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Leading items

There were a few interesting developments around the business of Linux this week. Here's an overview:

  • The new Netscape/Sun alliance has made it known that the new version of the Netscape Application Server, due out this fall, will not run on Linux. Remember that, a few months ago, Netscape was saying that Linux would be a "top tier" platform. So this is a fairly large change in tune.

    Some Linux users (or potential users) will certainly not be pleased about the lack of availability of the application server. Many others will point out that Linux does not lack for application server products, including at least two top-quality free ones (Zope and Midgard).

    It is, an any case interesting to ponder on the reasons for the about-face. Certainly a Linux port can not be a hard thing to do - though the costs of testing and support for a new platform are never that small. Also relevant here are the reports that Sun has been pushing IBM to include Solaris on all of their Netfinity server systems. Could it be that Sun, while presenting a "we think Linux is great" face to the world, is more worried about Linux than it is letting on?

  • IBM and VA Linux Systems have both jumped into the support arena. IBM will offer 90-day support with its Netfinity servers, and will have broader support offerings as well. VA will be selling support contracts with its systems, including extensive, 24x7 plans. The support business is starting to get crowded, clearly a lot of people see money to be made there. It is not clear that these fortunes have yet materialized for anybody; Linux early adoptors tend to be a fairly self-reliant bunch. That may well change, though, as the Linux user base expands.

  • Motorola's Computing Group has set up its own Linux page. Therein they state: "MCG is excited about the rapidly increasing role Linux is playing in the embedded computing and network server worlds. We are looking forward to offering our customers a low-cost, powerful UNIX operating system that can be used as a foundation for their product solutions." The site is just beginning to get off the ground; currently it includes patches for people running Linux on Motorola systems, support for "hot swap" PCI, some HOWTO information, and a forum area.

    Motorola, of course, is a major force in the embedded computing world. Their support can only help to bring about an already likely outcome: a very large role for Linux in embedded systems.

Microsoft is right, claims Eric Raymond, at least when it comes to AOL's Instant Messenger protocols. In this particular area, where AOL holds the cards, Microsoft has developed a sudden interest in open standards and protocols. Eric predicts that they will win this particular battle, and that everybody should benefit from that victory.

A Transmeta processor in the new Amiga? Rumors are easily started, but this one might just have some reality. It seems that, at last weekend's "World of Amiga" conference, a slide went up showing the logos of the companies working on the new system. On that list was ever-mysterious Transmeta. Thus starts the rumor that the new Amigas will use the processor that Transmeta is rumored to be creating.

It would be fun to watch things play out that way. The end result could be the resurrection of an old favorite platform, based on a blazingly fast and inexpensive chip, all running Linux, but having no trouble with Windows applications. Such a system might just achieve some success. If that's what is really going on.

For some "wild speculation" on what could be happening, see this posting on Deja.com. Then consider this followup by Jim Collas, president of Amiga. Maybe the speculation isn't so wild after all.

Meanwhile, it has also been announced that Corel's products will be supported on the Amiga. A lot of interesting pieces appear to be coming together here.

Problems with Red Hat's community stock offering. It seems that simply getting "the letter" from Red Hat is not sufficient for those who wish to buy their stock at the IPO price. Before being part of the IPO, it is necessary to get through a web-based test on E*Trade. It would appear that quite a few people are being told that they are not eligible to participate in the IPO. Needless to say, this is creating a fair amount of frustration, especially among those who opened E*Trade accounts for the sole purpose of buying this stock.

It's not clear where the problem is. According to some, the difficulty is SEC regulations which are intended to keep novice investors from getting burned. Others put the blame firmly on E*Trade's shoulders. And some have gotten annoyed with Red Hat, though there doesn't seem to be any reason to blame them.

For those who have not yet gone through the process, the key to eligibility seems to be to appear to be a long-time, seasoned investor. Those who are interested in more information may want to wade through this Slashdot topic.

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July 29, 1999


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See also: last week's Security page.



The Security and Freedom Through Encryption Act is drawing more publicity as the likelihood of its passage increases. This ZDnet/PCWeek/Smart Reseller article predicts victory and talks about the consequences. "Despite the lack of domestic restrictions, developers have segregated encryption features into specialized packages to keep their big-ticket products easily exportable. With this disincentive removed, expect near-ubiquitous adoption of user-friendly encryption in e-mail clients, office suites and other common software packages."

Linux masquerading is the topic of this Byte.com article. "Firewalls can be implemented with varying levels of security. With Linux you can implement as much, or as little, security as you need because there is a very wide range of firewall software available."

Security Reports

DeleGate, a "multi-protocol proxy daemon", was reported to contain a couple of security problems. An unofficial patch to correct these was provided by Kojima Hajime.

Red Hat 6.0 when installed with the Squid web proxy/cache server, contains a cgi script that can be used remotely either for port scanning or as a denial of service tool. A confirmation of the problem came from Henrik Nordstrom, who suggested that squid be removed, if it is not in use, or provided suggestions for minimally securing the cgi script, otherwise.


A couple of IP-chain related reports have come in to the Bugtraq mailing list this week. The first, a report from Andrej Todosic on a specific setup of a Linux firewall, with ipchains and Nat, which can be vulnerable to a kernel panic triggered remotely with a "ping -R". A similar problem was reported with FreeBSD.

In addition, an advisory from data protect details a potential vulnerability in the Linux 2.2.10 ipchains firewall implementation. It is a variation on fragmentation attacks and a patch to resolve the problem is included.

Last week's release of Samba 2.0.5, announced on our development page, contains fixes for three security holes, as noted on Bugtraq. The problems were found as a result of an audit done on Samba for Caldera by Olaf Kirch.

Not too surprisingly, updated Samba packages for Red Hat are now available as are Caldera updates and Mandrake updates. The Caldera advisory contains more details on the actual security problems, which include a potential denial of service problem against nmbd and a buffer overflow in smbd.

Red Hat has issued updated Gnumeric packages, details in the announcement. Gnumeric 0.23 is the default version shipped with Red Hat 6.0, but at the request of the Gnumeric maintainers, Red Hat has now made available packages for gnumeric 0.27, which addresses security problems in the older version of gnumeric. No details on the reported security problems were provided.


Job postings for security profesionals now have a new mailing list to which they can be posted: SecurityJobs. Hosted by Security Focus, both job openings, resumes and related postings for security professionals are allowed.

The public Beta of L0pht's AntiSniff software has been released. It is a monitoring tool, designed to detect the patterns of early attempts to compromise a system or network. The public beta is currently only for NT, although a Unix command-line version has been promised. Meanwhile, the release of the Beta has generated some activity and even development of sniffers not vulnerable to AntiSniff. That should provide some good feedback to L0pht on ways to improve their program.


The Toor Con '99 conference in San Diego, September 3rd and 4th, 1999, has a new way to pay in advance, cutting the price from $35 to $25 and including preferred seating for the lectures and a free raffle ticket.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

July 29, 1999

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See also: last week's Kernel page.

Kernel development

The current kernel releases remain 2.2.10 (stable) and 2.3.11 (development), there have been no kernel releases over the last week. It has been a slow week for kernel development in general, with both Linus and Alan Cox mostly out of the picture.

There is a pre-patch available for 2.3.12. It looks large, but that is mostly due to moving the parallel port drivers around in the hierarchy. It contains some USB work, a number of file system tweaks, and, interestingly, Stephen Tweedie's Raw I/O patches.

The Raw I/O code is an interesting addition. Linus has been opposed to raw I/O (I/O to disks and other block devices that bypasses the buffer cache) in the past. Stephen has found a way to implement raw I/O that has passed the test, however, and we should be seeing it in 2.3.12.

Stephen's approach is different from that seen in other Unix systems. In Solaris, for example, a disk partition might have a name like /dev/dsk/c0t0d1s0; for each such partition there automatically exists a /dev/rdsk/c0t0d1s0 which provides raw access. Under the Linux scheme, instead, no raw access exists by default. A system administrator who wishes to allow raw access to a specific device will run a helper program to set it up. Details on how it works can be found in this note from Stephen; it looks like good stuff.

Scheduling of idle CPU time. Anybody running some sort of idle-time cranker - such as a DES cracker or the SETI code - will have noticed that the task always manages to get a bit of CPU time. This happens even when the process has been maximally niced, and when there are other processes needing the CPU. Wouldn't it be nice if such processes could be completely blocked from the processor when other things are running?

