[LWN Logo]

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

 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

Other stuff:
Contact us
Linux Stocks Page
Daily Updates

Recent features:
- LinuxWorld
- Touchphone
- Linux Expo Paris
- Red Hat's IPO filing
- Eric Raymond interview
- Linux Expo '99
Review: Red Hat 6.0
- The Mindcraft Report
- BitKeeper - not quite open source
- Alan Cox interview
- 1998 Timeline

Here is the permanent site for this page.

Leading items

Sky-high shares. By Friday, August 13, shares in Red Hat Inc. had climbed well into the 80's - over five times the original selling price. Anybody who got their hands on Red Hat's stock before the beginning of public trading is now sitting on a substantial paper profit. It would seem that free software really can make money.

Unfortunately, a number of people who thought they were going to end up with some pre-IPO stock ended up without. Those lucky enough to be a part of the community offering figured things were taken care of once they had finally passed through the difficult process of getting E*Trade to let them participate in the IPO. Only then, at the last minute, Red Hat raised the IPO price. This was a rational thing for Red Hat to do; if they could get the extra cash from the stock sale, they really should do exactly that.

But E*Trade then required everybody who was participating in the IPO to "reconfirm" their offer, and within a very tight time window. Only people who were actively watching at the time had a chance of doing this. LinuxWorld attendees, far from their telephones and email, had no hope. E*Trade tried to straighten things out in its own confusing way, and, in the end, quite a few people were able to get their stock; often not before Friday, however. Meanwhile, the whole process has left quite a few people upset and discouraged.

If the Red Hat Wealth Monitor is to be believed, the value of the community shares is now about $60 million. Some members of the free software community have certainly been able to share in that wealth, and that can only be a good thing.

Will the next Linux company to go public make a similar offering? Red Hat has taken a lot of grief in the last few weeks as a result of the above troubles. Seeing this, other companies considering public offerings will likely think twice before stepping into the same tar pit. We hope they will go for it anyway. It is an effective - though imperfect - way to give something back to the community that made Linux companies possible in the first place.

Meanwhile, why are Red Hat's shares so expensive? Red Hat is a good company that has come a long way. But it currently has a market capitalization of almost $5 billion. Remember that we are dealing with a company that had less than $11 million in revenues last year. Think about how long it would take you to make your money back if you were to break open your piggy bank and buy all $5 billion worth of shares. What can possibly justify such a valuation?

Seemingly, Linux stocks will be treated like Internet stocks, where real world considerations apply weakly at best. But think for a moment: part of the valuation of Internet stocks comes from the idea that whoever gets to be the market leader in a certain field gets to set the standards and will make big pots of money someday. Microsoft did it; Netscape was expected to do it; RealNetworks, Amazon, MP3, eBay, etc. are all still thought to have a chance of doing it. Thus the all-out push for market share and the lack of concern for profits. And, partially, the high stock values.

Red Hat has a share of the Linux OS market. But what will that buy them? Red Hat has very little standard-setting power in the Linux world, and that is not likely to change. That is, after all, one of the reasons we like Linux: no more proprietary standards owned by single, powerful companies. Market share could prove fleeting as well. When you can switch vendors and still run Linux, lock-in is a thing of the past.

Thus, even by the reasoning, such as it is, that is normally applied to Internet stocks, Red Hat may currently be overvalued. If investors have run up the price of this stock because they think that Red Hat can own the Linux market the way Microsoft owns office suites, they are likely to be surprised. That is not how Linux works. If you are considering trading in this stock now, a quick look at Amazon.com's price history may be a worthwhile reminder of what can happen to expensive shares. Be careful out there.

LWN introduces its new Linux Stocks Page. The above admonitions notwithstanding, LWN has jumped into the game with the LWN Linux Stocks page. This page, currently in alpha-test, provides near-real-time stock values of Linux-related companies, and includes our "Linux Stock Index," a magic number intended to track the performance of the sector as a whole. We are looking for comments on how to improve the page; please have a look and let us know what you think.

One last look at LinuxWorld. According to IDG's press release, just over 14,000 people attended LinuxWorld this time around, up from around 10,000 last Spring. The event had a quieter feel than last Spring, however, and some of the vendors on the exhibit floor reported lower levels of activity this time around.

LinuxWorld may be finding its place. As a technical conference, this one was clearly second rate. Those seeking technical content this time of year will be much better off at events like the O'Reilly Conferences which start on August 21. But for those who want to learn about or participate in the business of Linux, LinuxWorld is unparalleled. Their logo - a penguin with a necktie - seems to be well chosen.

We have added some final touches to our LinuxWorld coverage, including a few new photos and a story on the best and the worst of the CD giveaways to be found on the exhibit floor. More LinuxWorld information can be found on Marc Merlin's LinuxWorld page as well.

This Week's LWN was brought to you by:

August 19, 1999


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Security page.



A security audit of the entire Internet. The Internet Auditing Project set out almost a year ago to scan the entire Internet just to see how many systems with known vulnerabilities could be found. Their report makes for a long-winded but entertaining read as it describes how they were able to put together a scan of 36 million hosts and survive the process.

Their results? Here's a table that appears at the end:

webdist 5622 0.77%
wu_imapd 113183 15.5%
qpopper 90546 12.4%
innd 3797 0.52%
tooltalk 190585 26.1%
rpc_mountd 78863 10.8%
bind 132168 18.1%
wwwcount 86165 11.8%
phf 6790 0.93%
ews 9346 1.28%

In other words, there are hundreds of thousands of vulnerable systems out there, just looking at a small set of well-known problems.

The authors make the point that the Internet as a whole has a problem. It is sick, with lots of little wounds. Fixing up single hosts and networks is a good thing to do, but as long as the network as a whole remains so unhealthy, there are going to be problems. Lots of them.

They have an interesting suggestion: the formation of an "International Digital Defense Network." The purpose of this network would be to perform routine scans to find problem systems early, then work to get the systems fixed. They would pattern it after some of the other network-wide processing initiatives, such as Seti@home. With enough systems, each could do a certain amount of watching without impacting its other uses.

