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Linux Hardware Vendors Unite! Well, that is one way to look at this week's surprise announcement where VA Research acquired Linux Hardware Solutions and Enlightened Solutions. Obviously, this is a response to the recent entree of large PC retailers, such as Dell and Compaq, into the Linux-based computer market. That it started with with two of the largest and best known Linux retailers might be considered surprising, but then, they are the ones with the most to lose. They have too high an overhead to be able to take a large drop in market share. They need the combined marketing resources to educate a population just becoming familiar with Linux as to the advantages of working with companies with years of experience installing, developing and supporting Linux. Smaller companies can continue to survive on the basis of existing sales relationships and known service; third-party resellers have been doing this for years. Companies like VA Research (now VA Linux Systems) and Linux Hardware Solutions need sufficient volume to be able to compete on the basis of price as well as service.

The new, larger VA Research will be organized into three separate companies, "VA Linux Systems, which will build and sell machines and support them; VA Linux Labs, a facility dedicated to enhancing and growing the open source code operating system; and Linux.com, a soon-to-debut portal."

Linux beat Windows NT handily in an Oracle performance benchmark which was posted this week. The benchmark placed untuned "out of the box" systems on identical hardware and used the TPC benchmark suite. Unfortunately, the results can no longer be read on the net; instead, readers will find a notesaying that the benchmark results have been pulled and are no longer available.

The reason for this? It seems that neither Oracle nor TPC allow benchmark results involving their software to be published without prior permission. Thus, we see illustrated in the most graphic form one of the differences between free and proprietary software. Free software does not seek to restrict how it may be used, or what can be said about it. Proprietary software, instead, uses its licensing agreements to silence its users.

Now, of course, there are reasons for this behavior. One could say, for example, that these companies are simply trying to prevent the publication of something like the Mindcraft report that has drawn so much scorn over the last couple of weeks. There's probably some truth to that. Much bad behavior comes as the result of good intentions. But, in the end, freedom is more important.

The GCC/EGCS merger we mentioned last week got its official confirmation from Richard Stallman. This good news should signal the end of one of the more unfortunate code forks we have seen in recent times. It was unfortunate that a code fork was necessary to counteract the stagnation of gcc development and lucky for all of us that doing quality work and being patient paid off for the egcs team, allowing them to meet their original goal of re-integrating with the gcc tree.

It is also an interesting measure of the success of the "Bazaar" style of development versus the "Cathedral", as originally defined in Eric Raymond's The Cathedral and the Bazaar paper, which essentially predicted this end result. Whether commercial or free, software development progresses fastest and with the highest quality results when it is done in a process that is fully open to scrutiny and contributions from all sources.

The Atlanta Linux Showcase (ALS) has issued its Call-for-Papers. The ALS will happen October 12th through the 16th, 1999, in Atlanta, Georgia. This year, for the first time, the ALS is sponsored by Usenix as well as by the Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts, who founded it, and Linux International. This is the first entrance of Usenix, a well-reputed, volunteer-based non-profit organization that has been sponsoring Unix-related events for a very, very long time.

Usenix' choice to support ALS, already volunteer-driven, rather than to introduce yet another competing Linux conference, is very promising. A reasonable number of extremely well done large events scattered across the year and the country will serve all of us better than a too-crowded calendar of events all with the same speakers and topics. The Usenix folks should bring some good experience and ideas to support the ALE folks who've done such a good job of the event the last two years.

This Week's LWN was brought to you by:

April 29, 1999


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See also: last week's Security page.



ComputerWorld covers the FreeS/Wan release. "...although IPSec is an effective security protocol, corporate information technology managers may want to wait until a vendor incorporates FreeS/WAN into a commercial release."

A report from the Security Research Alliance's Crystal Ball Symposium, held last week, was written by Jim Reavis from SecurityPortal.com. The purpose of the symposium was to take a look at security issues over the next two to five years. Some interesting points come up. In particular, the failure of the Firewall to solve all our security problems was addressed. "It is now recognized that strong firewalls, authentication and crypto systems are the Maginot line of Internet Security. Security holes exist, either in the products themselves, or in the gaps created by company policy or social engineering. No matter how hard we try, no single system can be made impervious to attack, therefore we can trust no "1". What are needed are layered defenses and a distributed model of trust. It also gives an interesting example of a distributed model of trust in the Costa Rican voting project case study. This is a recommended read.

Most of the recommendations from the Symposium are a ways off, but it will be interesting to see how the Linux community responds to the offered challenges. Will people agree that just fixing bugs and firewalling systems are not enough? What intrusion detection, quarantine and distributed models of trust are likely to come from within? It is soundly to be hoped that open source and free software solutions will be developed, so that we are not left dependent on commercial implementations.

Spam from the Anti-Spam? This article from the Denver Post, Denver, CO, covers the amusing, and unexpected, results from a poll to collect information to promote anti-spam efforts. "A Miami concern called the Internet Polling Committee is inviting Netizens to vent their frustration about unsolicited, commercial e-mail -- a.k.a. spam -- by participating in a survey whose results will be sent to Congress, America Online and the national media. But in an ironic twist, the group is soliciting votes by sending ... unsolicited, commercial e-mail. "

Security Reports

OpenLinux 2.2 has a problem with its coas package, as noted in this Caldera advisory. As a result, /etc/shadow may become world-readable. Upgrading to coas-1.0-8 is recommended. In the meantime, check the permission of your /etc/shadow file and set it to 600.

All versions of OpenLinux need an updated bash package, according to this Caldera advisory.

Privacy issues with ffingerd were reported on Bugtraq. You may want to check them out if you use this program.


The Final Call-For-Papers for the CQRE [Secure] Congress & Exhibition is out. CQRE will be held November 30th through December 2nd, in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

April 29, 1999


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See also: last week's Kernel page.

Kernel development

The current kernel release is 2.2.7, put out unceremoniously with no announcement to be seen as of this writing. The patches continue to roll in, and the stable kernel series continues to stabilize. One begins to hope that the 2.3 series begins before too long so that there will be exciting new features to talk about again...

Documentation of Linux kernel tuning parameters is the objective of a new project that is just getting underway. This effort, of course, is inspired by the fallout from the Mindcraft report, and the real realization that information on how to tune Linux systems is hard to come by. "Use the source" is not the right sort of answer for Mindcraft, or for a lot of other Linux users who simply want to get the best out of their systems. This documentation project is looking for people with writing skills to help out; according to the announcement sent out by Rik van Riel, they currently have more technical ability than time or writing skills. Please have a look if you think you can help out.