It turns out that Rik van Riel has had a patch around for a while which implements a new scheduling class, SCHED_IDLE. Processes in this class get to run only if there truly is nothing else to do. This patch hasn't made it into the mainline kernel for one very good reason: it opens up the possibility of completely locking up the system.

Imagine a SCHED_IDLE task which happily cranks along for a while, and which gains a hold on some sort of crucial system resource. Something like all available virtual memory, or a lock on an important file. Then a higher-priority CPU-bound cranker comes along. The SCHED_IDLE process is now completely locked out - it can not run to release the resources it has grabbed. As it turns out, it can't even be killed, since signals do not get delivered until a process tries to do something. The result can be a locked up system; it is an open invitation to denial-of-service attacks.

The generic term for this sort of problem is "priority inversion," and it crops up in a lot of situations. Priority inversion can be addressed by raising the priority of processes when they obtain important resources. Putting in priority adjustments throughout the kernel would be a daunting task, however; more than is probably worthwhile for this particular feature.

In the end, Rik released a patch which tries to address the concerns in a realistic way. The SCHED_IDLE class gets created, but it is disabled by default. The system administrator must enable the class with a sysctl call before any process can make use of it. That and a couple of other scheduler tweaks should make SCHED_IDLE "safe enough" for many uses.

Other patches and updates released this week:

  • Kernel Debugger 0.5 has been released by SGI; this patch allows a developer to dig around inside a running system. It is probably destined to remain forever a patch, since Linus is opposed to kernel debuggers...but it will be a highly useful patch for many.

  • Along similar lines, Kerim Yaghmour released the Linux trace toolkit. This patch allows the generation of detailed logs of every action the kernel performs.

  • Richard Gooch released the perennial devfs patch.

  • Ingo Molnar put out a patch to reduce latency through a number of kernel paths. The immediate goal is to fix sound skipping problems experienced by some users, but this work should lead to a more responsive system in general.

  • Alex Buell put out version 1.1 of the Framebuffer HOWTO.

  • RAID patch 1999.07.24 has been released. This is mostly a bugfix release.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet

July 29, 1999

For other kernel news, see:


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See also: last week's Distributions page.



If Y2K issues are on your mind, you might want to check out Caldera's Y2K statement, which was apparently updated earlier this month. Of course, you might not ... like many pseudo legalese documents, it talks a whole lot without saying much. "While the Caldera Systems Year 2000 Statements are believed to be accurate and are provided in good faith, such Year 2000 Statements and the accuracy thereof are not guaranteed. No Year 2000 Statement of Caldera Systems constitutes a warranty, promise or contractual commitment by Caldera Systems or an amendment to or alteration of any warranty, promise or contract. "

Conectiva Linux

The Brazilian event, Fenasoft '99, is over, but reports back from the show are promising for Conectiva Linux. This report provides more details. We hear that booth space for Linux at the show increased from 10 square meters last year to 300 square meters this year. [Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann for the tip and his translation services.]

The latest version of Conectiva Linux was launched at the show as well.


The Debian Weekly News was not published this week. Next week's issue will cover the two week period. Note that they are looking for substitute editors to prevent such outages in the future.

The Associated Press put out a couple of press releases that mentioned Debian in association with the LinuxTag in Kaiserslautern. The press releases were in German, so Debian has made available some short, english summaries.

The Debian mirror systems got a bit out of sync after July 20th, when master stopped pushing updates out, according to this note. Presumably the problem has now been fixed.

Debian Gnu/Linux 2.2 Unleashed is apparently schedule for release in September, which is somewhat amusing, given that Debian 2.2 hasn't been frozen yet and a release date is not yet known. In addition, it mentions that CD-ROMs containing Debian 2.2 will be included with the book ...

There is another Debian book in the works as well: Debian GNU/Linux; A Guide to Installation and Usage by John Goerzen and Ossama Othman should be published any day now. It can be preordered via its Amazon.com listing.


Linux-Mandrake has announced a set of updates to their 6.0 distribution. One of them - the Samba update - includes some security fixes.

Here's another set of Linux-Mandrake updates, including a security fix to Apache.

Red Hat

Red Hat's website has gone through another make-over. Gone is the Slashdot, Freshmeat and Linux Weekly News content. Back is a format more focused on Red Hat itself. The news content is still available, but no longer provided on the front page. Meanwhile, it is interesting to note that they credit Google for the site's search engine.

Red Hat released an updated Enlightment package, which corrects problems which prevent the Oracle8i installer (and possibly other Java applications) from running correctly. Check their announcement for more details.


A review of Slackware 4.0 was done by William Henning, at CPUReview. "Slackware 4.0 is a good, solid Linux implementation, and I like it, but it is in sore need of some further upgrades in order to make it more appealing to new users."


Here is SuSE' s press release describing the upcoming SuSE 6.2 release, which will be unveiled at LinuxWorld. 6.2 will (finally) support PAM authentication and will also include a time-limited version of VMWare.

SuSE's announcement of the availability of SuSE 6.1 for Alpha processors came out on July 12th, but was missed. Our apologies.

SuSE's mailing list management software has been modified. Here is their Administrivia, covering the impacts of the changes and suggesting ways to sort mail so that this change and other potential changes will cause less of an impact.

Yellow Dog Linux

Support for three IBM RS/6000 products has been announced. Optimized versions of Yellow Dog Linux Champion Server 1.1 are now available for "the 43P Model 150, a uniprocessor workstation and entry-level server, the F50 server, with up to four microprocessors, and the upcoming thin application server, code named Pizzazz". An Installation Guide and installation support are also available.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

July 29, 1999

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

Lists of Distributions
Woven Goods
Known Distributions:
Bad Penguin Linux
Bastille Linux
Best Linux (Finnish/Swedish)
Black Cat Linux (Ukrainian/Russian)
Caldera OpenLinux
Chinese Linux Extension
Complete Linux
Conectiva Linux (Brazilian)
Debian GNU/Linux
Definite Linux
Eonova Linux
e-smith server and gateway
Eurielec Linux (Spanish)
eXecutive Linux
Green Frog Linux
Hard Hat Linux
Kha0s Linux
Linux-Kheops (French)
Linux MLD (Japanese)
LinuxPPP (Mexican)
Linux Pro Plus
Linux Router Project
nanoLinux II
NoMad Linux
Open Kernel (Russian)
Plamo Linux
Project Ballantain
PROSA Debian GNU/Linux
Red Hat
Rock Linux
Small Linux
Storm Linux
Vine Linux
Yellow Dog Linux


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See also: last week's Development page.

Development tools


An Interactive Development Environment for Java has been occasionally requested on the java-linux mailing list. The usual answer has been emacs or xemacs with jde. One other free alternative, though, is AnyJ, currently at version 0.97 but reputed to be "the most promising IDE I've seen for Java", according to this note from Riyad Kalla. Other not-necessarily-free options mentioned included JBuilder, and WipeOut.


The fourth annual Obfuscated Perl Contest has been announced. "You were born into this. From the first day they swaddled you in scarlet silk blankets, put one of their own into the crib and stole you crying away into the black stillness of the forest, you have been in a school of previously unknown purpose. "

Perl.com has a new look and feel. An introduction to the new site covers the new features and changes, including the promise of easier navigation, better searches, the new Perl Marketplace and a host of new features for the home page.


Oliver Andrich, who has long put together an extensive RPM-based distribution of Python and related packages, has announced the creation of a mailing list for the discussion of the use of Python on Linux systems. He is clearly looking for some help with the Python packages, and we hope that he gets it.

A new Italian Python Group has been formed. Here is their website.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

July 29, 1999



Development projects

Linux Graphic Applications get a good look in this LinuxWorld article by Joe Barr. CompuPic, gPhoto and blender are the applications he takes a look at this time, covering a range of product types, free, freeware and commercial. The upshot is basically good news for Linux, which is gaining a wide variety of useful tools. Here are some of his comments on each product:
  • CompuPic: "The thing that impresses me most about CompuPic for Linux is its speed. "
  • gPhoto: "And, speaking of beta, I got two e-mails this past week alerting me to the fact that gPhoto now has beta code for my digital camera, the Minolta Dimage. Keep in mind that the Minolta Dimage is one of my favorite toys. My dependence on Windows software to download images from it was one of the things that kept me dual-booting for so long. So you can imagine my excitement when I heard the news."
  • blender: "Don't take my failings as a graphic artist or my lack of skill with Blender as negatives. Blender is very, very popular with the graphic artists who use it."