The document also includes a fair amount of "war story" material, and a scary description (under "third week") of a truly high-clue breakin of one of their systems. Many of us have seen "script kiddies" at work, but these were a different breed of folks. Among other things, the attack shows a real-world use of a loadable kernel module to perform evil acts.

Their scanning system is also available for download. Definitely worth a read.

Security Reports

Some beta versions of EFNet's IRC daemon have a serious problem that could allow root access to the server. Fortunately, very few sites should be running this software. If you have one of them, have a look at this advisory, and upgrade to a newer version.

The telnet daemon has a problem in that it tries to verify the client side's terminal type. This verification happens prior to any type of authentication. By coming up with a cleverly crafted terminal type, a remote attacker can cause the telnet daemon to open an arbitrary file on the system, which can lead to denial of service attacks. No distributions have issued updates as yet; a source patchhas been made available by Kevin Vajk.


Debian updates. Debian has put out a couple of security advisories for the cfingerd and isdnutils packages.

Red Hat updates. Red Hat put out two alerts for possible security problems. There is a libtermcap patch which fixes a buffer overrun problem which could be nasty - especially on pre-6.0 systems. There is also an update to pump (Red Hat's DHCP client) that DHCP users should apply.


What to do if you've been hacked is a brief ComputerWorld article with some advice on first steps to take when disaster strikes. It seems to be aimed more at managers than technical folks...

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

August 19, 1999

Secure Linux Projects
Bastille Linux
Khaos Linux
Secure Linux

Security List Archives
Bugtraq Archive
Firewall Wizards Archive
ISN Archive

Distribution-specific links
Caldera Advisories
Debian Alerts
Red Hat Errata
SuSE Announcements

Miscellaneous Resources
Comp Sec News Daily
Linux Security Audit Project
Security Focus


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Kernel page.

Kernel development

The current development kernel release is 2.3.14 which was released just as LWN was going to "press." It is a large patch, containing a lot of ISDN updates, a number of driver changes, and lots of small tweaks.

The current stable kernel release is 2.2.11, though likely not for long. This release, it turns out, has a bug that causes a massive kernel memory leak in certain networking situations. In some cases, it can bring down a system in a hurry, resulting in grumpy users. Thus, Alan Cox has released a series of 2.2.12 pre-patches which contain the fix (by David Miller) and a lot of other stuff.

Perhaps the most controversial thing in 2.2.12pre is the inclusion of RAID 0.90. Serious RAID users have been waiting for this upgrade for a long time; now they can stop applying the patches separately. The update should also be welcome to Red Hat 6.0 users, since Red Hat slipped the newer RAID into their version of 2.2.5 for that distribution.

Others, however, are not so pleased. RAID 0.90 is a major and incompatible upgrade from the earlier versions. New utilities are required, the configuration file is different, and the format of the RAID arrays themselves is different. In theory the distributors should have been shipping the newer raidtools (which can work with the older implementation) for some time; some posts seem to indicate that not all distributions have done this, however. The configuration file change is not that hard to do, and the RAID array conversion happens pretty easily as well.

The real problem is this: once you have converted your RAID array to the new format, you are stuck with the new implementation. This, if 2.2.12 turns out not to work in a particular situation, moving back down to an older kernel becomes a hard and unpleasant task. That tends to scare people who are using the older RAID system, and understandably so.

Alan intends to push forward with the new RAID anyway, though he leaves the final decision to Linus. RAID 0.90 is a vastly improved implementation which certainly needs to get into the mainline, stable kernel at some point. 2.4 is still some months away, perhaps it is better to work in this code now.

Incompatible changes may happen again in 2.2.13, when the NFS patches are tentatively slated to be integrated. The new NFS code requires new versions of the NFS utilities which are not currently found in any of the distributions. There will likely be less complaining about this one, however. Any site which has been doing serious NFS service - especially in heterogeneous environments - has had to apply these patches anyway. The NFS update will give Linux a reasonable NFS server - for version 2 NFS, anyway.

Along these lines, knfsd 1.4.7 has been released by H.J. Lu. H.J. also notes that he has put the slides for his LinuxWorld NFS talk (which was interesting) on his FTP site as 'nfs.doc.tar.gz'. Details in his announcement.

Alex Buell has tracked down a strange 2.2 lockup problem that has been bothering him for some time. However, it is a difficult problem involving complex feline interactions; a patch may prove difficult to develop. Details in his note.

Use of up to 4GB of physical memory on IA-32 (x86) systems is now possible, thanks to a patch posted by Andrea Arcangeli of SuSE and Gerhard Wichert of Siemens. This patch, which applies to 2.3 kernels, allows the use of up to 4GB of memory as "anonymous" pages. Anonymous memory belongs to a process, but is not associated with a file on disk. Thus, you can malloc() huge arrays, but memory-mapping large files can not take advantage of the extra memory.

More information can be found in the announcement. The actual patch has been removed, because it is outdated at this point; a current version can be found on Andrea's FTP site. Linus has indicated that this patch will go into the 2.3 series, once he gets some changes he requested.

What's coming with 2.4 Joseph Pranevich has sent us the latest version of his Wonderful World of Linux 2.4 paper. Therein you'll find a detailed discussion of the changes to be found in the upcoming (year-end) stable kernel release.

Other patches and updates released this week include:

  • The driver programming interface (DPI) version 0.1.0 has been released by David Olofson. DPI is an interface layer which is meant to help in the porting of drivers to the real-time Linux environment.

  • Ulrich Windl released PPSkit 0.7.1, his patch for modern Network Time Protocol support and nanosecond timekeeping.

  • Version 0.7 of the USB HOWTO has been released by Brad Hards.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet

August 19, 1999

For other kernel news, see:


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Distributions page.


Brazilian Linux distribution wishlist poll. Linux in Brazil is running a poll (in Portuguese) asking what features users would like to see in upcoming Linux distributions.


OpenLinux 2.3? Caldera hasn't said anything about it, but Micro Warehouse claims to be selling OpenLinux 2.3 anyway. Even the little picture of the box says 2.3 on it. Another poster claimed that 2.3 is in beta now. Thus, expect an announcement sometime soon...

The 2.3 release will evidently include a bundled copy of ApplixWare.


