors and Linux distributors--who are also potential rivals in the support area--in order to establish a foothold in the market and begin to generate significant revenue."

  • PC Week reviews the Cobalt Qube. Their reaction is rather lukewarm. "Cobalt Networks Inc.'s Cobalt Qube 2 Internet appliance is a good starting point for small, technophobic businesses. But any company with technical know-how and a spare system can duplicate all of its capabilities, often with free software."

  • InfoWorld is hyping the LinuxWorld conference with this article about some announcements that will be made there. "GraphOn will unveil a Linux Playpen at the show, in which show attendees will be able to test various GraphOn products that enable companies to use Windows, Java, and multiuser NT systems to access Linux applications remotely."

  • Here is an article in Business Week which discusses Microsoft's problems, with an emphasis on competition with Unix. "The software giant is used to battling Sun--and wins its share of skirmishes. But Linux could turn out to be Microsoft's Vietnam." (Thanks to Marty Leisner).

A few more Windows refund articles trickled in...

  • Performance Computing's Unix Riot column talks about Windows refund day. "Let's face it, Windows Refund Day showed not the strengths of Linux, FreeBSD, etc., but their weaknesses. The sparse turnout and pseudo-guerilla theater at the so-called rallies indicated that the open-source-OS market is immature at many levels."

  • Robert X. Cringely covers windows refund day. "Microsoft loves this. They loved the demonstration in Foster City. At a time when the company is under fire from the Feds, here is evidence that there is viable competition for Windows. And for a change, Microsoft isn't the bad guy, since it is the PC manufacturer who is responsible for giving that difficult-to-get refund. 'Blame your PC maker!' said Microsoft. We're with you! Have a lemonade!" (Thanks to David Wittenberg).

  • For folks still hungry for Windows refund stuff, here's a site with archived video clips of all the news coverage of the event that they could find.

And to finish things out, here's a batch of miscellaneous pieces and introductory articles.

  • Forbes ran an introductory piece. "Although the jury is still out, evidence is growing that Linux could have a significant impact on the computer industry--and on the bottom lines of those vendors who support it."

  • ComputerWorld has issued a correction to a couple of articles that referred to Linux as "shareware." They declined to take the opportunity to explain what free software is, but it's a step in the right direction anyway...

  • This gossip column in the San Jose Mecury makes some speculations on the reasons behind the success of Linux. "One of the phenomena that's clearly helping Linux develop is the enthusiasm of those self-described idealistic programmers who, having made buckets of money at companies like Apple Computer Inc. and Netscape Communications Corp., are happy to tweak Linux. They like to write code and they don't have day jobs."

  • The Swiss paper Tages Anzeiger has run an article (in German) of an introductory nature. They claim that support remains the biggest problem... Babelfish translation available here. (Thanks to Christian Folini).

  • Here is the ZDNet article about Jean-Louis Gassée's challenge to PC OEM's to install Linux and BeOS for their customers, or forever be accused of being afraid of Microsoft. (Thanks to Daniele Bernardini).

  • Here's a PC Week column about "planning for the millenium." "Linux and open source. This could change the way software is written and licensed. In a few years, you could be building enterprise systems for much less money. But there will likely be a scramble for talented Linux specialists. It's fairly easy to set up a pilot implementation of a Linux server. Start making contingency plans now."

  • InfoWorld has a column on the Trinuxmini-distribution. "It is unbelievable how superior products can be designed and developed under the open source model (hint, hint, Microsoft). Have you uncovered the Trinux gem yet?"

  • The New York Times has put out a lengthy introductory article about Linux and free software. It's a reasonably accurate and positive introduction. "It is hard to believe that the future of software lies in a haphazard process of far-flung programmers e-mailing each other in the middle of the night, but it just might." The New York Times is a registration-required site, but "cypherpunks" works as usual. (Thanks to Richard Storey).

  • The March Penguin's Brew column by Jon Hall is out; this month's installment is about hardware support. "On the issue of proprietary vs. open hardware, I am annoyed that hardware vendors still believe their competitors are smart enough to do reverse engineering on a product's hardware chips, but too dumb to disassemble a driver for a video card to find out how that card is programmed."

  • LinuxPower has another interview up. This one's with Dave "Zoid" Kirsch, the guy behind Linux Quake.