The Berlin Consortium proudly announced Berlin 0.1.0, an experimental windowing system which makes heavy use of CORBA for transparent interprocess control.

The Game ToolChest (GTC) project has been announced by SEUL. It plans to develop an LGPL library to support 3D game development. In fact, gtc-0.2 is available for download.

Ganymede 0.99.5 has been announced. "This release includes more stability and refinement improvments than any single Ganymede release in quite a long time. This release feels a lot more like a 1.0 release than any other so far. Ganymede is a Java-based network directory management system, released under the GPL.


Here is lastweek's GNOME summary by Havoc Pennington. It contains some updated information on several packages, including Gnomba, the new Gnome Samba browser, the GnomeHack game, and GConf ("This is like the Windows "registry," only without the bad parts. :-)" In addition, you'll find a report from the GNOME booth at the IBM Solutions '99 by Peter Teichman.

The third edition of the Gnomish Bi-Weekly News is also out, hosted by LinuxPower.


Navindra Umanee's KDE development reports for last week and this week are both available. Java for KDE is a big topic this week, along with the current release schedule for KDE 1.1.2, which appears to be about four weeks out.


The Midgard Weekly Summary for July 28th is available. It contains a report from their first IRC meeting, a pointer to tutorial on debugging Midgard, and updates on binary packages for Red Hat and Debian systems.


The latest Wine Weekly News is for July 20th is available.


The Zope Weekly News for July 28th is now available. The big news this week, of course, was the release of Zope 2.0 beta 1, which is available for download. Also new this week, though, is a total makeover for the Zope website. Check it out!

The first release of the Zope XML Document module has been announced. This is a slick-looking tool which allows the use of XML objects within Zope.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh


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See also: last week's Commerce page.

Linux and business

The SourceXchange has started developer registration as a step toward full operations. SourceXchange, remember, is meant to be a broker bringing together open source developers and companies that wish to pay to get a particular job done. Once they have developers in their system, they expect to start putting up jobs and inviting proposals, in "a few weeks." The plan is to have the initial jobs come out of HP, which is one of the sponsors of the site. More information can be found on the SourceXchange site.

The new Cosource.com site has gone live as well. Cosource appears to be the SourceXchange's primary competitor; they have moved forward with a slick new site. They have a number of development ideas up for discussion, but no paid jobs on offer as yet.

It will be interesting to see how these two sites fare. If all goes well, they should be able to do a lot toward encouraging the development of open source software.

Greg Ungerer of Moreton Bay is presenting a technical paper at the Linux World Conference in San Jose, Calif., on Aug. 11, 1999. In Mr. Ungerer's paper, "Building Low Cost Embedded Network Appliances With Linux," he presents Linux as the new standard for embedding in internet appliances and internet devices.

Doug Bennett, President of Macmillan Computer Publishing USA is interviewed in the ECommerce Times about MacMillan's Linux offerings.

This Reuters article (found at newsalert.com) looks at Linux, and how some companies are making money from the free operating system.

New Products:

TurboLinux has issued a press release claiming that TurboLinux J 4.0 is the best selling operating system in Japan - beating Windows and all others. At least, during its first week on the shelves.

Red Hat has announced its E-Commerce Server product. It appears to be a version of the 6.0 distribution with a number of goodies, like the Apache SSL server, thrown in.

Press Releases:

  • Ariel Corporation announced support for Red Hat Linux 6.0 on its CompactPCI-based RS2000C remote access card.

  • Compatible Systems Corporation announced that it has shipped a new software release for its award-winning IntraPort family of VPN Access Servers.

  • Dialtone Internet announced the opening of a new Internet data center facility in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They use Red Hat Linux to power their servers.

  • eSoft Inc., the company that develops and markets Linux-based Internet access solutions for small businesses, announced its preliminary, unaudited financial results for the quarter ending June 30, 1999.

  • Hummingbird Communications Ltd. announced it has joined Red Hat, Inc.'s Independent Software Vendor Program (ISV) and will participate in joint marketing activities with the developer and provider of open source operating systems. The new relationship will give Linux users easy access to all of Hummingbird's fat client connectivity products including: Exceed; HostExplorer; NFS Maestro Server; NFS Maestro Client; NFS Maestro Gateway; and NFS Maestro Solo.

  • iCorps Technologies launched an array of Linux-related services this week. The services are aimed at small-to-medium-sized businesses and will provide applications development, consulting, installation and support.

  • Informix Corporation announced the launch of the Informix Internet Foundation.2000 platform, a fully extensible data and content management platform for the Internet. Linux is among the supported platforms.

  • Innovative Gaming Corporation of America announced that Wayne Mills, age 44, has joined the Company's Board of Directors. Mr. Mills stated, "I am impressed with the technology behind their new PC based video slot machine which utilizes the Linux operating system."

  • Insignia Solutions announced that it has joined the ARM Partnership for Java program to further promote its implementation of the Jeode platform for ARM processors. For ARM developers, the Jeode platform is available initially for Linux on ARM.

  • Loki Entertainment Software announced the launch of their new website, www.lokigames.com.

  • Linux International Board member, Magic Software Enterprises, announced that it had posted record sales and earnings for the third quarter in a row.

  • Medullas Publishing Company, parent company of 32BitsOnline Magazine (www.32bitsonline.com), Linux Applications (www.linuxapps.com) and Linux Talks (www.linuxtalks.com) announced that it has renamed recently acquired Bleeding Edge Magazine to 0x20.com.

  • Olicom announced that it will roll out support for Linux across its entire line of Token-Ring, Ethernet and ATM network interface cards.

  • O'Reilly releases "MySQL and mSQL", a guide to using these popular and robust database products that support key subsets of SQL on both Linux and UNIX systems.

  • Performance Technologies, Inc. announced the introduction of its latest IP based WAN to LAN based communications server, the MPS800. Operating system support includes Linux.

  • Perle Specialix announced its commitment to deliver Linux drivers to its complete line of serial I/O cards.

  • Research Systems, Inc. announced the release of ENVI 3.2, an image processing application used by earth science and GIS professionals for the analysis of remote sensing data. ENVI is available for a number of operating systems, including Linux.

  • SuSE Linux 6.2 for x86 will be released worldwide on August 9.

  • Unify Corporation announced the availability of its Unify VISION AppBuilder and AppServer software for the Linux operating system.

  • UniTrends Software Corp. announced that its entire line of storage management, backup and crash recovery software is now available for Linux.

  • Vertex Industries, Inc. announced the signing of an agreement with Xypro Technology Corporation of Simi Valley, California for their XYGATE/SE Encryption software. The XYGATE/SE product will be incorporated into the next version of the NetWeave middleware product, and will provide DES and Triple DES encryption capabilities across the range of NetWeave-supported platforms, including Linux.

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.

July 29, 1999


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

Linux in the news

Lead Stories:

Bob Metcalfe tries yet again to anger the free software community with this InfoWorld column. "OK, sorry, I should more carefully distinguish the freeloaders at FSF from the free marketers at OSI. Trouble is, I'm not alone."

The Boston Globe looks at the term "hacker", with a lot of emphasis on Stallman and Torvalds. "And the point? Simply that the neatly barbered and quietly circumspect Torvalds is every bit as much a hacker as Stallman - a fact the flamboyant Stallman readily concedes." (Found in Slashdot).


Here's an Information Week story about IBM's support announcement. "IBM on Tuesday announced worldwide support for enterprise customers running Linux, including free support during a 90-day start-up period for Red Hat Software and Caldera Systems Linux running on IBM Netfinity servers."

Inter@ctive Week has an article about IBM's Linux training offerings. "IBM and Caldera Systems, distributor of OpenLinux, will collaborate to offer Caldera's Linux Administration for Networking Professionals course as part of IBM's curriculum. The course is aimed at training networking professionals in Linux system administration."

This Inter@ctive Week article from July 26 speculates on IBM's moves. "Tomorrow, July 27, IBM is expected to announce it will support Linux on its Intel-based Netfinity line of servers, offering certification to distributors that Red Hat, Caldera, SuSE and TurboLinux run on its servers. In addition it will offer 90 days of free service and support for customers installing Linux on Netfinity hardware through its Personal Systems Group."