What is the status of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) project? Some curiosity on the subject led to the posting of pointers to The Linux USB web page. A quick perusal there reveals that this project seems to be proceeding nicely. A fair amount of functionality is in place now, with more on the way. The latest release, as of this writing, happened on April 25.

An audio CD filesystem. Senko Rasic came up with an interesting idea: make a new file system which presents an audio CD as a set of .WAV files. Access to audio CD data thus becomes an easy thing. See his posting for some details and a pointer to the software.

A new version of mount has been released; this version is intended for people using the NFSv3 beta patches on 2.2 kernels. See the announcement for more.

TCP networking flakes out after 48 days of uptime on 64-bit systems. Or, at least, it did until David "punk kid" Miller posted a patch for the problem. It seems there was a bit of confusion between the 64-bit system and the 32-bit timestamps that TCP uses. When it was pointed out that the patch was very quick in coming, David responded to the contrary: clearly, the bug is already more than 48 days old...

A new version of strace is out under the new maintainership of Debian leader Wichert Akkerman. See his announcement for more. There is also a new release of the PPSkit, the nanosecond timekeeping patches for the 2.2 kernel; details in the announcement.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet

April 29, 1999

For other kernel news, see:


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See also: last week's Distributions page.



Reports on the caldera-users list indicate that many people are having problems with installations of Caldera 2.2 downloaded from the ftp site, whether booted from DOS, from floppy or burned onto a CD. This message describes one successful install. Other people installing from the Caldera CDs, which appear to be getting out there despite backlogs, seem to be doing much better.

A minor install bug in Caldera OpenLinux 2.2, only affects systems with riva238 video cards.

Overall impressions of OpenLinux 2.2, both good and bad, came out in this user's report to caldera-users.


Downtime on the Bug Tracking system was reported by the Debian Weekly News. After four days, the system was finally back up, running exim instead of an old smail a.out binary ...

They also reported that the the long anticipated LDAP-enabled developer database was up and running and had been used to generate a list of accounts on master for people not on the Debian keyring. Check for your name, because these accounts are currently earmarked for removal.

The Y2K status of various Debian packages can be viewed at this website, maintained by Craig Small.

Dale Scheetz has resigned from his position as Secretary of the SPI board, citing his work for the LSB and other projects. Nils Lohner is expected to replace him.


easyLinux is another distribution we managed to miss in our comprehensive list. Mark Meyer sent us a note to point out the omission and to mention that "eIT recently shipped the pre-final version for press-members and will start to distribute in 1-2 weeks."

G2 Linux

A pre-release announcement for the G2-Linux distribution apparently went out a while ago, but was not covered. The G2 Linux distribution is a new, "profesionally developed" Linux distribution that is scheduled to come out this summer. It is not based on either Slackware or Red Hat, but has been re-engineered from scratch using the new Linux Software Map (LSM) and Linux File system Hierarchy Standard (FHS). Its primary claim to fame, though, is its new package manager. Good luck and we hope they make their summer schedule. (Thanks to Fabian Penso).


New Kensington / Apple TrackPad kernel from Michael Santos has been announced.

Red Hat

The release of Red Hat Linux 6.0 was clearly the major news for Red Hat over the past week. Here is the official announcement. Check the Press Page for links to related articles.

CDs of Red Hat 6.0 in Germany are already available here.


Unofficial RPMS for some add-on packages for SuSE are being supported by Andreas Gerstlauer, including RPMS for exhm, jed, kxicq and more.


UltraPenguin is dead. David Miller and Jakub Jelinek have announced that they will no longer be maintaining the UltraPenguin distribution for UltraSparc systems. It seems that just about everything that was in UltraPenguin is also in Red Hat 6.0, so the additional distribution is just duplicated effort. UltraSparc users should just go directly to the Red Hat 6.0 release.


XTeamLinux is a new linux distribution out of China featuring, not too surprisingly, Chinese support from the kernel, along with KDE, the 2.2 kernel and a graphical installer.

Yellow Dog Linux

YDL Champion Server Supports Blue & Whites is the title of the latest press release from Yellow Dog Linux, dated April 22nd. Yellow Dog Linux supports PPCs, G3s, iMacs, and now, Blue & Whites!

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

April 29, 1999

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

Known Distributions:
Caldera OpenLinux
Debian GNU/Linux
Definite Linux
PROSA Debian GNU/Linux
Red Hat
Yellow Dog Linux


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See also: last week's Development page.

Development tools


TYA 1.3 has been released. The new version is a snapshot of the current TYA. Its support for the JDK 1.1.7 is less tested than usual, because Albrecht Kleine is primarily working with the 1.2 prerelease. With the JDK 1.2, this release should run "at least some of the JDK demo stuff including Swing stuff like _Java-2D-demo_.

Immediate reports on the new release indicate that it is working smoothly and doing a great job at speeding up code.

WebMacro Servlet Framework 0.85.2 is a Java servlet development framework released under the GPL.

An unofficial implementation of j3d has been released by Jean-Christophe Taveau.


Perl 5.004 is still being maintained, even though perl 5.005 has been released. Therefore, a new maintenance release for perl 5.004 has been announced on the Perl News page.

The O'Reilly perl tutorials in Boston were also spoken of on the Perl News page, with all indications that they are going well.


mxCGIPython Version 0.2.0 has been announced. mxCGIPython is a collection of setup scripts to build one-file easy-to-install Python interpreters.


The latest Tcl-URL!, dated April 27th, is now available.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

April 29, 1999



Development projects

Following up on their promises to release key technology to the open source community, made in March, SGI has released the source code to OpenVault, a package used to help manage Storage Area Networks (SANs). This is very good news. Of course, it comes with its own special license, which isn't likely to meet the Open Source definition or the Debian Free Software Guidelines, at least, not from the discussions we've seen on debian-license.


TheGimp.com is a website that "strives to be an online complement to the Artists' Guide to the Gimp, providing updates to the printed material along with monthly articles, gallery art and other resources useful to both the new and experienced Gimp user." A new version of the site went out last week. It has coverage of the GIMPressionist, a plug-in from Vidar Madsen for creating natural looking paintings. "I really like this plug-in. Its great for non-artists who want to do something artistic without having to do much more than experiment a bit."


Miguel will be heading to Denmark, Switzerland and London starting April 29th. Here is his note on the topic. He'd like to meet as many "free software entusiasts" as possible ...


Style and Theme support has been committed to the KDE CVS by Daniel M. Duley. Current styles include Platinum, Windows 95, Motif, CDE and of course Pixmap support. Developer documentation and some screenshots are available on his site. Future plans include GTK theme support and updating the Control Center to allow easy style/theme manipulation.