  • The "Linux am Mac FAC" web site has published an interview with Kai Staats of Yellow Dog Linux (a PPC distribution) fame. It's available in both Englishand German.

  • The Economist has put out another introductory article on free software. "Perhaps the software industry will eventually look a bit like a highway. The infrastructure (operating systems, networking technologies) will be largely a public good, while services (support, training) and specialised applications are for sale. Just don't expect Bill Gates to like the idea." (Found in Slashdot).

  • Oracle has launched a new Internet Developer magazine; the first issue features a Q&A with Linus Torvalds. "About everything from how boring he finds databases to getting bitten by a penguin." As of this writing, this site is proving difficult to get into, unfortunately.

February 25, 1999


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Announcements page.



The Internet Operating Systems Counter is back in action at a new site, and is now up to more than 1.1 million hosts. By this count, Linux has just over 30% of the web servers out there, retaining its position at the very top of the list.

ZDNet has set up a Linux forum moderated by Evan Liebovitch. Yes, it has been there for most of the month, we're a little slow on the uptake...

The good folks at Linux Center have added an international news section to their pages (both in English and in French).

So...if you didn't get your refund from Microsoft, here's another windmill to tilt at: LinuxResources has put up a petition to Microsoft asking them to release the Windows '98 source code under the GPL

A new site, OpenResources.com has been announced. It appears to be another shot at a "portal" site oriented around free software news, articles, documentation, forums, etc.

William Henning of CPU Review has updated his kernel compilation benchmarks to include some K6 results. He's up to 49 different test results now.

There is an article in VAR Business about the new linuxvar.org site put up by SSC. This site is, of course, intended to be a resource center for Linux VARs. "The Web site now consists of only a few pages of rough guidelines, but it will grow according to the interest shown by Linux VARs..."


Linux at Comdex/Spring '99. As already reported in these pages, Comdex/Spring will feature a higher profile for Linux, including a keynote by Linus Torvalds. Now the Chicago LUG and the Argonne National Laboratory and Western Suburban Chicago LUG have put together a Linux at Comdex/Spring page. Anybody contemplating attendance at this event should keep an eye on this site to keep up on all of the Linux-related happenings.

A Free Software Carnival will be held at Reed College in Portland, Oregon on Saturday, February 27th. Check out their web page for more details.

Here's a brief note in Israel's Business Arena about the Linux seminar that will be held during the Internet World Exhibition this week.

Web sites

SearchLinux.com is a new site providing a help desk for Linux users. They have "aggregated newsgroups, mailing lists and Linux-focused sites into a useful resource for both the expert and newbie Linux user" and, from first glance, look to be on their way to providing a very nicely organized service. Check them out at www.searchlinux.com.

Mailing Lists

A list for people running Linux on Toshiba Portege notebooks has been announced.

User Group News

The Skane Sjelland Linux User Group (SSLUG) has now passed the 2500 member mark. This note from Claus Sorensen provides pointers to more information.

Help wanted

Attention Beowulf programmers: there are a couple of positions open in the Denver, CO area for people with MPI or PVM programming experience. This looks like a fun...