Sun is trying to get IBM to sell Intel-based servers with Solaris installed, according to this ZDNet story. "Linux is creating lots of havoc in the operating-system world. So much so, in fact, that Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy has asked IBM to preload the 'Solaris on Intel kernel' on every IBM NetFinity server the company ships..." (Thanks to John Langley).

Software and Hardware Products:

TechWeb has an article about GigaNet's new 30-port switch. "The cLAN interconnect for Linux is designed to let users build farms of Intel-based servers for Web hosting, scientific, and technical applications. It's designed for use with Beowulf clustering software for Linux."

Network Computing reviews the new Wyse Winterm 5355SE, which runs Linux. "Linux provides tremendous application flexibility, but it also introduces much more complexity than you would see in mainstream Windows terminals. Wyse has worked hard to hide this complexity, but it has more to do before these devices can move from pilot test to production."

Computer Currents ran this article on how Loki Entertainment Software will be porting the game "Myth II: Soulblighter" to Linux. "As Loki's president Scott Draeker points out, 'Linux is not just for servers any more! Many of the ten-million-plus Linux users would like to play games on their operating system of choice.'"

AsiaBizTech has a brief note reporting that Hitachi will be offering a Linux-based web server system in September. "The product will be a packaged solution for configuring Internet servers and will consist of Hitachi's PC server with Linux OS and Apache. The product will also include one-year maintenance service and inquiry service."

InfoWorld ran a brief article about Red Hat's new E-Commerce server product. "The company will primarily target the new applications server at Internet service providers and other smaller businesses that feel they don't have the staff or the time to devote to technology issues and who want to spend more time focusing on their businesses."

Network World Fusion chimes in on Red Hat's E-Commerce server. "As Linux emerges from the depths of technogeekdom into the mainstream, users are beginning to realize that its ability to support symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) means that Linux may be a viable, scaleable package for Web commerce." (NW Fusion is a registration-required site).

Here's a PC World article about the extra-cheap computers currently being offered by Buypogo.com. "One reason BuyPogo.Com can offer these PCs at such as price is because they run RedHat Linux, rather than Windows."

Network Computing has run an article about how router manufacturers should open up their internal processors for add-on products. "If routers don't open up, the more realistic option is a pure play for Linux in the WAN. A Linux-based PC can host a wide variety of applications, routing included, at a lower cost than going proprietary--and it's not as risky as you might think." (Thanks to Lon Jones).

Sm@rt Reseller reports on the new version of Netscape's application server. "Netscape executives have publicly stated since July of last year that open-source Linux would be a critical platform for its server products going forward. But, now, several months after America Online Inc. purchased Netscape and dealt its server software to Sun Microsystems, the Linux app server port has been put on the back burner."

Other Business News:

Forbes has an article about Transmeta and the Amiga. The article is a fun read, but they don't really know any more than anybody else. "The Amiga has been something of a technological Hope diamond, an exquisite object that has brought bad luck to each of its corporate owners." (Thanks to Marty Leisner, who says there is a nice picture of Linus in the print version).

The Triangle Business Journal looks at Red Hat's customer list in anticipation of the IPO. "In a July 16 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company provided an impressive list of some two dozen customers. But has Linux become the key computing tool running 'mission critical' operations? TBJ tried to contact half of the institutions listed to gauge their use of Linux. Six responded, revealing mixed results..."

Here's a News.com article about TurboLinux's "most popular in Japan" press release. "TurboLinux, Asia's largest Linux seller, said its version of the operating system outsold Windows 98 and MacOS in Japan during its first week of sales in July. But there are some caveats that indicate the dominance isn't quite as strong as TurboLinux announced."

Here is a lengthy CNN article about TurboLinux and the fact that they outsold Windows - briefly - in Japan. "Microsoft refused to comment in detail, saying Windows 98 was designed and marketed for home users, whereas Linux was designed for and marketed to business users."

News.com looks at SGI's future plans. "'We think Linux is important,' [SGI CEO] Belluzzo said. 'We think it's the operating system of the Internet. The opportunity is to make Linux more powerful, which we intend to do.' However, SGI's Linux plans took a hit recently, with TurboLinux hiring away Dave McAllister, an eight-year SGI employee who helped chart SGI's Linux plans."

Here's a Computer Reseller News article about Computer Associates' recent Linux moves. "Computer Associates International Inc. is making an aggressive play for the Linux market with a move expected to save customers thousands of dollars."

News.com reports on the new support offerings from VA Linux Systems. "VA announced today that people can buy round-the-clock support for the first year for an extra $3,595. Support for another three incidents after the first year of coverage can cost $995. 'Commercial support' costs a lot more, with prices beginning at $21,995."

EE Times looks at how open source can help in real-time situations. "...we estimate that the development resources concentrated on Linux are an order of magnitude greater than those for the entire RTOS industry's own development efforts."

This article (in Italian) on J-Web cites an IDC report claiming that Linux will make it big in Europe only if Microsoft ports its office suite. "By 2003, estimates IDC, only 40 thousand users in Europe will have installed Linux on their desktop if Microsoft fails to port its applications. Conversely, the estimate is more than 4 million users on the Old Continent if Microsoft is successful in porting to Linux." (Editor's translation). The adventurous can try translating with Babelfish, but, as of this writing, it yields only error messages.

Here's a mostly introductory article in the Detroit Free Press. "There's a clash of technology cultures brewing as big business ponders ways of making money out of Linux, a free computer operating system that's taking a run at the all encompassing Windows program by Microsoft Corp."

Here's a TechWeb story about Microsoft's latest "analyst meeting." Quoting president Steve Ballmer: "There's finally a Unix that's popular on our platform. Linux is a serious -- albeit crazy -- competitive operating system on our platform,"


Time for a batch of OSOpinion editorials: Justin Seiferth on why Linux developers should not concentrate on desktop applications, Scott Billings is hurting from flames he got from a previous article, and Kevin Lyda on the reaction to Red Hat's community stock offering.

The Chicago Tribune has run a pair of articles. Linux emerges from hiding is an introductory piece about Linux in business. "Often keeping the fact secret from the top brass, technology-savvy systems administrators have begun using Linux because they find it reliable, cheap and easily customized. Now Linux is coming out of the closet."

They also ran this article about home users. "Linux rarely crashes, will make even an old Pentium processor seem peppy, requires little disk space, and can be downloaded from the Internet for free. So why aren't we all using it? Because Linux is based on Unix, an operating system notorious for arcane commands and difficult installation."

Here's a Computing (UK) article which mentions briefly the IDC report on Linux utilization in Europe. "Analyst IDC predicted a bleak future for Linux. Unless Microsoft ports its ever-popular applications to the open-source operating system, Linux will have 40,000 users in Western Europe in 2003, instead of more than four million..."

Also in Computing is this article on delays in getting Linux support services up in Europe. "IBM and Compaq both admitted last week that support initiatives, originally intended to begin in June, have been delayed until September at the earliest." (Thanks to David Killick).

AsiaBizTech has a brief article about Linux Exhibition '99, currently running in Japan. For whatever reason, they had a speech from a U.S. Embassy official: "I am truly happy that an exhibition focusing on Linux, which developed further in the United States, is being held for the first time in Japan."

C't magazine reviews VMWare 1.0. "The usual Windows annoyances don't impress VMware much. For example, it simply displays the NT Bluescreen without interfering with the host system."

Also in C't: a list (in German) of interesting Linux web sites. Babelfish doesn't want to cope with this one, but the list comes through in any language... (Thanks to Fred Mobach).

The Akron Beacon Journal attends a LUG meeting. "It doesn't take a lot of expertise for some Akron technology fans to set up a network. All they need is a big restaurant table and plenty of spaghetti."

Is Linux ready for the big time? asks TechWeek. "Not quite. Despite the growing cadre of Linux enthusiasts in corporations, the maverick operating system still encounters resistance because of its unfriendly user interface and lack of business applications. That should change in the next few years..."

For a laugh, check out The Anti-Linux-IPO Howto over on LinuxToday.

Here is a flaming, anti-Linux editorial put up on osOpinion. "Now there are dozens of articles in every media publication extolling the virtues of the OS, the development model, and the free software movement. Well not to sound like a Microsoft troll, but frankly I'm unimpressed." (Please, if you respond to this or any other critical article, do so in a polite and professional manner. Flaming does not help Linux in any way).