Programming with Qt is a new book recently announced by O'Reilly and written by Matthias Kalle Dalheimer, a contract programmer who specializes in cross-platform software development and uses Qt to allow him to write an application once and compile it for Unix and Windows systems. "This is about what Java promises, but without the slowness of the application and the horrible development tools that still hamper Java application development."

A KDE mirror in China is now available from Pacific HiTech's TurboLinux site.


The latest version of Linuxconf is linuxconf 1.15, released on April 20th. The latest patch for Linuxconf is 1.15r0.2.


Wine release 990426 is now out. Threading support for FreeBSD and Solaris has been added, resources are now in built-in DLLs and, of course, many bug fixes have been included.


This week's Zope Weekly News has pointers to a newly available UML model from Jim Fulton, TinyTables beta 2, and much, much more.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh


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See also: last week's Commerce page.

Linux and business

Voice recognition for Linux Commercial Voice Recognition Software from IBM was announced this week. `Speech is the next user interface for computing,'' said W.S. ``Ozzie'' Osborne, general manager for IBM Speech Systems. ``By offering our speech engine and libraries to the growing community of Linux developers, IBM is encouraging the development and proliferation of new interactive and conversational applications.'' (Thanks to Edmund Grimley Evans).

How should VAR's treat Linux? Just like any other operating system, according to this VAR Business article. "[Jon Hall] says there's no reason why VARs can't charge NT-like prices for product packages made of commercial software or hardware integrated with Linux. Customers aren't afraid of Linux, they just want their money's worth..."

Another Linux IPO in the works. Watchguard Technologies, makers of cute, fire-engine red, Linux-based firewall boxes has announced that it is filing for an initial stock offering. (Thanks to Kirk Petersen).

A couple of new Linux system announcements out there: The Computer Underground has rolled out a $996 Linux/Windows dual-boot system. And EIS has announced a rack-mount UltraSPARC Linux system aimed at ISP's; one assumes it costs rather more.

SGI's Linux strategy is coming soon, according to this InfoWorld article. "SGI ... will focus its Linux server offerings on machines for telecommunications and Internet service providers, where the operating system is particularly popular."

Linux administrator demographics. The Linux Professional Institute has published some results from the Linux system administrator survey they ran a few weeks ago, and which drew over 1400 responses. "The study found that the typical Linux administrator is a 27 year old male with 2 years of [ college. He uses 2 Linux distributions, one of them being Red Hat. He runs Linux at home and at work, and has been a Linux user for about 4 years. He also administers Microsoft and non-Linux unix servers and workstations."

German-based Infoconnect announced on April 27th that they are now offering internet gateways based on Linux for SOHO (small office, home office) networks.

A new online Linux store. QLITech Linux Computers has announced their new on-line store. Located at http://www.qlitech.net, they offer "pre-configured, and custom built linux workstations as well as servers".

Linux certification testing. Sylvan Prometric will be doing the testing for Linux Certification from Sair, one of the commerically-based entries into the Linux certification business.

Press Releases:

Section Editor: Jon Corbet.

April 29, 1999


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

Linux in the news

Salon Magazine covers the Mindcraft report. "...the story underlines the essential worthlessness of commercially sponsored comparison tests. The purpose of these tests is to please the customer who commissions them. Why expend too much energy attempting to find information that your customer probably won't appreciate?" (Thanks to Mark O'Sullivan and Bill Longabaugh).

Nicholas Petreley's latest piece has hit CNN and he's ready to teach the uninitiated how to appreciate Linux. "I recommend you deploy Linux according to the following principle: Don't use Linux as if it were Windows. In other words, make your personal computers a little less personal and centralize whenever possible. This allows you to realize the promise of network computing." (Thanks to John Caulfei\ ld).

This article in Computer Reseller News is about the advantages of open source software in general. "...whether or not you care about Linux, you should care about the open-source movement in general. Customers clearly are looking for more control over their information-technology solutions. Now, more than ever, this choice will extend to software."

This week's OpenLine column in Fairfax IT claims that Microsoft and the free software community are good for each other. "Whether you are an advocate or a company hoping to surf the OpenSource/Free Software wave, Microsoft is your best ally."

Performance Computing has set up a new Linux-IT area containing pointers to their Linux articles. Some old stuff can be found there, along with this lengthy piece on corporate adoption of Linux. "The value of Linux is underscored among IT managers who already have overseen open-source projects using Intel 386, 486, and Pentium machines no longer able run the latest Windows releases at acceptable performance levels. These systems were turned into corporate Web sites, database servers, departmental file and print servers, and intranet firewalls-reliably, securely, and cheaply."

Web Review reviews a set of thin server systems, including a number which run Linux.

TechWeb reported on the VA Research acquisitions in this article. "VA Research Linux Systems, which made itsname selling Linux boxes, has bought two of itscompetitors: Linux Hardware Solutions, in Wilmington, N.C., and Enlightened Solutions, in Atlanta. "

What's your Linux strategy? asks Web Review. "In other news, Al Gore has nearly finished putting together the platform for his Presidential bid. Sources close to the Vice President say he will release it as soon as he wraps up the last details of his Linux strategy."

This brief article (in German) in Heise Online is about a lottery system in Germany. Demand on the system forced a higher-performance upgrade, so they went with Oracle's application server and Linux. English translation available via Babelfish. (Thanks to Johannes Gritsch).

An advice column in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram received a question: "should I use Linux?" Here's their answer: "I'd recommend you using it, but not installing it. That's what your good buddy at work is for. You know who I'm talking about: the four-eyed geek in Information Systems who gives 'socially dysfunctional' a whole new spin."

Linux on laptops will get easier to find, according to this Computer Reseller News article. "Within 30 days, IBM Corp., Armonk, N.Y., plans to increase its support of Linux by shipping a base model ThinkPad notebook for use with the operating system, said Phil Hester, chief technology officer for IBM's Personal Systems Group. 'We plan to ship a base machine without any operating system on it so you could load any form of Linux you want,' he said."

An interview with Grady Booch, one of the proclaimed "fathers of object-oriented programming", touched upon free and open source software. Clearly, it is a concept he is not yet ready to embrace. "``It's a great example of capitalism at play. Red Hat, which has probably not added anything to the semantic nature of Linux, has made a lot of money out of repackaging it. I don't know how long that slave labor will continue.'' He said that giving software away for free couldn't last long and he was ``yet to see any Fortune 1000 company bet a major part of their strategy on Linux''." (Thanks to Stefane Fermigier).