February 25, 1999



Software Announcements

Package Version Description
a2ps 4.12 Any to PostScript filter
AbiWord 0.3.4 Fully featured word processor
AfterStep 1.7.47 Window manager for the X/Windows environment with NeXT look and feel
AfterStep Mounter 1.0.0 A module for the AfterStep Wharf that allows you to mount/unmount your devices.
aKtion! 0.3.2 KDE video player based on xanim
AleVT 1.4.3 Videotext/Teletext decoder and viewer
aliases2cdbm 1.0beta Convert mail aliases into input suitable for cdbmake
AML 1.3 AML -- an implementation of a basic register machine with support for ASM.
arla 0.22 Free AFS client for Linux/*BSD
asapm 2.5 X11 application with AfterStep look for monitoring APM on laptops
Aspell .27 Intelligent Spell Checker
asScotch 0.2 The days UserFriendly comic strip in your AfterStep rootmenu
asTequila 0.2 The AfterStep Resource Page (TARP) headlines in your AfterStep rootmenu
aterm 0.3.3 xterm replacement with fast transparency, tinting and NeXT scrollbar
aumix 1.18.1 Color text mode sound mixer with GPM support
barrendero 0.2 Program for keeping free space in the mail spool dir
Bash 2.03 sh-compatible command language interpreter
BetaFTPD 0.0.2 Single-threaded, small FTP daemon
BFS Filesystem for Linux 19990221 read-only BFS modules for Linux
Big Brother 1.09b Highly efficient network monitor
BigBrother WebStats 0.19 Counter for websites that produces some statistics based on the info gathered
bip 1.1 Send messages to pagers using the Internet
bison 1.27 GNU Project parser generator (yacc replacement)
Blackbox 0.50.3 WindowManager for X11 written in C++
bras 0.7.0 rule based command execution with Tcl
BurnIT 1.5pre4 Java front-end to cdrecord and mkisofs
cdcd 0.4.3 A no-nonsense CLI CD player
cdrecord 1-8a18 Allows the creation of both audio and data CDs
cgic 1.06 An ANSI C-language library for the creation of CGI-based World Wide Web
CGIProxy 1.0 Anonymizing, filter-bypassing HTTP proxy in a CGI script (in Perl)
Checklinks 1.0 HTML link checker that supports SSI, many Apache options, and more (in Perl 5)
class.AccessDBM.php3 1.1 A PHP3 wrapper class to the DBM functions
class.Validator.php3 1.1 A PHP class with common data validation routines.
Cmp3 2.0pre2 Console frontend to mpg123. Easy interface, playlists, background mode.
coda 5.0.2 Full featured network filesystem
Code Crusader 1.2.1 complete code development environment, inspired by MetroWerks CodeWarrior
Colortail 0.1 Colorized tail.
Crafty 16.5 Computer Chess engine
CUP 0.10i CUP is a LALR arser Generator for Java
CVS 1.10.5 Concurrent Versions System
DBMEdit 1.0 A user-friendly Web-based DBM database editor (in Perl 5)
Dime 0.9 DXF Import, Manipulation, and Export library
Doc Toolkit 1.0.0 E-text tools for Palm Computing platform users
Doc++ 3.3.9 Powerful Javadoc like C++ documentation creation tool.
DosLinux 78 Small linux distribution that can be installed on a existing Dos/Win95/98 system
DyDNS 0.01dR Dynamic DNS environment for intranets
edna 0.2 tiny HTTP server for selecting and streaming MP3 files
egcs 1.1.2-pre1 Experimental set of enhancements for the GNU tools
EPIC 4pre2.001-NR16 ANSI capable textmode IRC Client
Erlang 47.4.1 Full-featured programming language developed at the Ericsson CS Laboratory
esh 0.7 New Unix shell
esound 0.2.8 Enlightened Sound Daemon
ezbounce 0.81 A very configurable IRC Proxy
eznet 1.11 Very simple PPP setup
Fake 1.1.1 Utility to switch in backup servers on a LAN
FakeBO 0.3.3 Fakes trojan server responses and logs incoming requests
FLTK 19990217 BETA C++ user interface toolkit for X and OpenGL
flwm 0.17 The Fast Light Window Manager
Fnorb 1.0b1 Python CORBA 2.0 ORB
fsresize 0.07 Resizes FAT16 and FAT32 filesystems
fstool 1.0 a Tcl/Tk-based file system mounter
FSViewer 0.1.1 File Viewer lookalike for Window Maker.
FVWM 2.2 The classic highly configurable virtual window manager
gaddr 1.0.1 A simple GTK+ Addressbook
gaim 19990221 GTK based AOL Instant Messenger
garbmail 1.0 Delete old messages from mailboxes in /var/spool/mail
Gaspell .27 A Gnome Frontend to Aspell
gcombust 0.1.2 gtk+ frontend for mkisofs and cdrecord
Gconfig 0.4.1 A router configuration tool
gdict 0.3 GTK Online Dictionary Program
Genius 0.2.1 An arbitrary precision integer and multiple precision floatingpoint calculator
Geo::METAR 1.12 Perl module for processing aviation weather reports.
gfontview 0.1.1 Font Viewer
GHX 2.45 (99/02/22) GTK clone of the Hotline software
GICQ 0.30 GTK based ICQ client
Giram 0.0.7 Giram is a modeller, written in GTK+