An interim Debian release prior to 'Potato' is looking likely. Joey Hess put out this message in which he proposes to coordinate a release based on 2.1, which would include well-tested updates to the release only. 2.1 has a number of packages (kernel, XFree86, ...) which are showing their age, and this sort of update would help to make the distribution more current in a shorter time frame.

Joey's proposal is to assemble the new version, which may be called 2.2, by the end of this month. It would then be frozen for a month while people pound on it, and release would happen at the end of September. When Potato comes out, it will then be called 2.3 or 3.0. There seems to be little opposition to this idea, so it seems to have a high probability of happening.

When will Potato be released? There is still no answer to that question, but Richard Braakman has proposed that the release be frozen on November 1. He also lists the things that have to happen between now and the freeze; a fair amount of work remains.

The Herring Package Management Library (HPML) is the new name for DPKGv2 - the effort to build a new package manager for the Debian distribution. HPML is just now moving out of the specification stage into serious coding. The specification can now be found on the HPML web page. They are building everything around a central library with a well-defined API, hopefully making it easy to write programs that work with packages.

Joey Hess's pictures from LinuxWorld can be found on his web site.


IBM demonstrated their new ATX PowerPC boards last week at LinuxWorld. These boards should help to populate the world with cheaper PPC systems in the near future. The folks at LinuxPPC have put out a press release stating that their distribution will work on these boards from the beginning. In fact, they worked with IBM during the development process to make sure that things would happen that way.

An ATI Rage 128 video driver for LinuxPPC was also announced this week. The Rage 128 is the video card found in Apple's G3 systems, so having a proper video driver for that card is a nice thing.


SuSE 6.2 has been received by the U.S. office, finally. Shipments should commence shortly; subscription customers might have their copies by the time they read this.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

August 19, 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
Eridani Star System
Eonova Linux
e-smith server and gateway
Eurielec Linux (Spanish)
eXecutive Linux
Green Frog Linux
Hard Hat Linux
Kha0s Linux
Linux Cyrillic Edition
Linux-Kheops (French)
Linux MLD (Japanese)
LinuxPPP (Mexican)
Linux Pro Plus
Linux Router Project
nanoLinux II
NoMad Linux
Plamo Linux
Project Ballantain
PROSA Debian GNU/Linux
Red Hat
Rock Linux
Small Linux
Storm Linux
Vine Linux
Yellow Dog Linux


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Development page.

Development tools


What's up with Java development? People started asking after they realized that nobody has heard much from the Blackdown porting project for quite some time. The process seems to move very slowly, everybody is still waiting for Java 1.2. The 1.2 porting status page has not been updated since June.

The answer seems to be that the Blackdown folks are still at work, and still enthused about getting the product out. They are hung up on some difficult issues, such as getting native threads to work and dealing with the large variety of X servers, display hardware, and window managers that one encounters in the Linux world. The Blackdown team could certainly use some more help; people who are looking for something to do might want to donate a little effort to this project.


What happened to the perl.org web site? Recent visitors to the site have encountered a login prompt, rather than the Perl information they were after. The answer is that perl.org is going through a major makeover. The old site, for the (now defunct) Perl Institute, is still available if you go instead to tpi.perl.org.

The Perl vs. Python flame war on comp.lang.perl.misc is good reading for those who like incendiary text. Most of the rest of us will likely want to ignore it. The extent to which this exchange has dominated the newsgroup can be seen in the posting statistics for the newsgroup. Both languages would be much better off if that energy were to go into hacking up cool things instead...


A new version of python-mode for emacs is available, details in the announcement.. This major mode is most useful in editing Python programs; the indentation management is worthwhile by itself.

Those of you who bought Mark Lutz's Python Pocket Reference have probably noticed that it is actually a very hard book to use. In response to "requests," O'Reilly has put up an index for the Pocket Reference up on their web site. Suitably printed, it should be a helpful addition to this book.

The Python Sound Toolkit has been announced by the folks at PythonWare. The bad news: it currently only works on Windows and Solaris. Surely there's no end of Linux Python hackers out there who can help them to remedy this little defect...

Python-URL! is back, here is this week's issue. Please note that some of the deja.com links appear not to work...


Reminder: Paper submissions for the 7th USENIX Tcl/Tk Conference are due September 1. Details in this announcement.

And here is this week's Tcl-URL.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

August 19, 1999



Development projects


Here is this week's GNOME summary, by Havoc Pennington.

High availability

Alan Robertson has released version 0.4.2 of his heartbeat code, which monitors a cluster and keeps things going in the presence of node failures. As he puts it, "it's getting dangerously close to being useful."


Last week's KDE development news arrived too late for the weekly newsletter; here it is for those who did not see it on the daily updates page.

A similar fate appears to have befallen this week's summary...


Henri Bergius has, as usual, provided us with the Midgard weekly summary. Among other things, it looks like they plan to release Midgard 1.2 this Friday, August 20.


The folks at WorldForge have announced the release of the first client and server for their "OpenContent" multiplayer online gaming system. They are looking for feedback and development help...


Here's this week's Wine news, posted by Doug Ridgway.

The Wine folks have also put out the 990815 Wine release. It is, of course, a developers-only release.

Alexandre Julliard has a full-time job working on Wine. He has been hired by Codeweavers to hack on the system, more information can be found in their press release This is a great thing for Wine development.


Zope 2.0 beta 4 was released on Wednesday, August 11. Since then, a posting from Digital Creations has indicated that beta 5 should come out sometime this week, and, if there are no major problems, the true 2.0 release should happen sometime next week.

2.0 has all kinds of good stuff, including multithreading in the server, a new version of the Zope object database, WebDAV support, XML-RPC support, and a whole lot of other improvements. It also has parts of the long-awaited "Portal Toolkit"; ZClasses (web-based development of new objects) and ZCatalog (fancy searching). More information can be found on the download page.

Missing still from Zope 2.0 will be "Membership" - a controlled way of running "accounts" on a Zope server. They still plan to add it, but no word as to when.

A beta version of the new zope.org site is available, see the announcement for details on how to get to it and a description of what's there. It's a bit of a tease, since it uses the membership functions that are not currently available... Perhaps the nicest immediately-visible feature, however, is the long-absent "search" box in the corner.