This Industry Standard article is about AOL, but the author couldn't resist starting with a swipe against Linux. "Linux is a lovely hack, but there's no way mainstream computer users will tolerate an operating system that can be maintained only by regular Slashdot posters. The KDE and Gnome folks, however clever and well-intentioned, have created graphical user interfaces atop Linux that are even more confusing than Windows, which, come to think of it, is no small achievement."

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol

July 29, 1999


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See also: last week's Announcements page.



TheGimp for July. The July issue of TheGimp.com is now available. It includes an article on Gimp scripting in Perl, and a lot of other good stuff, including Annette Scanlon as the Artist of the Month.

Linuxberg theme collection. Linuxberg has announced their new themes collection which contains over 1500 themes. These are all for Window Maker and KDE - there are no GNOME themes there.


Linux at HP World HP World 99 will be held in San Francisco from August 15 to 20. There will be a number of Linux-related events at this conference.

Campus party! Campus Party 2k-1 will be held in southern Spain next week. It is a large celebration of computers in general, with a fair number of Linux events in particular. Looks like fun, even if their web page is unreadable. (Thanks to kernel hacker Rik van Riel, who will be giving a talk there and also reporting on the event in his web diary).

For all of us who could not make it to the Ottawa Linux Symposium, here is Justin Maurer's report from the event.

LinuxWorld has announced the finalists for its "Editors' Choice Awards." They like Caldera and Mandrake, and somehow have managed to Coda and Midnight Commander in competition with each other...

Unix turns 30 - logo wanted Here's another logo contest for the Gimp bashers out there - this one is being run by The Open Group as part of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Unix. The deadline is August 12.

Ziff-Davis has put out this release on the "Linux Business Expo" which will happen during Comdex in Las Vegas this November.

Open source/open science. The Open Source/Open Science conference, which will be held in New York on October 2, has announced a logo contest for their event. The deadline is August 2.

Web sites

User Friendly BBS. The User Friendly comic strip now has its own bulletin board system that looks like it means to take you right back to the early '80's. Except, of course, that it's running on Linux... (Thanks to "Mike Z.").