GKill Version 1.0 GTK-GUI to send signals to processes.
glFtpD 1.15.5 FTP Daemon for Linux. Great program for an ISP or anyone!
GLib 1.1.16 The GLib library of C routines
GNOME Disk Catalog 0.05 Keeps your ZIP disks, floppy disks and CD-ROMs in order
GnomeHack 1.0.0 Nethack for Gnome
gnotepad+ 1.1.0 An easy-to-use, yet fairly feature-rich, simple text editor
GnuDIP 2.0.4 Dynamic DNS package. Includes everything to run your own ml.org equivalent.
gogmagog 2 Lightweight, robust, UNIX systems integrity monitor
grepmail 3.6 Searches a normal or gzipped mailbox for a given regularexpression
Grip 1.2 A gtk-based frontend for CD-rippers
GTalk and QTalk 0.05 GTK+ and QT Squeak Smalltalk
gTick 0.1.3 GTK+ based metronome
GTK MikMod 0.10b GTK interface to MikMod for Unix
GTK+ 1.1.16 Library for creating graphicaluser interfaces
Gtk-- 0.11.2 C++ interface for the popular GUI library gtk.
Gtk::Dialog Alpha 1 Simple Perl interface to create dialog boxes with Gtk
gtkgo 0.0.6 Go game for Linux and Windows
GTKYahoo 0.8 GTK based Yahoo! Pager client
guiTAR 0.1.1 A tar frontend for Gtk+
HamLog 0.9 Amateur Radio Logging Program for X
Hermes 1.2.4 An optimized pixel format conversion library with other tricks
httptunnel 1.3 Creates a two-way data tunnel through an HTTP proxy
hunt 1.2 Tool for exploiting well-known weaknesses in the TCP/IP protocol suite
icecast 1.1.0 MP3 Audio Broadcasting System
IceConf 0.99.33 A graphical configuration program for IceWM
ICI 2.1 A dynamic, interpretive language with C-like syntax
ICMPush 2.2 ICMPush is a tool that builds ICMP packets fully customized from command line.
Image::Grab 0.9.2 Perl Module to grab images with dynamic URLs from the Internet
ImageMagick 4.2.0 Package for display and interactivemanipulation of images for X11
imlib 1.9.3 Advanced replacement library for libraries like libXpm
Inferno 2.3 Software development kit and emulator for the Inferno Network Operating System
IPChains.pm 0.3 Manipulate ipchains rules via a simplified Perl interface.
iplog 1.2 tcp, udp, and icmp logging utilities for Linux.
ippl 1.1 IP Protocols Logger
ip_masq_icq 0.50 ICQ masquerading module for Linux
ISC DHCP 2.0b1pl15 Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol Client and Server implementation
jbc 1.4 Displays the time in BCD (Binary Coded Decimal)
jEdit 1.4pre6 Powerful text editor
JFortune 1.2 /usr/games/fortune as an applet
jiffy 0.3 Fast Java RMI-compiler written in C++
Jiten 0.5 Perl DICT Server
JX 1.1.20 C++ application framework and GUI widget library for X
KFAphone 0.1 A simple working internet phone for one-on-one chats
Kget 0.6 KDE app to get files from the internet
kPGPShell 0.20 A KDE shell for GPG/PGP2/PGP5
kwintv 0.6.2 Watch TV in a window on your PC screen
KXicq 0.3.1 The KDE ICQ clone
LeakTracer 1.0 Trace memory leaks in C++ programs
Lesstif 0.87.9 LGPL'd re-implementation of Motif
libwww 5.2.6 General-purpose client side Web API written in C for Unix and Windows (Win32)
Licq 0.60 Advanced graphical ICQ clone and more for Unix
LilyPond 1.1.31 The GNU Project music typesetter
LinPopup 0.9.8 Linux port of Winpopup, running over Samba.
Linux/Coldfire 190299 Port of Linux to the Motorola Coldfire processors
Linuxconf 1.13r14 Sophisticated administrative tool
LinuxTaRT 2.27 Feature-rich email signature generator
Low level Quicktime library 0.6.0 Low level Quicktime library for *NIX
lsb-fhs 0.9beta test suite for filesystem hierarchy aspects of the Linux Standard Base
Lynx 2.8.2dev17 fully-featured, text-based World Wide Web browser
m(UH!)Client 0.5 m(UH!)Client is a client for Charles P. Wright MasqDialer server
MAGE Adventure Game Engine 0.1.2 Framework for playing and (in the future) authoring text-based adventure games.
MailDB 0.1 A web-based interface to forward e-mail using procmail
mathplot 0.5 interactive function grapher
Melange Chat Server 1.01 Chat server written in C including a Java-client
memwatch 2.55 Memory leak/corruption detection, ANSI-C source code with test program.
mklinuxfw 0.91 Project to develop a configuration tool which can configure filewalls
mod_dav 0.9.7-1.3.4 DAV protocol extensions for Apache
mod_ssl 2.2.3-1.3.4 Apache Interface to SSLeay
Mozart (Oz) 1.0.1 Development platform for constraint and distributed applications
mp3tools 0.7 Utilities for managing MPEG audio files
mpEDIT 1.15 A moderately featured text editor written in Java
MpegTV Player (mtv) mtv A realtime MPEG Video+Audio player
mpstat 0.0.1 Helps monitoring SMP machines
muh 2.03 Full-featured IRC bouncing tool
mule 2.3 multilingual emacs