The state of Zope documentation was the topic of much discussion this week, after a frustrated user sent an "I give up" message to the discussion list. It is true that Zope's documentation has never been great - they have been far too busy trying to make an always-better product available. In addition, the independent "Zope Documentation Project" appears to have bogged down for the time being. They, too, would rather work with Zope than write about it.

The 2.0 release can only make this problem worse, as the software moves ahead of what documentation does exist. There is a clear need here for more effort to go into the documentation effort. Digital Creations is making some moves in that direction, but more effort - including from the user community - is clearly needed.

The Zope Weekly News was sent in by Pam Crosby this week, since Amos Latteier is taking a well-deserved break.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Commerce page.

Linux and business

A 1000-node Beowulf cluster is being used for commercial purposes by the folks at Genetic Programming, Inc. Genetic Programming is a massive "generate and try" technique for "evolving" useful programs for specific tasks. It is a problem that breaks apart very nicely into a massively parallel solution, and is thus well suited to Beowulf systems.

Genetic Programming hopes to evolve programs which are competitive with (or even better than) programs created by humans. They mention the possibility of the creation of patentable inventions as well. There is clearly some real money which has high hopes for this approach: the creation of a 1000-node cluster is not an inexpensive thing to do.

For details, see Genetic Programming Inc.'s home page, discusses their goals and includes a couple of pictures of the system. They also have a separate page describing how the 1000-node system was built.

Cheap Linux PC's in Paris. GrosBill Micro is now offering a system with many of the usual lower-end PC amenities: Celeron processor, 64MB memory, modem, and even a monitor - and with Linux-Mandrake installed. Cost is 5,990 Francs, or about $960 as of this writing.

Commercial support for Linux-Mandrake in the U.S. MandrakeSoft has entered an agreement with Bynari Systems Group wherein Bynari will provide commercial support services to Mandrake users in the U.S. Options go from per-incident through to hard-core on-site support.

IDC has announced a new study which reveals that use of Linux is increasing. "In 1997, IDC conducted a similar survey but could not report any conclusive findings about Linux because it was used by such a statistically small percentage of survey respondents. However, 13% of respondents in IDC's current study said they now use Linux."

Linux support is also growing judging from these announcements. This one from SCO describing their new "Linux Professional Services", and this one from Linux Press on the publication of a new book: The Best of Linux Distributions. From the description in the announcement, it looks like it could be a useful reference work with information on the differences between a few popular distributions.

LinuxWorld was a catalyst for a number of announcements and press releases: SGI has a video entitled 'Linux OS and Its Future. Reports from Linux World Expo, San Jose, CA August 10-11'.
Here's the press releases spawned by the "best of show" awards.

Press Releases:

  • Cerebellum Software, Inc. released the next upgrade to Cerebellum and added Linux support.

  • Compaq Computer Corporation and SuSE Holding AG announced a new release of SuSE Linux 6.1 AXP with enhanced interoperability and compatibility features between Compaq Tru64 UNIX and the SuSE Linux operating system.

  • Corel is teaming up with Rebel.com to donate a whole bunch of Netwinder systems and Linux software to developing countries, via the United Nations Development Program.

  • eSoft Inc. the company that develops and markets TEAM Internet, a Linux-based Internet appliance for small businesses, reported its results for the second quarter ending June 30, 1999.

  • GBdirect and Planet Online announced a Linux training programme in the UK.

  • Inprise announced a commitment to Linux with a CORBA solution for Linux.

  • Itsutsubashi Research Co., Ltd. announced that a new company called "LASER5 Co., Ltd." is established to promote the open source business.

  • LightningFAX v6.5.1 a Linux compatible product, will be available in September.

  • LinuxPPC Inc. announced the availability of drivers for the ATI Rage 128 video card.

  • Linux System Solution Limited and INFOMATEC - IGEL Asia LTD have announced their co-operation in the Internet device, Thin Client and Networking arena.

  • Lismore Software Systems Ltd. has released Blue Label PowerEmulator version 1.5, a program that allows Macintosh users run PC applications on their computers. They say you can install Linux on a PowerMacintosh with this program.

  • Lotus announced that Lotus Domino R5 for Linux/x86 is now available for download. They do require a free registration process first.

  • MandrakeSoft released its beta version of DiskDrake, a complete hard-drive partitioning tool available for Linux.

  • Mentor Graphics Corporation announced it has extended its industry standard deep submicron physical verification and manufactuability tool -- Calibre, to include support for Red Hat Linux.

  • Oracle has unleashed a flood of press releases upon the world:

  • Rave Computer Association, Inc. announced the Rave Systems RackMount-2UAXi as a UltraSPARC-IIi server appliance operating on Linux or Solaris operating system.

  • StoragePoint.Com announced that it now offers a Linux version of WebDrive, providing secure file management features.

  • WholeLinux, Inc. announced the release of the WholeLinux Automatic Installer, Version 0.9-Beta, which installs RedHat 6.0 and a customized KDE desktop in less than eight minutes.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet.

August 19, 1999


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

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

Linux in the news

Recommended reading:

Upside Magazine interviews (at length) Linus Torvalds. It is a very positive piece from a publication which has been quite critical of Linux in the past. "Legend may have it that [Bill] Gates was a brilliant programmer, but Torvalds is the real thing, having spun out a tightly written operating system while still in college. And while a young Gates labeled fellow programmers 'thieves' for copying his mediocre code, the generous Torvalds freely shared his epiphany with the world. Which man and movement wins may decide technology's future."

Why doesn't Windows NT have a community like Linux does? asks Windows TechEdge. The author has recognized something good about Linux, and would like to import it into the NT world. "Many Unix sysadmins have a somewhat more personalized interest in their networks, because often they have patched together the code that makes things work. Sharing that work is a thing of pride. This is probably one of the biggest reasons why the Unix community is so strong. The complexity of the Win32 API acts a deterrent for those who would seek to learn it as a hobby." (Thanks to Art Cancro).

CBS Marketwatch looks at the Red Hat IPO and the difficulties that people had participating in it. "One would hope that the SEC would take time to re-think its minimum requirements to participate in a company's public offering. The open source developers who wrote the code which constitutes the product that Red Hat sells may not have a lot of experience trading stocks, but they understand, more than anyone else, what makes up Red Hat's business. They deserve access to early ownership of the company if Red Hat wants to give it to them."