July 29, 1999



Software Announcements

Package Version Description
AccuRev 1.0.7a Cross Platform Configuration Management for Distributed Development
Advanced Playstation Joystick .11.2 Linux Support for Direct Pad Pro interface, NegCon, and Dual Shock Controllers.
Adventure++ 1.9.0 A text-based game creator.
Aldona 0.8.1 Lithuanian keymap utility for the Window Maker dock
AleVT 1.5.0-pre3 Videotext/Teletext decoder and viewer
Alfajor 1.3 Cookie Filter (Python)
AMaViS 0.2.0-pre6 A Mail Virus Scanner, looks for viruses in e-mail attachments
AMessage 0.5 GTK+ rewrite of XMessage
Apache JMeter 1.4 URL bench application
Army Maker 0.1 A GTK/Perl based application to help maintain Warhammer armies.
asbutton 0.3 A dockable application launcher for use in AfterStep.
asmem 1.3 Memory utilization monitor for X.
asNews 0.3.6 Simple news retrieving software which shows the news on your desktop
Aspell .28.1 Intelligent Spell Checker
auth_ldap 1.3.3 LDAP authentication for Apache
autostatus 1.2-beta A fast, hierarchical network monitoring system
Basilisk II 0.7 An attempt at creating a free, portable 68k Mac emulator.
Berlin 0.1.0 distributed windowing system
bidwatcher 0.9.9 tool for eBay users - track and snipe auctions
binutils Provides programs to assemble and manipulate binary andobject files.
bk2site 0.7.4 Transforms Netscape bookmark file into yahoo-like website.
blink 0.5 a perl script that downloads random jpegs and draws them on your X11 display
BlueLava 0.3 A CGI-based x10 interface for home automation, etc
BMUD 0.4 GNOME mud client
Bochs 990718 Portable x86 PC emulation software package
bras 0.8.0 rule based command execution with Tcl
BrijnSMS 0.1alpha A web-based authentication front-end to SMS Client written in PHP
C-Forge IDE 1.3-2 Multi-user C/C++ integrated development environment
cadaverserver 0.99.4 realtime artificial intelligence battle game server
CADC 0.4 device driver for cheap serial 8 Channel DAC
Calcium 2.1 powerful & flexible interactive web-based Calendar
Caliban Instant Messaging 0.1 Implementation of OpenPGP-secured Instant Messaging System
CapsiChat 0.19 Multi-user Internet chatbox/haven
CDJ 0.1.0 CD player for DJs
centerICQ 0.01 a textmode-based ICQ clone for Linux
CGI Port Scanner 0.0.1beta CGI Port Scanner
CGI-x10 0.4 Perl/CGI interface to Bottlerocket x10 firecracker software
chbg 0.6 Desktop background changer and manager
chpasswd 1.2 change user password by WWW
cipherczar 0.5b ncurses environment that helps solve simple substitution ciphers
Cistron Radius Server Free Radius Server with many features
CoffeeCup HTML Editor for Linux 4.0 Powerful GTK HTML Editor
cole 2.0.0 A free C OLE library
CompuPic 4.6 build 1008 CompuPic Graphical Digital Content and File Manager for Linux
count.pl 0.1 Text based hit counter for SSI with unique features
crocodiles 0.02 An ISP packet accounting management package
cst-calendar 1.1 Web based, php3/mysql powered organisational calendar
CUP 0.10j CUP is a LALR arser Generator for Java
cursobj 1.0 cursobj gives textbox and label objects to ncurses and more.
cvs2cl.pl 1.114 Generates ChangeLog for any CVS working copy
Dead Link Check 0.3 Finds information on validity of HTTP references.
demcd 2.0.4 CDPlayer for Linux
DGen/SDL 1.17 DGen Sega Genesis emulator, ported to SDL
Diary.py 1.0 Diary is a simple journal program to record daily events, etc.
Digital Media System (DMS) 0.0.1 A streaming floating point audio architecture.
Disc-Cover 0.8.2 Generate covers for audio cds non-interactively using cddb
DiskDrake 0.1 Graphical hard-drive partitioner
distWrap 1.0 rdist wrapper that quickly generates an rdist script.
Drall 0.11.1 Allows users to access their directories and files remotely via a web browser
DynDNS 0.36 Dynamic DNS server
e2fsprogs 1.15 Ext2 Filesystem Utilities
Eaglesp3 0.99 Spice3 simulation upgrade and library for the CadSoft Eagle layout system
EasyStat 2.0 EasyStat is a statistical application for web pages.
ecasound 1.3.1r4 Sound processing, multitrack recording and mixing
Emacs/W3 4.0-pre.44 Full-featured web browser for written entirely in Emacs-lisp
Emperor 1.2.1 conquer all the cities of a world!
ext2resize 1.0.3 Resizes ext2 filesystems
eXtace 1.1.11 ESD FFT visual plugin, eye-candy
failoverd 1.7.2 Provide rudimentary failover capability for Linux
FOP 0.8.3 An XSL formatter written in Java that outputs PDF
Free Pascal Compiler 0.99.12b Turbo Pascal 7.0 and Delphi II compatible 32bit Pascal Compiler
freemed 19990723 Free medical management software in a web browser
freshmeat newsletter to HTML converter 0.2 procmail filter to convert freshmeat email newsletter to HTML
fsync 2.19 file synchronization program written in Perl
FTP Logger 1.3 Perl(CGI) WU-FTPD log analyzer for WEB
FXPy 0.99.55 Python interface to the FOX GUI library
gaddr 1.1 A simple GTK+ Addressbook
GAG 1.31 A graphical boot manager, with a lot of interesting features.
gaim 0.9.5 GTK based AOL Instant Messenger
Galway 0.16 Guile-gtk HTML Editor
Ganymede 0.99.5 GPL'ed Network Directory Management System
Gaspell .28 A Gnome Frontend to Aspell
gchbkgrd 0.9.3b Program to constantly change the desktop's background
gd 1.6.2 A library used to create GIF images
Getleft 0.5.2 Tcl/Tk site grabber powered by Curl
gfirecracker 0.1.0 Gtk control panel for the X-10 Firecracker
GFlash 0.0.3 A testing/Flashcard application for Linux
ghost_edit 0.2-1 A fast and simple GTK-based host table editor
GHX 3.0 GTK clone of the Hotline software
Giram GnomePM 0.1.3-2 Giram is a modeller, written in GTK+
GISM 0.5.3 GISM Implements Stacked Monitors in a single process.
Glacier 0.0.2 Another e-mail client for Gnome.
glFtpD 1.16.8 FTP Daemon for Linux. Great program for an ISP or anyone!
glTron 0.31 tron-like game with a 3D view
Gnofin 0.6.0 A simple GNOME checkbook application
GnoMail 0.0.3 GnoMail is a yet another GNOME email client.
gnomba 0.1 Gnome Samba Browser
GnomeHack 1.0.3 Nethack for Gnome
GnomePM 0.1.3-3 GNOME equivilent of the Yahoo! (C) Java Portfolio Manager
gnotepad+ 1.2.0pre1 An easy-to-use, yet fairly feature-rich, simple text editor
GNotes! 1.63 A nifty GNOME Panel applet that allows you to create notes on your desktop.
GNU make 3.77.91 Controls the generation of executables and other non-source files
GNU Privacy Guard 0.9.9 GPLed PGP replacement tool
GNU Pth 1.0.2 GNU Portable Threads
GNU shtool 1.4.5 Shell Script Collection
GNU Trueprint 5.0 A program for printing source code in a variety of languages to ps printers
good-dog 1.5 better than cat
gphoto 0.3.5 GNU Digital Camera download software
GProc 0.1.0 Managing process from the Gnome panel
GQuiz 1.01 GTK+ based tool for helping with memorization
GRASS 5.0beta2 Public Domain GIS software
Green Frog Linux 0.3a (Foggles) A small fully featured 2.2.x+devfs/glibc 2.1 based Linux distro.
GSFV 0.1 Simple File Verification (.sfv)
Gsh 0.1.2 Shell with an integrated terminal window.
GTK File Browser 0.30 Small, fast, lightweight, GTK File Browser
GtkBalls 1.05pre1 GtkBalls is a simple logic game.
GtkComboButton 0.3 A Combobutton for GTK+
GTKML 0.1 A proposed XML markup language for describing GTK user interfaces
GtkPlot 3.0 2D Scientific plots widget for Gtk+
GtkSheet 7.8 A matrix/grid widget for Gtk+
GTKstep 1.7 Improves the default look and feel of the GTK+ widget set
GTKtalog 0.02 Fast Disk Catalog using a friendly interface with powerfull file research module
GtkX10 0.1.1 GTK app for controlling X10 devices from a Firecracker device
gx10 0.4.0 X10 controller
HSX 99/07/28 Hotline Server clone for Unix
HTML::Embperl 1.2b5 Embed Perl into HTML Pages with a lot of features especialy for dynamic webpage
HTMLPerlSETI 0.6 Display SETI@home client statistics in an HTML table.
ibs 0.3.1 The intelligent backup system for Debian GNU/Linux.
ICRadius 0.7 Powerful cross platform radius server
IglooFTP PRO 0.9.0 Powerfull and User Friendly FTP client
Ilib 1.1.3 Image manipulation library for reading and writing images
indent 2.2.0 GNU indenting program
InfView 0.2.4 TUI info files viewer, good replacement for info with nice user interface
Insight 19990727 tcl/tk based GUI for GDB
Install-Sendmail 5.0 install-sendmail will configure sendmail and fetchmail for you.
IPAD 0.9.02 Intelligent vector drawing package
IPTraf 2.0.2 An ncurses-based IP LAN monitor
ir 1.0 Program to control Chris Dodge's IR device via command line, email, web, or cron
IR Remote Control driver for FlyVideo98 0.0.3 driver for the IR remote control in the FlyVideo'98 TV card
irssi 0.7.13 GTK+ based IRC client with GNOME panel support
ISIC 0.02 Sends controlled, semi-random packets to test IP Stacks and Firewalls
ISPd pre-beta Billing/user management software for ISPs
Java-Log 0.6 Java logging and tracing class library
jdresolve 0.5 Resolves IP addresses into hostnames. Supports Apache logs and recursion.
jdwhatsnew 0.2 CGI/cron combo to check for updates on sites. full web interface.
jedstate 0.5.1 Add-on for the jed text editor
Jetty 2.2.3 HTTP/1.1 Servlet server written in Java
JLex 1.2.4 A lexical analyzer generator, written for Java, in Java.
Joy2Key 1.5 Translate joystick movements into keyboard events (X and console)
jpilot 0.92 Palm pilot desktop software for Linux
JSetiTracker 1.1 Java Add-On Client for SETI@home
jwhois 2.0 A collection of Perl programs for the whois service
Keystone 0.60.02 Web-based problem tracking system, rewrite of an older system called PTS
KFibs 1.0.2 KFibs is a KDE client for FIBS.
kfirewall 0.4.2 GUI for ipchains or ipfwadm
kidSister 0.96 a task management application geared towards programmers
King of the Hill 0.7 Full client/server multiplayer artillery game in the scorched earth tradition