Naken Chat 0.91 Chat Server ported from Javachat
NcFTP 3.0 beta 18 UNIX application program implementing the File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
ncurses 4.2-990213
Net::RawIP 0.06 Perl module for easy manipulation of raw IP packets directly from Perl
netcomics 0.4 A perl script that downloads today's comics from the Web
Nightfall 0.7 Eclipsing binary star program
nmap 2.08 Full featured, robust port scanner
oTOSis 0.31 A reimplementation of the Atari TOS operating system
OWSKiller 2.0 Replacement for Oracle Web Server based on Java Servlets
PCRE 2.04 A library that implements Perl 5-style regular expressions.
Petey 1.0 Fortune like application for story generation
pg2xbase 0.9 Converter from/to DBF file to/from Postgres database table
PIKT 1.2.1 An innovative new systems administration paradigm
pilot-ldif 0.30 Program that uses pilot-addresses to sync the Netscape and Pilot address books
pircd Alpha Ten An IRC daemon, written in Perl.
Pliant 6 efficient and extendable programming language
pmpp 0.01 A Poor Man's Pre-Processor
PyroTechnics 1.5 OpenGL firework simulator
Q2sdb 0.1 Quake 2 Server Database with client/server query mechanism.
RabbIT 1.7 Mutating, caching webproxy to speed up surfing over slow links
rc.laptopnet 1.0 Ethernet Device configurer for laptops that move around.
readline 4.0 A set of functions for use by applications that allow users to edit command line
Record Management 0.3 Program to manage large sound carrier archives (LPs, CDs, MP3s, singles, ...).
Rio (RAM I/O) for FreeBSD 0.1 An implementation of the Rio file cache project
ripit 1.1 Front-end for Ripping/Encoding/Tagging MP3s
rpm.cgi 0.22 A Perl CGI script frontend to the Red Hat Package Management (RPM) System.
SBScan Version 0.03 System Security Scanner
scrmgr 2.6 curses based screen design and data entry
ScryMUD 1.8.7 Original MUD Server and Java Client
SLinux 0.3.6 Security enhancement suite for RedHat
Snow* 0.7 Tcl/Tk GUI for Snowblind CLI rio tools
SoundTracker 0.1.0 A music tracker for X / GTK+
SPiN Chat System 2.3 Java based client/server Chat and Conferencing application
StarOffice 5.01 (aka FilterUpgrade) Office Package from Star Division
super 3.11.9 Program to allow general users to do superuser things
SWI-Prolog 3.2.3 Cross-Platform Prolog Compiler and Library
SyncBuilder 19990222 Build synchronization applications with a Palm device in Java
syslog-ng 1.0 A portable syslogd replacement with enhanced, flexible configuration scheme.
TCL Developer Studio 0.21 small
Terraform 0.2.5 Interactive digital terrain (height field) editor/viewer
tgif 4.0.15 Vector-based draw tool
The Global File System 19990218 A Shared Disk File System for Linux
THX-1138 1.0.1 Electronic Paper for Calculations and Graphs
tictactoe 0.2 A simple console perl script that plays a coordinate-based tictactoe game
tin pre-1.4-19990216 Curses based threaded NNTP and spool based UseNet newsreader
TkMAME 0.35-pre4a Tcl/Tk Front End for XMAME
tkMOO-light 0.3.18 Powerful cross-platform chat client.
TkWineSetup 990118 TCL script to setup, compile, install, upgrade Wine
tkWorld 1.0 Wes's Own Really Lazy Desktop
tk_Brief 2.2 GUI for writing letters with LaTeX
todo list 0.06 a set of CGI scripts that create a web-based to-do list
TurboVision for UNIX 0.7 Linux port of well-known DOS application framework
TWIG 0.1pre3 A web-based IMAP client written with PHP3
Unix Desktop Environment 0.1.8-BETA A new GUI for Unix with a completely new look'n'feel
UW Imap Server 4.5 Univerity of Washington Imap server
VFU File Manager 1.44 Extensivelyl featured console (text-mode) file manager.
Vim 5.4e Popular vi clone that features syntax highlighting and an X11 interface
WebX10 1.1 Web Based GUI to control X10 Devices
wmpinboard 0.8 Window Maker pinboard dock-app
wmsensors 1.0.0 wmsensors draws graphs of data from your sensor chips
wmtv 0.5b WindowMaker TV dock.app
WWWThreads 3.beta6 WWW based discussion forums
X-GnuDIP2 1.1 GTK client for the GnuDIP dynamic dns project
X2 4.6.1 AfterNet's powerfull IRC channel services
XawTV 2.37 TV application and a few utilities
xhippo 0.5 Gtk-based playlist manager for various UNIX sound players
xps 3.03 X/Motif dynamic display the Unix processes tree/forest
Xterminal 0.6.5 Object Oriented User Interface with a client-serverarchitecture
Zircon 1.8.212 An IRC client written in tcl/tk
Zope 1.10.2 Web application platform used for building high-performance, dynamic web sites.
ZorkCit 0.51 A CGI-based Web approximation of the Citadel BBS system.