NTKnow has an article on Red Hat's IPO and other Linux activity. "It wasn't the end of the world, but for those who take their miracles seriously, the start of LinuxWorld was damn close enough. Robert Young, CEO of RED HAT, became the first open software advocate to hit 750 million dollars net worth. Accordingly, the skies went dark over Europe."


ZDNet had this article about Linus Torvalds' keynote at LinuxWorld. "Torvalds did take a moment to thank the open-source community before he started with his development update." (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann)

Here's another article about Linus Torvalds' keynote at LinuxWorld. This one is from PC World. "The Linux chief followed his remarks with a question-and-answer period. In the laid-back spirit of the open-source community, Torvalds conducted the Q&A with his young daughter draped across one shoulder, and his other toddler propped against his legs."

ZDNet UK has put up a LinuxWorld coverage page of their own. It's a collection of the various ZD articles that came out from the event.

Here's a Reuters article about LinuxWorld. "Unlike the LinuxWorld show in March, which was more of a coming out party for the software, this week's show was focused on business and consumer possibilities. Executives dressed in suits mingled with the T-shirt attired Linux programmers."

Is Linux becoming too corporate? This ZDNet Australia looks at the 'suits' at LinuxWorld, and also finds .. "For show attendees nostalgic for the days before the corporate boom, the solution is simple. Duck around the giant Corel booth and peek behind Dell's Linux kingdom to the back left-hand corner of the show floor to a tiny space emblematic of where it all began: the .org Pavilion, home to organizations dedicated to ensuring Linux's free future."

Silicon Valley buzzes with Linux says VAR Business. "One IBM Corp. executive candidly remarked that he absolutely loves attending Linux conferences such as LinuxWorld. 'The market is really maturing,' he commented over lunch just one day before Linux operating system vendor Red Hat Inc. would storm onto the Nasdaq exchange to become the first publicly-traded pure Linux company."

The Industry Standard found the real controversy at LinuxWorld. "It seems that one vendor at the show, Magic Software Enterprises (MGIC), passed on the usual lure that exhibitors put in their booths (comely women who are willing to talk to middle-aged nerds) and opted instead for live penguins - penguins, of course, being the Linux totem. Animal activists, naturally, hated this idea."

Here's a slightly confused article in PC World about LinuxWorld. "Although Linux vendor Red Hat won't ship its Linux 6.0 distribution with the GNOME desktop environment until later this year, some LinuxWorld attendees may have snagged sneak previews of GNOME in the form of CD-ROM discs with version 5.2 of the Red Hat Linux operating system."

Red Hat IPO:

Mike Gerdts informed us that the Wall Street Journal had a front-page article on Wednesday about the Red Hat IPO and all the difficulties with the community offering. Jim Turley provided us with a url for the same article at the Dow Jones site.

The Industry Standard had this article about Red Hat's IPO. "For the umpteenth time, someone paved paradise, put up a parking lot. For the thousands of Linux coders who've build the utopian open-source movement - offering free help to create a free operating system - the IPO of Red Hat Software was a sure sign of Wall Street cutting the ribbon on the new Linux mall."

This Red Hat IPO article was found in ComputerWorld. "Analysts feel that Red Hat -- which almost broke even in 1998 -- is well positioned to be very profitable because it is able to sell an operating system with hardly any investments in engineering or even product support. Both are largely taken care of by the open-source community."

Linux lovefest on Wall Street in Computer Reseller News looks at Red Hat's IPO and related issues. "So could the commercialization of Linux result in bad blood, spoiling a good thing? Wall Street sure doesn't think so. Ultimately, the answer doesn't matter. What does matter is that an entrepreneurial group of developers has infused the software world with excitement and innovation, something that Microsoft has failed to do."

The San Francisco Chronicle ran this article about Red Hat's stock. "But no one really thinks that software sales alone justify Red Hat's enormous valuation. The key to its future, as it explained in the prospectus and ``road show'' meetings with analysts and institutional investors that preceded its IPO, is a plan to parlay its position in software into several derivative businesses."

A Salon author writes about the frustrations of getting into Red Hat's IPO. "Red Hat's original offer was intended to be a community-solidifying gesture. If you're cynical, it was intended to strengthen community support in order to improve Red Hat's bottom line. It did neither. The initial windfall quickly became a huge hassle. The developers who didn't make each successive hurdle erected by E-Trade became more and more embittered."

Red Herring writes about Red Hat's IPO without completely understanding things. "Although the Linux operating system kernel will remain open, developers are not required to give away Linux application code. This means that as the system is upgraded, Red Hat ... will first have to go to the open-source community for enhanced codes. That fact alone is reason enough for shareholders to exert pressure on Red Hat management to distinguish themselves from the competition by creating and selling proprietary Linux applications."


Here's an EE Times article about the Trillian project. "Trillian's charter is to prep Linux for the Merced age, making the necessary changes to the kernel so that it will run properly on IA-64 hardware. In theory, when the first Merced computer comes off the assembly line, Trillian's people should be able to pop in a CD-ROM, load their kernel and boot up."

IT-Analysis.com looks at the Trillian project to port Linux to the Merced architecture. "IBM however is obviously very keen to increase its presence in the Linux movement and, if it does anywhere near the good that it has done for Java, it too will provide Linux with an all important boost. The only potential problem that is likely to bother IBM is how Linux for IA-64 will sit alongside the Monterey Unix, which should also be available next year for IA-64." (Found in NNL).

Products and Services:

ComputerWorld looks at FreeS/Wan. "When IT security consultants attend hacker conferences, they have high expectations for finding open-source security tools tested in hostile environments. One that meets the standard for hacker information technology consultants is the FreeS/WAN project's free, open-source Linux-based server software that uses strong encryption to create secure data tunnels between any two points on the Internet..."

Also from ComputerWorld, this article on Linux clustering. "Clustering will make Linux Web servers more reliable, but even vendors acknowledged that Linux might need years to achieve the full clustering capabilities of its big Unix brothers. Linux lacks a journaling file system, which would help it recover from crashes. Also, it has no capability yet to allow midstream data transactions to survive a crash of a machine in a cluster."