Kinstall 0.4 Program installator from source
krumple KDE Installation SyStem Installer Generator
ksysv 1.0.0pre1 editor for System V Init configurations
KVIrc 1.0.0 beta 2 Enhanced visual IRC client for X11/KDE
KWebDev 0.04 Web Development Environment
lando 0.2 command execution server for UNIX
lasteject 0.1 Eject CD on reboot/halt
Lazarus 0.1 Lazarus Object Pascal IDE
lb 1.0 Quick and Dirty Load-Balancing System in Perl
LCDproc v0.4-pre7 Displays system statistics on an external LCD display
LeakTracer 1.5 Trace memory leaks in C++ programs
lftp 2.0.3 Sophisticated command line based FTP client
libdatablk 0.99.1 A MOO-like flat type library for C
libical 0.10 Library for iCal protocols: iCAL core, iTIP, iMIP, iRIP, CAP
libRPG 1.0.0 A library for making RPG/Adventure games.
Licq 0.70g Advanced graphical ICQ clone and more for Unix
LilyPond 1.2.0 The GNU Project music typesetter
Linux Trace Toolkit 990721 Catalogs system events in minute detail.
Linuxconf 1.16r1.3 Sophisticated administrative tool
LiSt Directory 0.01 lists files & subdirectories recursively in a list format
LT XML 1.1 A set of XML tools and a developers' toolkit (in C)
Mailcrypt 3.5.4 Provides a simple interface topublic key cryptography with PGP
Majik 3D 0.00/M2 An online role-playing world
MakeEnv 0.1 Graphical front-end for make using GTK+
man-pages 1.25 The Linux manpages collection
Masqdialer Server 0.5.5 Protocol compatible replacement for Masqdialer server written in C
Mobitex Radio Modem Driver 2.5 Network driver for Ericsson Mobidems and other MASC-speaking modems
Modeline 0.5.0 A small utility to make XFree86/svgalib/framebuffer modelines.
mod_backhand 1.0 Local-area, heterogeneous web cluster load balancing module for Apache.
mod_ssl 2.3.10-1.3.6 Apache Interface to OpenSSL
Moneydance 2.0.3 Personal finance application written in java
moodss 8.0 Modular Object Oriented Dynamic SpreadSheet
Moonshine 0.1.4 An application development environment for Linux.
mp3blaster 2.0b11 Provides interactive playing of mp3 files on a text console
MP3c 0.19 Audio-CD to MP3-Converter, with use of CDDB. Included GUI and cmdline-support
Mp3Jukebox 0.1.1 Internet/Web-based Mp3Jukebox
MpegTV Player (mtv) A realtime MPEG Video+Audio player
mrtg 2.8.6 Multi Router Traffic Grapher
MyGuestbook 0.7.1 A simple Guestbook using PHP3 and MySQL, several languages supported
Naken Chat 1.07 Chat Server ported from Javachat
netbusd 0.1 netbuster clone for unix
netfilter New NAT/packet-filtering infrastructure for Linux 2.3.5
Network Attached Secure Disk 1.1 Network-attached storage prototype
NewsForum 1.3.1 NewsForum - Put your news on the web
NowPlaying! 0.3-1 MP3 Server program that works with 'mpg123'
ntron 1.7pre1 A perl5 IRC bot in the early stages of development.
Nubell Client 0.9 Nubell Client is a Novell Client in TCL/TK
OnCue 19990722 Stage Lighting Controller Software
Open GRiD 0.1.1 A project to create Open Global Ranking Search Engine and Directory (Open GRiD)
OSS 3.9.2p Provides sound card drivers for most popular sound cards under Linux
Pagecast 1.1.0 Automates submitting lists of URL's to various Internet search engines.
passwdd 0.04 Password synchronization server/client
pavuk 0.9pl18 Webgrabber with an optional Xt or GTK GUI
pBuilder 1.00 Project Management System
Penguineyes 0.9 Linux-ified version of Xeyes written with GTK+ and Imlib
perlbot 1.0.1 An IRC bot in Perl written with simplicity in mind
PhoneLog 1.6.2 A small program that helps you see who's calling.
PHP 3.0.12 HTML-embedded scripting language
PHP ircd 0.3.1 IRC server written in PHP
pidentd 3.0.5 Daemon implementing the IDENT (RFC1413) protocol
PIKT 1.6.0 An innovative new systems administration paradigm
pop3check 0.90.3 simple program checks a pop3 server to see if you have new mail
POSIX 1003.1b clock/timer patch 2.3.11 Kernel patch to provide POSIX 1003.1b clocks and timers
povfront 1.0 GTK+ graphical interface for povray
ppp 2.3.9-pre
ppstats-rc5 7.0 Distributed.Net Bovine RC5-64 Personal Proxy Statistics
ptkrip 0.7 Perl/Tk frontend to cdparanoia and bladeenc
Public Bookmark Generator 0.4.1 Generate a public bookmark (selected items) out of your bookmarks
PURP 0.9.1 An ncurses-based RPM-manager
pvmsync 0.40 (lib-1.1.40) extends POSIX-like synchronization mechanisms to a Linux Beowulf cluster
QScheme 0.2.1 Really fast, small and easy to interface Scheme interpreter
Qt 2.0.1 GUI software toolkit
QtEZ 0.80.1 Qt based rapid application development environment
Quake3: Arena test 1.07 The test version of Quake3: Arena
Qutar 0.98 QT interface for tar
radio-spase 1.0 SPASE PCRadio V4L device driver
rblfilter 1.0.0 Checks E-mail against RBL lists
RegExplorer 0.1.1 Regular Expression Explorer
rglclock 1.3.4 Rotating 3D clock
Rio and Mpman Rio V1.07 Upload tools for MpMan portable MP3 players
rlinetd 0.4 inetd replacement on acid
RPGBoard 2.04 A WWWBoard-style message board script.
Ruby 1.3.6 An object-oriented language for quick and easy programming
RXP 1.1 Validating XML parser in C
Samba 2.0.5a Allows clients toaccess to a server's filespace and printers via SMB
Sarah Tracker 0.3 Program to create music with samples
Sarien 0.4.7 Play Sierra AGI version 2 and version 3 games like Kings Quest and Space Quest.
sim2181 0.10 Simulator for Analog Devices ADSP-2181 DSPs
Small Linux 0.7.1 Three diskette distribution that uses less than 4 megs of RAM
SMAUG 1.4 Ultimate Medieval-Style MUD Codebase
SmIRC 0.70 IRC client based on the Motif widget set.
SMTP::Server 1.0 A complete, extensible, RFC compliant SMTP server written in Perl
snarf Command-line URL retrieval tool with some unique features.
SoundTracker 0.1.9 A music tracker for X / GTK+
SplitFire 1.15 Complete IRC script for IRCII-EPIC.
ssct 1.0.0 Spell checks a word, then translates the result(s)
Sticker Book 0.1.1 Place stickers on a background scene
Strip 0.3 Secure password and account manager for Palm Pilots.
stunnel 3.4a Universal SSL tunnel
suck 4.2.2 Grabs news from a remote NNTP news server
Sula Primerix II 0.09.1f Extensible multi-server IRC Client for X
susi pre-072799 An easy user-interface management
Swift Generator 0.10.2 Dynamic Flash content generator.
SWISH++ 3.0 File indexing and searching engine (typically used for web servers).
sysinfo.app 0.4.0 A process manager designed for use with Window Maker.
tar 1.13.5 utility used to store, backup, and transport files.
tavrasm 1.08 Assembler for the Atmel AVR series of micro-controllers
tclHTML .05 An HTML editor coded in Tcl/TK.
TeleGNOME 0.0.4 Program to view 'Teletekst'-pages over the Internet
terminatorX 3.2 Realtime Audio Synthesizer (DJ Scratching)
textutils 1.22n GNU text file processing utilities
The Global File System 19990720 A Shared Disk File System for Linux
The Linux Image Montage Project pre-1330 Linux Image Montage Project Preview Release
The Locomotive 4.2 java based servlet compatible web application server (runs on linux)
The Witty CD Player 0.0.3 CD Player with oversampling
THUD 0.16 Cycle-based Scheme-HDL register-transfer level simulator
TiK 0.75 Tcl/Tk version of AOL Instant Messenger
tin pre1.4-1990624 Curses based threaded NNTP and spool based UseNet newsreader
tkvnc 0.6 Button pallette for AT&T's VNC remote control software
TreeMultimap 1.0 A Java class derived from java.util.TreeMap which allows nonunique keys
treeps 1.1.1 X/Motif graphical process tree visualizer
Trf 1.8 Filtering channels for Tcl, MAC, Encryption, Error correction, various encodings
TT-News 0.2.3 A headline-news ticker for the TT news agency (Swedish)
TwinTRIS .5 Multiplayer tetris clone for all Unix boxes
Unix Desktop Environment 0.2.5b-BETA A new GUI for Unix with a completely new look'n'feel
UnrealIRCd 2.1.1 Advanced IRC daemon based off EliteIRCd with numerous of new features
UrlRec v 0.1 Keeps urls and make a bookmark file to use with any browser
util-linux 2.9v Miscellaneous system utilities
Vim 5.4 Popular vi clone that features syntax highlighting and an X11 interface
VMWare 1.0.3 Allows you to run multiple OSs at the same time
vsa 0.8 Visual Sound Analyzer
WAILI: Wavelets with Integer Lifting C++ wavelet transform library targeted at image processing
WaveLAN/IEEE driver 0.2.7 Kernel network device driver for WaveLAN/IEEE wireless network card
wavnorm , nplay, nrecord 0.4 Maximize the volume of 16 bit stereo wav files
Webalizer 1.3.0-04 Web server log analysis program
WHAMp 0.4 An mpg123 frontend using the gtk-toolkit
whowatch 1.1 Console program which displays in real time list of logged users.
Window Maker Theme Install 0.4 Window Maker theme installation program written in Gtk
wings mp3.app 0.5 MP3 player
wmflame 0.60 A windowmaker dock applet that draws flames.
WMNetMon 0.2p2 A WindowMaker dockable network host monitoring tool using ICMP pings.
X ARCHON 0.02 A clone of the classic ARCHON game
X-Chat 1.1.5 GTK+ Based IRC Client. Alot like AmIRC (Amiga).
X-Mame 0.36b1.1 The Unix version of the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator
X-Tract Build 212 XML Script processor
XFree86 3.3.4 Freely redistributable implementation of the X Window System
XML::Parser 2.26 XML Parser module for perl based on James Clark's expat lib
XSane 0.30 A GTK-based X11 frontend for SANE, also a GIMP plugin
XSet 1.1.1 Fast in memory XML search engine in Java
xslt-parser 0.1 First Perl XSL-T Parser.
XTC 0.1.8 An XTree Clone for Linux and other UNIXes
XTux 0.2 Humorous Arcade game for X
Yacas 1.0.5 Yet Another Computer Algebra System
yafc 0.4.5 Yet Another FTP Client
Zebra 0.74 Route Server and Route Reflector daemon
Zope 2.0.0b1 Web application platform used for building high-performance, dynamic web sites.