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

OSOpinion is a site dedicated to, well, opinions on operating systems. They run a regular series of user-submitted editorials on OS issues. They use a lot of exclamation points, but some of the opinions are interesting.

LinuxWare seems to be a strange combination of Linux news and personal ads. "The ultimate chat and Linux resource for geeks and nerds looking for chat, internet relationships, love and of course Linux. The only place on the Web that may change your life forever." Hmm... (Thanks to Cheah Ling).

February 25, 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.
To: editor@lwn.net
Subject: Who cares whether Pascal has a goto?
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 13:28:53 +0000
From: Paul Dunne <paul@dunne.ie.eu.org>

I have just read the long, boring and irrelevant exchange in
your letters column about whether Pascal has or has not a goto
statement, and if so, what it's good for.  Oh, boy, what tedium!
Please, can Linux Weekly News stick to what it's good at -- being
a weekly report on *Linux* news?  The most recent letters column
was just like Usenet in all the bad senses of that comparison.
Better to have no letters at all than irrelevant ones.

Paul Dunne <paul@dunne.ie.eu.org>
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 03:50:14 -0500
From: "Joel D. Elkins" <jde@binarts.com>
To: editor@lwn.net
Subject: . and ..

I think that Linus advocates removal of "." and ".." processing from
ext2fs, leaving handling for these cases in the VFS code. In any case,
userland semantics will not change. Your 2/18/1999 "Kernel" article
was misleading in that regard.

Joel Elkins

Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 13:23:27 +0100 (MET)
From: James Ewing <jamewi@rsv.se>
To: lwn@lwn.net
Subject: Swedish Linux paper - bad press for Linux


You guys posted a link to a paper in Swedish comparing Linux 2.2 and
NT 4.0. Just to let you know, the end conclusion wasn't at all
favorable for Linux.

The link was in the paragraph -

"The Swedish paper Datateknik has put out a lengthy "white paper" on
Linux that is said to be an interesting read. It's available in PDF
format (in Swedish, of course) from this directory. (Thanks to Mattias
Sandström). "

And linked to http://www.datateknik.se/WhitePaper/WP_linux.pdf.