Here's an Upside Magazine story about LinuxCare. "A more personal challenge is maintaining the marketing intensity that has characterized Linuxcare over the last six months. That's no easy task when you consider that, unlike Red Hat and VA Linux Systems, the company has no sparkling widgets or software upgrades to dangle in front of potential clients, partners or hype-friendly members of the technology press."

SCO is getting into Linux services, according to this News.com article. This is not an entirely surprising move; SCO, which is in the proprietary x86 Unix business, must have been feeling the pressure from Linux for a while. "SCO will support the four major for-profit Linux distributions: Red Hat, TurboLinux, SuSE, and Caldera Systems. The company will provide round-the-clock support, customization for a specific network environment, and other offerings designed for corporate customers..." (Thanks to Mike Gerdts).

Dell in Belgium only sells systems with Windows installed, and Linux supporters are asking why, according to this ZDNet UK article. "...Microsoft and Dell have a European arrangement ensuring the PC maker cannot supply machines without an operating system and confirmed Dell's inability to supply any operating system other than Windows because of technical problems."

Oracle is delaying the release of some of its ERP products on Linux, according to this InfoWorld article. "The company is postponing plans to deliver its enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications for the Linux platform until the end of this year and early 2000. A year ago, the company said it would ship its Oracle Applications suite for Linux in the first quarter of 1999, the same time frame as its databases and Web tools."

The Salt Lake Tribune looks at Caldera and Lineo. "The affiliated companies, both based in Provo, sell software and services based on the Linux operating system. Linux is hot. And in recent weeks, seemingly everyone wants to be Caldera Systems' and Lineo's friend."

This ZDNet Australia article is about Linux desktops. "And then there are the big-name companies looking at Linux desktop. At the show, Corel showed off a new Linux-compatible version of WordPerfect for Office, to be released early next year. Others, such as Dell, had already said they would ship Linux on some desktop computers."

Also from ZDNet Australia is this article about Oracle and Sybase on Linux. "Oracle and Sybase said Linux was emerging as an additional platform for their traditional database product lines at LinuxWorld in San Jose, California, this week."

From the Andover News Network comes this news about XESS, a spreadsheet for Linux. (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann)

Information Week writes about the proliferation of Linux training options. "These offerings are a far cry from the informal classes and user-group information-sharing sessions that have traditionally marked the Linux learning curve."

Other Business:

VAR Business tells us How to pitch a Linux sale. "4. Make your formal presentation. Linux provides five strong solutions: Web and ISP services; print, file and application services; e-commerce solutions; firewalls and network security; and desktop solutions. Determine what's best for the customer and propose a solution."

News.com looks at the latest IDC study. "Companies are increasing their use of the upstart operating system while delaying deployment of Microsoft's latest operating system for businesses, according to International Data Corporation (IDC)."

Here's a Linux Journal article which claims that free software is a safer choice for business - because you don't have to worry about being sued for license violations. (Very true, but there's more to the story than that). "Out of the blue, you get a nice little visit from the SPA's legal team. They're asking for an audit of all your systems--now. If you cooperate, a settlement might be possible. And if you don't? You're looking at a lawsuit."

ZDNet UK ran this article which anticipates consolidation in the Linux business arena. "The changes, for the most part, are likely to be good news for enterprise customers deploying Linux. An expected consolidation in the market, for example, will result in fewer distributors of the operating system." (Thanks to Alberto Schiavon). (Cesar A. K. Grossmann also pointed out the same article on the U.S. ZDNet site).

EE Times ran this article on SGI's moves. "The emergence of Linux as an industry standard, and the fact that Linux is better than any proprietary version of Unix, led SGI to reassess its position in the Windows NT market, [SGI VP] Vrolyk said." (Thanks to Arne Varholm).

According to CNN, Corporate doubts about Linux still linger. "In addition to corporate misgivings about Linux, the operating system's advocates have eyed big business warily, concerned that the open-source model might be co-opted, with important features bundled into proprietary systems..."

News.com has this article about how Linux and Java are drawing software developers away from Microsoft. "The Linux operating system and the Java language appear to be the chief competitors. Programmers interviewed this week said they are moving away from Windows development for three reasons: the need to build Web-based e-commerce applications that span more than just Windows-based systems, the lure of greater financial rewards for Java programming skills, and a deep distrust of Microsoft's overall motives." (Thanks to Mike Gerdts)

The rest:

ZDNet interviews Eric Raymond. "I see part of my job as instigating a state of permanent terror at Waggener-Edstrom [Microsoft's PR agency]. I actually want them to fear the consequences of coming up against the community. I want them to know they can't get away with telling lies about what we're doing in public - that it'll just come back and hurt them."

Here are 3 articles from Computing: this one about Dell's new Linux machines, this one about Linus Torvalds' keynote at LinuxWorld, and this one on Intel chairman Andy Grove, talking about the IA-64 at LinuxWorld. (Thanks to David Killick)

C't magazine ran this interview (in German) with Jonathan Prial, IBM's "Director of integrated solutions and Linux marketing." He talks about where he sees Linux going, and why IBM still supports the Monterey project. English translation available via Babelfish.

Also in C't: this article about the Microsoft and LinuxPPC "hack this box" episodes. Again, for those who are not German-capable, Babelfish is your friend. (Thanks to Fred Mobach for both).

News.com ran this article about Andover's acquisition of Freshmeat. "The acquisitions, coupled with the rush to hire Linux programmers, provide further evidence of the growing monetary worth of those who have built up Linux expertise."

Here's a review of Caldera OpenLinux 2.2 on LinuxPower. "Since I don't believe proprietary software is inherently evil, Caldera is a more than acceptable choice for me. I think Caldera is a good 'newbie' Linux, as far as installation goes and basic setup. It includes more than enough features out of the box to compete head on with any OS out there."

Don't fear the penguin says Fox News in this LinuxWorld article. "Many computer users are betting that Linux will be the one to knock Microsoft off its throne of total platform domination. As more companies jump on board to support Linux and more applications are written for the OS, that goal may not seem so far-fetched."