The Raleigh-Durham Triangle Business Journal shows a level of knowledge of Linux probably not always found in the investment world, answering an often-seen question nowadays, how can I invest in Linux? After touching on Corel and Applix, they end up with a tip to watch for a Red Hat IPO in the near future. 'In the meantime, however, the best advice is to find a job at Red Hat or marry someone there. The "friends and family" allocation of the IPO is about the only way that the average investor will get shares of this hot little number.'

SCO's CEO Doug Michels sneers at Linux in this ComputerWorld interview. "Linux is a religion. It's like considering the Catholic Church a competitor. I'm not a religion; I'm a commercial operating system. Companies like Red Hat ... take Linux technology with a lot less value added, and they package it up and say, 'Hey, this is better than SCO.' Well, it isn't. And very few customers are buying that story."

Business week has run a whole set of articles on Linux. Linux takes off, but where is it really going? is a mostly introductory article about the rise of Linux. It is amusing that they point out the fact that Linux "has only half the market share of NT" as a negative - imagine reading those words a year ago. They have interviews with Eric Raymond, and, to get the other side, Microsoft's Ed Muth. Finally, this article discusses the GPL and raises questions about its viability in court.

Red Hat 6.0 Release Coverage:

Red Hat 6.0 was announced Monday. The only piece of real news is that Red Hat has upgraded its bundled installation support up to 30 days of telephone support, rather than the older email based support.

TechWeb has an article on the new Red Hat Linux 6.0 release, along with some comments on the Caldera OpenLinux release. Nothing particularly new. Built on top of the newly-minted Linux 2.2 kernel, the release should fuel the growing momentum behind Durham, N.C.-based Red Hat.

News.com's article on Red Hat Linux 6.0 includes some better details. It mentions rpm 3.0 is included, which promises to do better compatibility checking to make sure installed packages will work and the availability of Kickstart, for automated, customized installations. Erik Troan seems to be the source for the more technical details. Troan said the new kernel improves Linux multiprocessor performance during tasks such as executing scripts to deliver custom Web pages, compiling software, or accessing databases. He said the company sees linear performance improvements going up to four processors, but doesn't have data on eight-processor machines.

Comdex Reports

Information Week has run a general article about events in the Linux world, evidently inspired by Comdex. "The battle of the operating systems took center stage last week."

Byte.com interviews Linus is a nice, chatty piece, with some nostalgia thrown in and overall a good impression of someone who got a taste of what it can be like in the Linux community from the Linux reception at Comdex. "The camaraderie was there. The technical largess was there. What was delightfully missing was hype, marketing mavens, and over-testosteroned sales guys. How refreshing." (Thanks to Andreas Sikkema).

Stephen Adler has put up an extensive writeup of Linus's visit to FNAL and the Comdex experience.

Here's a report on LinuxPower from Comdex in Chicago.

The Edmonton Journal ran a brief article about Comdex. "Microsoft takes up the single largest chunk of floor space at Comdex for its Windows 2000 system. But the densest crowds have flocked to a cluster of booths that feature Linux..."

This Cox News service article demonstrated the reaction of one person to the presence of Linux at Comdex, someone who clearly doesn't know what is different about Linux and free software ..."What I am here to tell you is that other, more powerful companies have made the same boast of crushing Microsoft . . . and have done it with at least as much logic."

Introductory Linux Articles

Even Popular Mechanics has gotten into Linux with this introductory article. "The open source model of computing represents a radically new approach and may very well represent the future of personal computing. How can Microsoft compete with a product that's free and, according to many experts, technically superior? Maybe it can't." (Thanks to Mike McLoughlin).

C|Net has put up Ten Questions About Linux. It's a sort of FAQ for people who know nothing about the system.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet

April 29, 1999


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See also: last week's Announcements page.



Eric Raymond sent us his take on the Mindcraft report.


The folks at Linux Expo asked us to spread the word that this is the last week for preregistration for the event. Festivities start on May 18, should be a good time.

The Challenges of the Network Society is a conference being sponsored by UC Berkeley that will focus on "the questions and anxieties raised by rapid developments in such digital technology as the Internet". Linus Torvalds is one of the featured guest speakers and will be talking on "the danger of big companies controlling the Internet, stifling new technological innovations." The conference is being held Friday, April 30th at UC Berkeley.

Web sites

The Metachart, a hypertext chart that compares Linux and NT, was updated yesterday. (From Linux-Center).

The Open Source Who's Who is now more modem-friendly. Michael Ball sent us this note with updated information on the site, including a mention that their contest has been updated to make it easier to win ...

Another Linux portal site has hit the web, this one can be found at vaxxine.com and claims to be "the start page for Linux professionals."

User Group News

An attempt is being made to start a LUG at Penn State University. See the announcement if you're in that area and would like to join up with fellow Linux folks.