In the paper the evaluation result was (in Swedish) -

"Allvariga fel i drivrutinera för maskinvaran samt brister i
RADI-installationen gör det testade Linux distributionen olämplig att
använda på Compaq maskiner. NT är ett avsevärt säkrare val och är 
dessutom mycket lättare att konfigurera.
	System: 512 Mbytes interminne, 4x4 Gbyte
	skivminne. Intel Pentium II 400 MHz. Mandrake
	Linux 5.2. Microsoft NT Enterprise server 4SP3.

	Betyg Linux: 1
	Betyg NT:    5"

Translsted to English is - 

"Serious errors in the hardware drivers and shortcomings in the RAID
installation make the Linux distribution tested unsuitable for use on
Compaq machines. NT is an incomparably more secure choice and is
moreover much easier to configure.

	System: 512 Mbytes internal memory, 4x4 Gbyte 
	disk memory. Intel Pentium II 400 MHz. Mandrake
	Linux 5.2. Microsoft NT Enterprise server 4SP3.

	Linux rating: 1
	NT rating:    3" 

-- Note: the rating system is five point scale where 1 is the lowest
and 5 the highest.

This is hardly a favorable review of Linux and could just as easily
been written by Microsoft.


Jim Ewing
Ewing Data AB
Stockholm, Sweden



[LWN Logo]

Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 01:58:12 -0600 (EST)
From: Dave Finton <surazal@nerp.net>
To: editor@lwn.net
Subject: You asked for it ;^)

I am only doing this because if I read one more letter to the editor
concerning goto's and pascal, I just might run away screaming.  ;^)

Ah, Microsoft's stock slumped about 10% this month.  This was
attributed to two causes.  One, the antitrust trial (which I enjoy
reading about over a few beers).  Two, IBM's endorsement of Linux by
announcing it will preload it on some of its servers.

The funny thing was that soon after I read a couple of articles about
MS stock and the IBM announcement, I ran across a recent article from
some editor or another in one of the mainstream rags saying that he
doubted Linux would make a dent in Microsoft's armor.  Whoops.  It
already did earlier this week.  It reminded me of an article I read in
Segfault.org titled "Linux gains enterprise-level support, but what
about support?"  Now that is FUD gone horribly wrong (or right,
depending on which side of the fence you're sitting on).

I'd also like to comment on the so-called rift open source is facing
in light of Bruce Perens' leaving of the OSI.  All I can say is, What
Rift?  Neither Bruce, RMS, nor ESR have any bearing whatsoever on the
work I do (which includes support for client-based Linux machines).  I
respect Bruce's opinions, but he can join the Preservation Society for
Pink Fluffy Rabbits for all I care.  I respect the free software/Open
Source leaders' opinions, and more importantly I respect their
*differences*.  I think that our favorite ideological movement would
be a lot weaker if they all agreed with each other.  Their
disagreements take us into new and exciting directions.

There, that should be enough to keep the "goto" letters at bay.

                          - Dave Finton

| If an infinite number of monkeys typed randomly at    |
|   an infinite number of typewriters for an infinite   |
|   amount of time, they would eventually type out      |
|   this sentencdfjg sd84wUUlksaWQE~kd ::.              |
| ----------------------------------------------------- |
|      Name:      Dave Finton                           |
|      E-mail:    surazal@nerp.net                      |
|      Web Page:  http://surazal.nerp.net/              |

Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 09:33:13 +0100 (MET)
From: Maurizio de Cecco <Maurizio.de.Cecco@ircam.fr>
To: editor@lwn.net
Subject: Beware of the Desktop trap ...

I am alone in the world, or there are others that think that User
Interface enginering stop in 84 when the first Mac came out ?

OK, menus, button, scrollbars, all the goodies, all the bell and
whistles; but, while my GNU-emacs have all of this, i never use any of
them ...

Why ?

Everybody know why: if you use a program for 14 years, you don't need
menus anymore; you have the key bindings in your blood; and in
general, while the Mouse/Menu/Icon stuff is very good for learning to
use a program, it is not what you really want to use your everyday
professional tool for years and years.

Not that GUI are not good, expecially when the thing you are doing are
intrinsecally graphic or visual; but their developement stopped the
developement of alternative, efficent, text based UI.

Anybody remember the symbolics command language ? 

Shells are not necessarly for experts, after all ...


PS: ops, i forgot: all this to say: there is more than KDE and Gnome
to make Linux final-user-friendly ...
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