Wired News reports from the Linux Beer Hike. "Opinions ran stronger on beer than they did on Linux, whose virtues were universally celebrated. Marco Homann of Hamburg did not actually assert that all beer brewed in Southern Germany should be used to wash laundry, but he curled up his face in a pained way at the taste of it."

From The Atlantic comes this story about Linux and Open Source Model as art. "This past June the jury of the Prix Ars Electronica added yet another dimension to open source by awarding Linux a Golden Nica for first prize in the ".net" category." (Thanks to Phil Austin)

Computer Reseller News put out one of those "Linux could fragment" articles. "Certainly with Linux, which has been picked up and modified by major vendors such as Red Hat Software Inc., Durham, N.C., and Caldera Systems Inc., Orem, Utah, the potential for fragmentation is there, analysts said. And, at LinuxWorld Expo here last week, TurboLinux, San Francisco; German Linux vendor SuSE; and Corel Corp., Ottawa, all touted their own versions of the OS."

Forbes has run a strange article about the talks given by Linus Torvalds and Bill Gates at Comdex way back in last April. "Gates' canny hour-long appearance could have stood on its own but, mirabile dictu, was only the first part of a show that could be said to have had its origins in Greek tragedy. In a stunning coup de theatre, the Gates hour was followed--after a brief intermission and a circuitous march through the convention site--by a second act featuring Linus Torvalds. If the Gates segment were to be dubbed a strophe (roughly, choral speech--here's where the homage to the Greeks comes in), then the Torvalds segment could be called an antistrophe (roughly, choral answer)."

Evan Liebovitch takes a look at the Microsoft and LinuxPPC "crack this box" challenges in this ZDNet column. "...one must wonder if the Linux world didn't go just a smidgen overboard this time. There are so many legitimate ways to favorably compare Linux to Microsoft operating systems, I don't see the need to take the low road like this."

Here are a few articles from osOpinion. This one from Scott Billings about "... a new UI for Linux, but a little different from the last one ...", in this one author Mark Stanford advocates the use of the X windowing system on Linux, then Jim Reavis talks about Microsoft security problems. Kevin Lyda talks about LinuxWorld and new Linux products. Finally, in this one author Antonio D'souza talks about the new embedded NT and the potential dangers of using it in critical applications such as medical technology.

Here's a ZDNet UK article from last week, wherein Microsoft claims that Linux won't live up to the high Windows standards for reliability: "At Microsoft we spend about $3bn on development, so our operating system is tested in all environments. My concern is that if there are so many people developing Linux, customers will not have confidence that it will work so well."

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol

August 19, 1999


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Announcements page.



System admin class slides available. Eklektix has put online the slides from the LinuxWorld tutorial on "Linux system administration in large network environments" that was presented by LWN editors Liz Coolbaugh and Jonathan Corbet.

AboutLinux.com launched. Bill Henning, the person behind CPUReview, has launced a new site called AboutLinux.com. Check it out for articles and reviews about our favorite OS.

The Linux Documentation Project has a new home. All the goodies you have come to expect from LDP can now be found at www.linuxdoc.org. All of the LDP mailing lists will be moving to lists.linuxdoc.org as well.

Funding free software development. The The Uber Collective is being set up as a nonprofit organization which intends to help fund the work of free software developers. We wish them luck.

Web sites

IBM's has established a Linux Developer's resource page. It contains links to news, development information, etc. related to Linux. (Thanks to Mike Gerdts)