April 29, 1999



Software Announcements

Package Version Description
ACPLT/KS 1.0.5pre8 Open and free communication system for Process Control (Engineering)
ACS 0.1.0 GPL licensed multi-line voice response telephony platform
ALE One hand keyboard 0.3 One hand typing with standard keyboard
Alien 6.33 Converts between the rpm, dpkg, stampede slp, andslackware tgz file formats
Altara netlib 0.3 Asynchronous networking library for Java
Apache::MimeXML 0.02 An Apache MIME Type handler for detecting XML files.
Artistic Style 1.9.1 Indentation and reformatting filters for C, C++, Java
asmail 0.52-1 X-Biff clone for Afterstep
asmon 0.49 Afterstep or Window Maker CPU/Load/Mem/etc Meter
Backburner .90 CD-Rewritable stream fixation and restoration (backup) software.
BANAL 0.09 Book-keeping (and other stuff) for small businesses
Basilisk II 0.5 An attempt at creating a free, portable 68k Mac emulator.
binutils Provides programs to assemble and manipulate binary andobject files.
bk2site 0.6.7 Transforms Netscape bookmark file into yahoo-like website.
Bnetd 0.4.6 Emulates a StarCraft Battle.net server
bookmarker 1.3 WWW based bookmark manager
BootLogo 0.4 A bootmessage generator for Lilo-colors
C-Forge IDE 1.2-2 Multi-user C/C++ integrated development environment
Caitoo 0.6.2 KDE app to get files from the internet
CfgTie 0.3 Perl modules to access system configuration information
CGI::Persistent 0.19 State persistent for CGI scripts in Perl.
ClanLib 1.1.14 The platform independent game SDK.
CMatrix 0.97 Ncurses eye-candy demo like
CMeister 1.0 A new Java based C Development Tool
COAS 1.0 Linux administration system
codd 0.22 Code contribution analysis tool.
colorgcc 1.3.0 Cutomizable Perl wrapper to colorize gcc/g++ messages.
confcollect 0.1 A small utility that posts the systems configuration to an adminostrator through
ConsoleCam 260499 CGI that creates a HTML screenshot from any Linux VC
CSSC 0.11alpha.pl2 SCCS clone
curl 5.7.1 Command line tool for getting data from a URL
demcd 1.1.3 CDPlayer for Linux
Demi-FTPd 1.1 FTP server with Web conf/admin/monitor and plugins
Dharma ODBC SDK 6.2 Linux based ODBC software development kit (SDK)
DHCP with Dynamic DNS 0.16 Dynamically update DNS from dhcpd.leases file
Disc-Cover 0.4 Generate covers for audio cds non-interactively using cddb
DocWiz 0.61 A GUI tool for developing Javadoc documentation
dopewars 1.4.1 Drug dealing game set in New York
DosLinux 80 Small linux distribution that can be installed on a existing Dos/Win95/98 system
Downloader for X 0.93-BETA Downloads files from the Internet via both FTP and HTTP
Drall 0.10.5 Allows users to access their directories and files remotely via a web browser
E*Reminders 0.86 Web-based reminder software
eMusic DR0.9 CD, mp3, mod and wav player for Linux
Eraserhead RPG 0.0.6 RPG/II, RPG/III Compiler
Eterm 0.8.9 An X11 VT102 emulator with Enlightenment features
Etherboot 4.1pre10 Source code for making TCP/IP boot ROMs to boot Linux and other OSes
fastjar 0.75 Fast jar file creator written in C
ffingerd 1.20 Secure finger daemon for Unix
Fiasco 0.6 L4-compatible real-time microkernel capable of running Linux in usermode
fileutils 4.0g The GNU file management utilities
FLTK 1.0.2 C++ user interface toolkit for X and OpenGL
flwm 0.23 The Fast Light Window Manager
FocalMail 1.2.5 Web based email interface which allows you to manage your mail
FreeMarker 1.4.3 HTML templating system for Java servlets
FvwmKb 0.2 Fvwm module for comfortable work with several keyboard layouts
fwconfig 1.2 Firewall configuration Utility
GCD 1.9 A cd-player with a gtk+ interface
Gdchart module 0.2a A perl port of an excellent graphing package.
GeneWeb 2.01 A combo web interface and genealogy program combined on steroids
Genius 0.3.2 An arbitrary precision integer and multiple precision floatingpoint calculator
Genpage GenPage 1.0b3 Provides framework for separating content management from layout design
gensig 2.0 Random signature/tagline generator
gentoo 0.11.5 Two-pane filemanager using GTK+, 100% GUI configurable
gEyes 0.05 Gnome clone of xeyes
gfcc 0.5.1 GTK+ firewall (ipchains)
GHX 2.89 GTK clone of the Hotline software
gifc 3.0 The GIF compiler
GIMP Imagemap plug-in 0.7 GIMP plug-in for creation of clickable imagemaps.
Giram 0.0.15 Giram is a modeller, written in GTK+
gnlogin 1.1 A GTK interface to ncpmount.
gnome-python 1.0.2 Python interfaces to gnome-libs
gnujake alpha Facilitates management of and linking between eresources for librarians.
Gnumeric 0.25 Spreadsheet, a new foundation for spreadsheet development, part of GNOME
GQ 0.2.0 GTK LDAP client
gred 0.5.1 A small, easy to use terminal-based text editor for Unix.
GREED 0.7 A utility that can get and resume files from a web site.
Grip 1.9 A gtk-based frontend for CD-rippers
Gtk See 0.3.0 An image viewer based on the X-Window system and GTK+
GtkAlarm 0.1.0 Gtk app that executes a command at a specified time.
gtkmail 0.1.0 gtk-- mail client
GtkSheet 7.3 A matrix/grid widget for Gtk+
GTKWave 1.1.7 Wave viewer for Verilog simulation
GTKYahoo 0.12 GTK based Yahoo! Pager client
Gtuner 0.3 A highly configurable gtk based radio tuner
hotmole 0.92 Bash script to download and forward a user's Hotmail email as a batch job
HSX 99/04/26 Hotline Server clone for Unix
ht://Dig 3.1.2 Complete world wide web indexing and searching system
htnews 0.6.2 Email robot for adding news items to a webpage.
IceDJ 0.9.6 MP3 streaming and radio station managment suite written in Perl
IcePref 0.6 A graphical configuration tool for Ice WM written with PyGTK
ImageMagick 4.2.3 Package for display and interactivemanipulation of images for X11
instmon 1.5 Monitors installations and detects the files that were added or modified
interstar 0.82 Browser based/javascript game
iODBC Driver Manager and SDK iODBC Driver Manager v2.50.2 Cross Platform ODBC Driver Manager
ipchains 1.3.9-pre4 Linux packet filter control utility (replaces ipfwadm for kernels 2.1.102+).
iplog 1.8 tcp, udp, and icmp logging utilities for Linux.
IPSC 0.1 IP subnet calculator (GNOME/CLI)
irssi 0.7.9 GTK+ based IRC client with GNOME panel support
ITISSL 0.0.2 A Java 2 implementation of Sun' SSL Reference API based on SSLeay/OpenSSL
jEdit 1.6pre3 Powerful text editor
Jetty 2.1.7 HTTP/1.1 Servlet server written in Java
JMap 1.0 Creates HTML image map source
jPOS 0.8 100% java ISO-8583 / ANSI X9.2 implementation
kAPM 0.11 An APM-BIOS monitor for the KDE desktop.
KBiff 2.3.5 New mail notification utility for KDE
KBlade 0.0.6 KBlade is a frontend to BladeEnc (mp3 encoder) for KDE
KDE Powerful graphical desktop environment for Unix workstations.
kgui 0.1 Yet another KDE GUI Builder
killpppd 0.0.1 Brings down pppd from non-root login
Kinstall 0.2 Program installator from source
KJukeBox 0.1.12 KJukeBox is an MP3 Player which can handle big MP3 archives
kmikmod 2.04 Multithreaded module player for KDE
knetmon 0.99pre3 KDE-aware X frontend for many network tools, especially samba
KNewMail 3.1a1 KDE application designed to check multiple pop3 servers for email.
kng 0.1 A News Grabber for KDE and Linux
kpl 0.1 Program for two-dimensional graphical presentation of data sets and functions.
Kppp 1.6.10 KDE dialer and front end for pppd
Krio 0.19990424 A graphical interface to your Diamond Rio
krossword 0.6 Program for crosswords
kstock 1.0 BETA 2 Grabs market information from webservers and displays a scroll text
KVoiceControl 0.17 Speech recognition system for the KDE Desktop