Our software announcements are provided courtesy of FreshMeat


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See also: last week's Back page page.

Linux links of the week

Bruce Perens has resurfaced with a new site: Technocrat.net. It is a Slashdot-like site oriented around technology policy, based on Zope and Squishdot.

Watch out, it's the Microsoft Matrix, a story comparing our favorite big software company with the current science fiction film. "Like Keanu Reeves, most people's eyes will hurt when they first look at the real world, because they've never used those eyes before. But I've chosen that real world, because while the Matrix of Linux has rules and regs every bit as stern -- and often sterner -- as the Matrix of Windows, that Big Difference pops up: unlike the Microsoft Matrix, you can hack the Linux Matrix from the inside..."

Warning: non-Linux item ahead. But this was too much fun...it turns out that the famous "blue screen of death" really is configurable. Now there's a handy tool out there which will let you tweak the colors to something more pleasing. If you can't install Linux, this is probably the easiest way to abolish the BSOD forever. (Found, like most of the really fun stuff, in NTK).

Section Editor: Jon Corbet

July 29, 1999



Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor should be sent to letters@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: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 09:51:58 -0700
From: Eric Lee Green <eric@estinc.com>
To: corbet@eklektix.com
Subject: Keeping system software up-to-date

While I've had my reservations regarding Penguin's "in your face" approach in
the past (as I noted in one LinuxToday commentary on a Penguin press release,
"aggressive is one thing, but you went over the top into sheer ridiculousness
with this press release"), I really can't fault them for shipping an
out-of-date CD-ROM. I was in charge of keeping those things updated at Linux
Hardware Solutions and I can attest that it was NOT an easy task. Often we'd
build a machine, then it could sit around for as much as two weeks waiting for
the one last part that was backordered at the supplier... given that the
CD-ROM generally was two weeks behind updates.redhat.com in the first place,
this means that we could be as much as a month behind Red Hat by the time the
machine shipped. 

Eric Lee Green                         eric@estinc.com
SysAdmin/Software Engineer             Visit our Web page:
Enhanced Software Technologies, Inc.   http://www.estinc.com/
(602) 470-1115 voice                   (602) 470-1116 fax
Date: Sat, 24 Jul 1999 00:18:59 +1000
From: Steven Hanley <sjh@wibble.net>
To: corbet@eklektix.com
Subject: your penguin computer review on lwn

I notice you mentioned doing a make -j2 for building the kernel source
tree on your new dual box.

If you read the linux/Documentation directory a bit more you will notice
some information about using SMP and building kernels.

Basically it is reccomended when using make -jN that N be number of
cpu's + 1

this allows one make to be a task controller or similar (like in the
linux pthreads implememtation with it starting an extra thread as a
controller sort of)

The reason this is recommended is because it does work. if you do some
timing tests of builds you iwll probably notice it is in fact faster on a
dual box for example to do make -j 3 whenever building any source tree not
just the kernel. (well any sufficently large tree)

Also if you are in the mood you can infact set global make options so
anytime you type make it will infact automatically do -j3 or whatever
among other things.

	See You

sjh@wibble.net http://wibble.net/~sjh/
Look Up In The Sky
   Is it a bird?  No
      Is it a plane?  No
         Is it a small blue banana?
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 1999 19:17:36 +0100 (WET)
From: =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Jo=E3o_Miguel_Neves?= <jneves@rnl.ist.utl.pt>
To: lwn@lwn.net
Subject: IDC study - Attention

	About the study that predicts 40,000 users in western europe by
2003 if MS doesn't port Office to Linux, I would like to call you're
attention that counting the users in counter.li.org for some western
europe countries I got to the sum of 33070 registered users, and we all
know that's not by far all users.

	I'd just like to call your attention to this because this is
supposed to be a serious study, but looks like FUD.

	My data came from http://counter.li.org/reports/short.html and is


	Thanks for your time and keep up the great work,

		A daily and weekly reader,

						João Miguel Neves

Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 11:50:20 -0400
From: walt smith <waltech@bcpl.net>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: quirk issues


I am an "occassional" Linux user.  My length of time
is a bit over 3 years with several linux distributions.
Like everyone else, I visit many Linux oriented websites.
I'd like to raise three questions based on the above:

1. Most Linux "intro" zine articles and most website descriptions
seem to not mention the FSF and the GNU project.  While I
don't have first hand knowledge about the development effort,
it seems to me that FSF/GNU is getting the short end of the stick.
Am I right?  The "old-timers" will have to correct me if not.

I do believe that Linux would not be what it is without Linus T.
being the right person in the right place at the right time.
Couldn't equal billing be given by authors?  Perhaps mentioning
L.T's name first because he was the catalyst?

2. I browsed some of the code.  Even some of the kernel code.
No, I don't pretend to know what it's doing. I've touched a bit
of assembler and "C" in the past.  In addition, I've talked with
really senior software people.  What's the point?

/*   comments.  */

I see very few.  I'd like to put aside the fact that coders 'read' the
code and the statements are self-documenting. Horsefeathers!  I'll bet
each each of the coders involved have a zillion comments (perhaps not
written).  If not, then they are really geniuses.  But that leaves out
thousands of more normal folk who would like to be involved.  OK, so
normal folk won't write kernels...but - involvement is necessary for
the rest of the community. Period.

2a.  Which brings up comment point 2a: There's a lot of 2.11.x.ac5
type patches.  As an example. There is an extreme history of patches
for obscure reasons.  Yes, the patches are necessary.  Are the
comments regarding why's and wherefores in the code?  With details?

2b.  Which brings up comment point 2b: Are comments covered under the
GPL?  Enforcement should be interesting. Maybe comments could be made
compileable to insure they are there (YES! - I say this with

3.  Why don't Linux product sites say what the product is?  Neither do
the ezines!  OK, so Python x.x was released. It's snaked code, right?
I think I've seen maybe two sites out of, what, 20, 30...  that had a
brief description...in technobabble.  At least give a one-liner in a
ezine announcement!!!!  How about a short descriptive paragraph on the
home site?  I've often gone 3,4,5 levels of mouse clicks and can't
figure out what the Hades they're selling!  Marketing Managers take
note: what do I do?  I give up and go elsewhere.  These sites look
like many web pages put up by local governments.  OK, so I'm in
Rockingham County..Virginia or NewYork or Ohio?

I'm looking forward to the continued improvement of the Linux community.


Walt Smith, Baltimore

Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 12:20:57 -0700
From: Anand Srivastava <anand@nmi.stpn.soft.net>
To: metcalfe@idg.net, letters@lwn.net
Subject: Crafty benchmarks and no Unix certification undercut open-sourcerers


Couldn't get to understand the point of the article. What were you
trying to say. It says on the top that it was an opinion article, but I
couldn't get any opinions. There are a lot of things that you have said,
in the article. I don't think that I can disagree with anything which
you have said or even agree, because I don't see an opinion. Only it
feels that you don't have anything good to say about us, maybe I am
biased because of your previous articles.

You talked about the mindcraft debacle and linked with the netcraft. You
seem to have praised netcraft, but could as well be a satire. Opinion
about mindcraft is not clear at all. What did you want to say, are we
hypocrites, I couldn't it really.

Then you point about Gurley, and then talk about his investment in
Redhat. Are you saying that he is using his article to inflate Redhats
stock to get better money, but really he doesn't believe in Redhat.

Then you talk about ESR's response to TOG. The general feeling among us
is that TOG is an organisation which doesn't care about the software it
maintains, only about the companies it represents. If X is not improving
as fast as it should, they are to blame. They even tried to stiffle
Linux by trying to change the license, because the other Unix
manufacturers are feeling the pressure of Linux. But the move backfired
terribly, because XFree86 people decided to go alone. Actually that move
would have been better. Later they saw the light, and came back. This is
what is happening with Unix certification. Although linux is more Posix
compliant than some of the other Unices, TOG will not grant the
certification to linux, because the paying Unix manufacturers don't want
Linux becoming legitimate. If that happens they will be dead in the
lower server end, which has a much bigger and more lucrative base. These
manufacturers are getting squeezed towards the top. As linux gets better
they will only be squeezed further. And anyway Linux distributers
already enough on their hands to really think about the unix
certification. Actually its more important for them to do linux
standardization than doing unix certification.

There are a couple of next generation OSs, heard of the HURD. Of course
its taking forever to work because Linux is taking away the resources.
But then since the source is free somebody can take it up later when
Linux is really finished with the most interesting parts, and it has
really taken over the world ;-). Then there is Freedows. It started with
a good idea, but seems like it has gone wayward. But then there will be
people later for that too. For now linux is the most interesting thing.

You are right that those questions are haunting and they are haunting to
the TOG, they are going towards obsolesence, and to the proprietory
critical infrastructure software.

You are also right about the stock bubble burst, and it will probably be
triggered by the MS stock crash. Only it won't happen till the mid next
year. You are probably predicting it too early. You may be basing it on
something else triggering it, thats why it is that early. Is that thing
the release of Windows2000. You know that has a real chance of taking MS
stock along with it. I just think that MS won't release it till mid next
year. Then too they probably won't release it, the stock will go because
public simply got fedup waiting for it.


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