kwintv 0.71 Watch TV in a window on your PC screen
LAGII 0.0.8 Linux AGI Interpreter
less 340
libtcp++ 0.0.2 C++ class library to create TCP/IP clients/servers
Licq 0.70b Advanced graphical ICQ clone and more for Unix
Light Speed! 1.2 An interactive relativistic simulator
linbar 0.4 Driver for serial barcode readers
Linux Snipes 0.9.1 Text-based maze game based on an old DOS game.
Linux Wireless LAN Project 0.2.6 A driver and utility set for 802.11 standard wireless networking.
Linux-Kontor Build 12 A free Commodities, Bookkeeping, Accountancy and Inventory Management software
Linuxconf 1.15 Sophisticated administrative tool
lm_sensors 2.3.0 LM78 and LM75 drivers
lpe 1.2.0 Small, fast console mode programming editor
LPRng 3.5.4 The Next Generation of LPR
Lua-Linux 1.0 Lua Language Interpreter 3.1, Linux-optimized, Distribution Version 0.9
Lynx 2.8.2dev25 fully-featured, text-based World Wide Web browser
Mahogany 0.21a Powerful, user-friendly, scriptable mail/news client
MARS 1.3 Java-based network services status monitor
mcrypt 2.1.16 A replacement for the old unix crypt(1). Uses several block algorithms.
Melange Chat Server 1.10 Chat server written in C including a Java-client
memwatch 2.57 Memory leak/corruption detection, ANSI-C source code with test program.
Messenger 0.0.2 A tool to read the memory of an USR Message Modem
MGA 0.1 Masquerading Gateway Administation script
mktclapp 2.0 Mix C/C++ with Tcl/Tk to build a standalone program
MM 1.0.2 Shared Memory Library
mmusic 0.8.7 Database Frontend to handle large music collections
moodss 6.7 Modular Object Oriented Dynamic SpreadSheet
Mordor MUD 4.61 Multi-user text based Internet Game Server
mrtg 2.7.4b Multi Router Traffic Grapher
msr 2.2.6 Access the machine specific registers of a x86 cpu
MSWordView 0.5.8 Microsoft Word 8 document viewer
mtools 3.9.5
muLinux 5.7 A tiny implementation of Linux, which can reside on a single floppy
Mutt 0.95.5 Small but very powerful text-based mail client for Unix operatingsystems
Mystic Arena III 3.0 Play-By-e-Mail (PBeM) game
n2m 0.0.4 News to unix mailbox fetcher
Nano-X 0.1 Tiny X replacement for Linux based palmtops and POS units
Nessus alpha 2-fix4 A free, open-sourced and easy-to-use security auditing tool
NEStra 0.61 Dynamic-Recompiling NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) emulator
net-tools 1.52 Programs that form the base set of the NET-3 networking distribution
Net::RawIP 0.06d Perl module for easy manipulation of raw IP packets directly from Perl
nettest 1.1 Notifies you if your network connection goes down audibly or through email
Nightfall 0.12 Eclipsing binary star program
NumPres 0.0.2 Caller ID program
Panorama 0.11.1 Framework for creating, rendering, and processingthree-dimensional images
pavuk 0.9pl10 Webgrabber with an optional Xt or GTK GUI
perlitil 0.0.1 incident control based on itil.
pi-address 0.3.0 X11 based Address Manager for Palm Pilot Address DB
PIKT 1.3.1 An innovative new systems administration paradigm
Pingo 0.1.4 C++ class library and framework for X-Windows with MOTIF look-and-feel.
Pliant 18 Efficient and extendable programming language
pop3check 0.11 simple program checks a pop3 server to see if you have new mail
proxy 1.1 Simple Proxy Server
PSXDEV 1.0 A free GPL'd development environment for thePlayStation
PyGTK 0.6.0 A set of bindings for the GTK widget set
Q2sdb 0.4 Quake 2 Server Database with client/server query mechanism.
Qpopper 3.0b15 POP3 server
QuIRC 0.9.73 X IRC client written in C++ with full Tcl/Tk scripting.
Raychase 2.05 Random Recursive Raytracer, automagically creates cool images on desktop
Red Hat Linux 6.0 The Red Hat Official Linux distribution
RPM 3.0 Red Hat's package management system
rtfeeder 0.3 Converts rtf files to html files.
RTFilter 0.01 Realtime audio filtering using a full duplex soundcard
Sandmail 0.0011 GTK+ based mime-compliant user mail agent
Sarien Play Sierra AGI version 2 and version 3 games like Kings Quest and Space Quest.
SClient 0.5.2 Mud Client for X windows
ScryMUD 1.8.13 Original MUD Server and Java Client
Setedit 0.4.25 An editor for C/C++ programmers with a nice text interface.
sh-utils 1.16g GNU shell programming utilities
Shadow 19990307 Shadow password file utilities
shtool 1.1.0 Shell Script Collection
Siag Office 3.1.12 Free office package for Unix
sig_rotate.pl 1.1 A perl script that rotates signature files for you.
Sketch 0.5.5 Vector drawing program, implemented in python
SLRN An NNTP based newsreader for Unix, VMS, and OS/2 systems
SpaceThing 0.0.1 Internet space life simulator
SPLAT 0.1a Stampede Package Listing and Administration Tool
Squeak 2.4 New OpenSource, open research, super-portable, Smalltalk-80-based language.
Staticky.com DynDNS 1.1 Client for staticky.com's free Dynamic DNS service
strace 3.99 System call tracing utility (like trace, truss, etc)
Swift Generator 0.6.3 Dynamic Flash content generator.
syslog-ng 1.1.9 A portable syslogd replacement with enhanced, flexible configuration scheme.
TCL Developer Studio 0.25 (1.0 pre 3) small
tcpgate 0.0.2 TCP Proxy/Gateway Daemon
Terraform 0.2.11 Interactive digital terrain (height field) editor/viewer
texprL3 0.0a use TeX to print texts in ISO-Latin-3 character set
textutils 1.22j GNU text file processing utilities
The Linux Image Montage Project pre-808 Linux Image Montage Project Preview Release
TiMidity++ 2.0.2 Experimental MIDI to WAVE converter
TkSETI 1.23 A GUI for automated control of the SETI@Home client for UNIX.
Tmp-audit 0.4 Logs directory changes.
Trf 1.6 Filtering channels for Tcl, MAC, Encryption, Error correction, various encodings
UdmSearch 2.0 Fast WWW search engine for your site
Universe 0.11.1 Space Strategy game
Unix Desktop Environment 0.2.1-BETA A new GUI for Unix with a completely new look'n'feel
V-Server 1.1c-p2 V-Server calculates/manages the internetcosts/-link
VDK 0.6 Easy to use C++ wrapper for Gtk++
vile 8.3 Extensible vi-like editor w/ optional X window and win32 support
ViMmail 0.0.1 A simple and fast mail viewer for Motif
VMWare Build 135 Allows you to run multiple OSs at the same time
vtun 1.4 Virtual Tunnels over TCP/IP networks.
watchdog 4.5 A software watchdog
WebCal 1.1 A simple browser based calendar program.
WebDiary/ViewMaker 1.3 http://dante.urbanet.ch/~patrick/programm/viewMaker/
WebEvent 3.1b8 WebEvent is web calendar software for your web site.
WebMacro Servlet Framework 0.85.2 Java server-side web template engine and servletdevelopment framework
Window Maker 0.53.0 X11 window manager with NEXTSTEP look and feel
Wine 990426 Emulator of the Windows 3.x and Win32 APIs.
wmsensors 1.0.2 wmsensors draws graphs of data from your sensor chips
wmtv 0.6.5 WindowMaker TV dock.app
xap 0.7.2 X application panel and simple file manager
xCode 0.1 Virtual Machine and Application Extension System w/ Optimized Network Streaming
Xfiles 1.3.1 Xfiles file tree synchronization and cross-validation
Xfstt 0.9.99 X11 Font Server for TT fonts
XKeyCaps 2.44 A graphical front-end to xmodmap.
xmp 2.0.0dev43a A multi-format module player for UNIX
XQF QuakeWorld/Quake2 server browser and launcher for Linux/X11
XScreenSaver 3.10 Modular screen saver and locker for the X WindowSystem
xterm Patch #98 A terminal emulator for the X Window System
Xvidmode 0.0.19990419 Get/set X video modes
Yiff! for X11 0.2 A foxy puzzle game
ZNibbles 0.0.5 Networked multiplayer nibbles/snake game for X11/Motif
Zut 1.3 Easy and fast graphical back-end

Our software announcements are provided courtesy of FreshMeat


 Main page
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See also: last week's Back page page.

Linux links of the week

LinuxArtist.org is a site with the goal of encouraging and supporting artists and graphic artists who want to learn about and use Linux. Since many artists are non-technical and may be intimidated by Linux, this site offers more assistance, links to related sites, and more, all tailored to artists.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet

April 29, 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: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 15:15:23 +0100 (GMT)
From: dev@cegelecproj.co.uk
Subject: Possible RedHat IPO
To: lwn@lwn.net

Amidst talk about a possible RedHat IPO, and hints on how to get a
slice of the action, I hate to sound a note of caution, but ...

It is almost inevitable that RedHat stock would almost immediately
become seriously overvalued, as happened when Netscape floated. There
will be high tech stock dealers out there who want to get a slice of
this new market sector while it's still small, expecting massive
growth over the next few years. This is looking at a free software
based company in completely the wrong way.

Those of the older ones of us will remember that a few months ago Bob
Young's stated ambition was not for RedHat to grow to the size of
Microsoft, rather for Microsoft to shrink to the size of RedHat. This,
he asserted, was desirable so that the software business could never
again be dominated by a single corporation, and he further said that
it was a Very Good Thing for there to be multiple GNU/Linux
distributions so that all the players had to stay honest.

RedHat is not, and should never become, a high margin business. The
high margins which drive Microsoft's revenues, and whose anticipation
drove Netscape's stock to such high levels, are pure anathema to the
principle of Free Software. The whole point of using GNU/linux is that
you *don't* have to shell out further money when you add more machines
to your network. This absence of a RedHat tax, and the absence of the
possibility of a RedHat tax means that business growth for RedHat will
come from elsewhere.

RedHat will continue to grow by offering support, training,
handholding and other labour and skills intensive services to its
customers. RedHat Labs will probably also be contracted by hardware
makers to ensure that Free Software runs on their hardware. While
these are excellent business areas to be in they will generate normal
and decent profit margins rather than excessive and indecent profit
margins. Further, with the likes of HP and IBM competing in these some
of these areas there won't be a particular opportunity for RedHat to
charge much of a premium over small startup companies.

#include <disclaimer>
// The following is my personal opinion. I am not qualified to give
// advice on stocks and shares. You are entirely responsible for your
// own buying and selling decisions, etc ...

I would steer well clear of early stock offerings in companies based
in the free software business. It is likely that Men in Suits who
don't understand Free Software will go on a mad buying frenzy wanting
to get in at the ground floor of the latest new high technology
sector. There are already Internet based stocks which, IMHO, are
massively overvalued, and early offerings of Free Software based
stocks are likely to go the same way.

Dunstan Vavasour

Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 11:54:47 -0400 (EDT)
To: flux@microsoft.com, kragen-tol@kragen.dnaco.net, editor@lwn.net,
Subject: Re: Is Free Software Worth the Cost?
From: kragen@pobox.com (Kragen Sitaker)

(This is in response to your article at

You write:
> While free distribution is a great marketing tool (think about all
> those samples you get in the mail), what does it say about the product
> itself? Frankly, it says that the product (or the effort that went into
> making the product) has no value. Is that what you software engineers
> out there want?

I suppose that means your article has no value, because I got it for
free.  And books I borrow from the library.  And movies my friends lend
me.  Right?  Maybe if my friends want me to appreciate how valuable
their movies are, they should start charging me for borrowing them.  ;)

> If, however, you gave away all software, how would you pay the
> creators of that software? You destroy the subtle motives that only
> cash can motives such as food on the table, a warm place to sleep, and
> so forth.

I'm sure this is news to the folks who work at Cygnus; they might be
surprised to discover that their lucrative support contracts for the
free software they write don't pay them anything, according to you.  ;)

> Ironically, these folks are sowing the seeds of their own
> destruction. If they actually succeed in making software free, no one
> will be willing to employ them to create a product with no value.

Most software development is bespoke, and always has been.  Bespoke
software can be free (to make copies and modifications) without
making its production more financially difficult.

> Soon, students will stop studying software development in college
> since there won't be a way to make a career out of it. All those young,
> eager students will have to turn to something less respectable, like
> studying law.

The job market for programmers might shrink, but there's nothing wrong
with that.  But professional programmers won't have to spend all their
time reinventing the wheel, only to have their work discarded in a year
or two.  (How many different word processors have been written?  How
many are in use today?)  They'll have to spend their time creating
things that are actually useful to society.  

I suspect there will be plenty of jobs to go around. Indeed, since the
large body of free software greatly enhances every programmer's
productivity, it is likely that projects that are currently
economically infeasible will become feasible, greatly expanding the job
market for programmers.

The whole shrink-wrapped software swindle has been a great thing for a
few programmers -- while it lasted.  But it's not going to last much

> A product that is copylefted is copyrighted, but can be modified by
> anyone as long as they don't charge for their contributions. The source
> code for the new changes must be made available for others to see and
> learn from.

This is factually incorrect.  You are certainly allowed to charge for
your contributions; indeed, the GNAT project is supported by doing just
that.  You are just not allowed to prohibit other people from making
and giving away copies of those contributions.

The source code for the new changes need only be made available to
those people you give the changes themselves to.  If you don't make the
changes available, you don't need to make the source code available

> If intellectual property isn't property, then just what is property? 

As anyone who has taken an IP course in law school knows, intellectual
property has not been property for centuries.  The last time
intellectual property was property in England was in the 1700s, when it
was used to support publishers and censorship.

> I'm not saying that Stallman is anticapitalist, I'm saying the whole
> free software movement is.

That's absurd.  What about Cygnus, Digital, HP, Intel, Crynwr, WebTV,
Red Hat, SuSe, Sun, Cisco, and IBM?  They all give significant support
to the free software movement -- indeed, many of them are supported
entirely by free software.  Are you saying they are anticapitalist?

> Giving away software is a great marketing tool. It's hard to compete
> if your competition is free. That's something that a number of
> companies have discovered. Now it's Microsoft's turn with Windows NT
> versus Linux.

Microsoft has been losing to Linux with Windows NT for years.  Now it's
Microsoft's turn with Windows 98 versus Linux and KDE, and Office
versus KOffice and friends.

> I just want the folks who write that software to be and paid for
> writing it. That is the proper model for the industry.  So the next
> time you think about using some free software, consider its cost to the
> software industry.

If the software industry can be outcompeted by students in their spare
time, what good is it?  Let it die.  People will keep writing software
for sure.

I suspect that a new software industry will be created, though -- one
that actually performs useful work and innovation instead of rehashing
the same 1960s OS architecture and networked hypertext, 1970s
user-interface work and word processor, and 1980s spreadsheet over and
over again.

<kragen@pobox.com>       Kragen Sitaker     <http://www.pobox.com/~kragen/>
TurboLinux is outselling NT in Japan's retail software market 10 to 1,
so I hear. 
-- http://www.performancecomputing.com/opinions/unixriot/981218.shtml

From: Brian Hurt <brianh@bit3.com>
To: "'editor@lwn.net'" <editor@lwn.net>
Subject: In defense of the benchmark people
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 10:04:09 -0500

The MindCraft survey is a wonderful argument as to _why_ Oracle and
TPC set up the rules as they did.  Even a legitimate, known benchmark,
like TPC-D or SpecMark, can be skewed in favor of one or the other
participant.  Oracle want's to make sure that if it's DB is benchmarked,
that you don't "pull a MindCraft".  TPC wants to make sure that it's
benchmarks are done fairly, allowing people to have some confidence
in TPC numbers when they're seen.

I don't speak for Bit 3.

Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 11:50:50 -0400
From: "Ambrose Li [EDP]" <acli@mingpaoxpress.com>
To: editor@lwn.net
Subject: smbfs idle timeout


this weeks' news reported a "new" smbfs idle timeout problem that
has "cropped up recently". This is not true.

This idle timeout problem has existed since 2.0, but under 2.2,
the kernel's behaviour w.r.t. idle timeouts has changed.

Under 2.0, after the idle timeout has happened, the mounted share
dies, and we can use smbumount to unmount the share, use smbmount
to remount it, and all is A-OK. Most of the time, at least, anyway.
Sometimes that doesn't work and we eventually hang the kernel,
requiring a reboot.

Under 2.2, after the idle timeout has happened, the mounted share
dies, and smbumount generates an I/O error when one attempts to
unmount. The umount fails, and we are stuck because we can't
remount the thing. Even though the kernel didn't hang, we have to
reboot the machine.

The moral is, never use smbfs on a live, production server :)

(I remember working on a problem two years ago involving the use
of both smbfs and ncpfs, around the time when 2.0 comes out. Both
smbfs and ncpfs were not very stable; they still aren't.)

Ambrose C. Li / +1 416 321 0088 / Ming Pao Newspapers (Canada) Ltd.
EDP department / All views expressed here are my own; they may or
may not represent the views of my employer or my colleagues.
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 13:24:05 -0700
From: Kirk Petersen <kirk@speakeasy.org>
To: pr@rational.com
Subject: booch's comments on free software/opensource
X-Mailer: Mutt 0.93.2i


I just read an article
(http://www.it.fairfax.com.au/990427/software/software1.html) with
some comments by Grady Booch regarding free and opensource software.
I was hoping that someone with as much knowledge about designing
software as he has would be able to talk more effectively about free

In the article, he is quoted as saying that Red Hat adds nothing to
Linux and that they are essentially using "slave labor."  This
indicates that he doesn't know how much work Red Hat is paying for in
the areas of desktop environments (both GNOME and KDE), installation,
and high-end kernel development (David S. Miller, Alan Cox, Stephen
Tweedie, Ingo Molnar - essentially all the big name kernel programmers
outside Linus Torvalds - are all working for Red Hat).

It also indicates that he doesn't understand that Red Hat charges
nothing for the software they ship - they charge for the media (both
CDs and books) and technical support.  When I used Red Hat, I
generally bought it from a place called CheapBytes, who charges $1.99
for the CD.  This is the flexibility of the free software world -
manuals, media, support, etc. are all separate and custom ordered.

He also asks "Where are the tools?"  If he means that Linux doesn't
have a visual modelling software package, then the best people to fix
that problem is Grady Booch and Rational Software.  As far as I'm
concerned (I currently do Java GUI and database programming, moving to
a Linux programming job) Linux development tools are generally
superior to Windows development tools.

Finally, I have an issue with the statement that he has "yet to see
any Fortune 1000 company bet a major part of their strategy on Linux."
I'd just like to ask what should be considered major?

Since I couldn't find Grady Booch's email address, I'm sending this to
the PR department, hoping that it will reach him or that the PR
department will realize that he doesn't help Rational Software by
speaking incorrectly of essentially non-competitive products.

Kirk Petersen

----- End forwarded message -----

Kirk Petersen
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 07:46:09 -0700 (PDT)
From: Bill Bond <wmbond@yahoo.com>
Subject: Cool Idea!
To: lwn@lwn.net

Given the recent flak surrounding linux.de's
"Where Do You Want To Go Tommorrow" I request
you post the following idea for use within
the Linux community (royalty free of course):

"No gates, no windows ... it open!"

Bill Bond

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