August 19, 1999



Software Announcements

Package Version Description
Acidblood 1.2.9 Full-featured IRC Bot
adzapper 0.1.26 HTTP proxy that filters ads
AIDE 0.2 Free replacement for Tripwire(tm)
aimirc 0.11 AOL Instant Messenger to Internet Relay Chat gateway
alarm applet 0.7 Simple alarm for the GNOME panel
Alfajor 1.4 Cookie Filter (Python)
ALSA driver 0.4.0 An alternative implementation of Kernel sound support
AlsaPlayer 0.99.26 PCM (audio) player for Linux/ALSA
Altima 0.2.0 A free version of the Ultima online
AMC Mail Client 0.0.1 Gnome-Integrated Mail Client
Anachronism 0.2 RTS strategy
Apache::Archive 0.1 Allow users to view/download component parts of archive files
argtable 1.2 C/C++ programmer's library for processing command line arguments.
Aurora redhog.6 Graphical init controller for Linux
barrendero 1.0 Program for keeping free space in the mail spool dir
BASS 1.0.7 Bulk Auditing Security Scanner
bibtool 1.4 Simple tool to help BibTeX users maintain bibliography files
Blackbox 0.51.0 WindowManager for X11 written in C++
bnc4all 0.3 full featured FTP protocol bouncer/bouncenetwork
Cd Backup C++ v0.1b Backups files onto multipule CDs.
cdrecord 1.8a24 Allows the creation of both audio and data CDs
centerICQ 1.0.X a textmode-based ICQ clone for Linux
cgvg 1.5 Tools for command-line source browsing.
CLPQ 0.3 Console Printer Queue Program
code2html 0.8.0 Converts a program's source code to syntax highlighted HTML
Colortail 0.3.0 Colorized tail.
CompuPic 4.6 build 1015 CompuPic Graphical Digital Content and File Manager for Linux
Coral Tree Library Set 1.4.0 Set of abstraction libraries covering both UNIX and Win32
ctDSM 1.4.0 C++ Library-Based Distributed Shared Memory
ctNET 1.4.0 Networking abstraction portion of Coral Tree Library Set
curl 5.10 Command line tool for getting data from a URL
dcd 0.80 Simple command-line CD player
DECnet for Linux 2.01 DECnet socket layer and applications
Dejafilter 0.03 Content-filtering CGI-based proxy script for Deja.com queries
demcd 2.0.6 CDPlayer for Linux
Disc-Cover 0.8.5 Generate covers for audio cds non-interactively using cddb
DizzyICQ 0.16 ICQ clone for console text, ncurses/icqlib based.
Dlint 1.3.3 A Domain Name Server Verification Utility
dNotes 0.3 Java based notes collector
ecasound 1.4.6r5 Sound processing, multitrack recording and mixing
elm2mutt 1.1 Converts email aliases from Elm to Mutt
email2sms 0.50 e-mail to SMS Perl filter with text compression and MIME support
Endeavour 1.02 Linux/X File and Image Browser
Epeios 19990816 Collection of general purposes C++ libraries working under UNIX and Windows.
Ethereal 0.7.2 GUI network protocol analyzer
ez-ipupdate 2.0.0 utility for updating the dynamic DNS service offered at http://www.ez-ip.net
Fastresolve 2.2 Fast log file IP address resolver and utilities
FCheck 2.07.38 2.07.38 Server Policy Enforcement / Intrusion Detection
Fortify 1.4.4 Provides full strength, 128-bit encryption facilities to Netscape browsers
FORUM 2.0.5 Another PHP3/Mysql forum with some nifty features
FOX 0.99.61 C++-Based Library for Graphical User Interface Development
FreeBSD 4.0-19990816-CURRENT A stable secure open source operating system.
FREEdraft 0.38 2D mechanical cad project
freemed 19990818 Free medical management software in a web browser
FreeWRL 0.20 Free VRML browser for Linux
fryit 0.3.4 Graphical frontend for cdrecord.
FTP4ALL 3.002 FTP server program for UNIX systems
FVWM 2.2.2 The classic highly configurable virtual window manager
FXPy 0.99.63 Python interface to the FOX GUI library
Gaby 1.9.8 An address book written in GTK
Galway 0.19 Guile-gtk HTML Editor
GBuffy 0.2.2 A GTK+ multiple mailbox monitor program
gcc 2.95.1
GdkMagick 0.1 Image conversion and communication library for the ImageMagick and GDK toolkits
Geheimnis 0.66 A KDE shell for GPG/PGP2/PGP5
Getleft 0.6 Tcl/Tk site grabber powered by Curl
getpost 0.1 Retrieve a single news posting by Message-ID
gfcc 0.7.1 GTK+ firewall (ipchains)
gicqd 0.0.94b GNU ICQ-compatible Server
GIP 0.1 Make installation/uninstallation easier
Giram 0.1.1 Giram is a modeller, written in GTK+
GKrellM 0.6.1 System monitor package
glTron 0.41 tron-like game with a 3D view
Gnome Toaster 08-17-99 create CDRs the easy way with Gnome/Gtk
GnomePM 0.3.0 GNOME equivilent of the Yahoo! (C) Java Portfolio Manager
GNU Pth 1.1b7 GNU Portable Threads
gnumaniak 1.5 Various man pages for GNU utils packages
gomenu 0.01 Menu script (bash/ksh) allows dynamic menu and help editing.
GProc 0.2.5 Managing process from the Gnome panel
gsndconfig 0.4 gsndconfig is a sound configurator written in Gtk+ 1.2.
GtkPlot 4.0 2D Scientific plots widget for Gtk+
gtkpool 0.3.2 Simple GTK+ pool game
GtkSheet 7.10 A matrix/grid widget for Gtk+
gView 0.1.9 GTK/ImLib Image Viewer
HaruspeX 4.0 Visual environment for image databases
htmlPARSER 0.9 beta 1 htmlPARSER is a set of python classes which parse HTML templates
Humanoid A pure Java arcade video game clone of the classic
ibs 0.3.4 The intelligent backup system for Debian GNU/Linux.
IcePref 0.10 A graphical configuration tool for Ice WM written with PyGTK
icewm 0.9.46 Window Manager designed for speed, usability and consistency
infobot 0.44.2 Pseudo-AI IRC bot written in Perl
Instant Mounter 0.2 alpha GNOME Application to mount/umount multiple drives with a click.
Intelligent TETRIS 1.5.3a A tetris clone for SVGAlib or X11
International Kernel Patch Collection of internationally developed crypto for the Linux kernel
jdfetch 0.3.0 A set of tools to fetch and format news boxes
jdresolve 0.5.1 Resolves IP addresses into hostnames. Supports Apache logs and recursion.
JetSpeed .006 An OpenSource GroupWare/Portal
JFreshmeat-NNTP 0.0.1 Java NNTP-based Freshmeat announcement retriever
jpilot 0.93 Palm pilot desktop software for Linux
kdesu 0.95 A KDE front end to the UNIX su(1) command.
Kmap 0.4 Nmap port-scanner frontend for QT/KDE
le editor 1.5.3 Text editor with powerful block operations, similar to NE.
lftp 2.0.4 Sophisticated command line based FTP client
libavl 1.4.0 Iterative AVL tree library with threaded variants
libcdaudio 0.99.1 A versatile multiplatform CD player library supporing CDDB and CD Index
Libgraph 0.0.2 A library to build graphs in gif format.
libical 0.11a Library for iCal protocols: iCAL core, iTIP, iMIP, iRIP, CAP
liboop 0.3 Low-level event loop dispatcher.
libradio 0.3.4 A simple, easy to use C library to control FM Tuner cards
LinPyro 0.21 A pyromaniacs game for Linux.
Linux Memory Technology Device project 19990817 Support for Flash and RAM devices under Linux
Linux-HA 0.4.2 Heartbeat subsystem for High-Availability Linux project
logcoloriser 1.0.4 Ssyslog log colourising PERL script
LoST 0.95 The LOst Space Tracker
Lotus Domino R5 Sneak Preview Messaging, Groupware, Workflow, Intranet Server
Lynx 2.8.3.dev6 fully-featured, text-based World Wide Web browser
MagiCapture 0.2.1 Screen capture and preview utility for the X Window System
MAL Sync 1.7 synchronize Palm OS devices to Mobile Application Link (MAL) compliant servers
Midnight 0.9.5 Midi/Karaoke player and C++ midi library
MindTerm 0.99pre3 SSH-client in pure Java, includes stand-alone ssh- and terminal(vt100)-packages
Minimalist 2.0 Easy-but-powerful Mailing List Manager
MiniVend 3.14-3 Powerful freely redistributable shopping cart package
mod_dav 0.9.9-1.3.6 DAV protocol extensions for Apache
Moonshine 0.1.7 An application development environment for Linux.
MOSIX 0.93.1 for Linux 2.2.11 Single-system-image Clustering Software for Linux
MpegTV Player (mtv) A realtime MPEG Video+Audio player
mrDBC 0.9 beta 1 python database classes for easy creation of database applications
mtr 0.40 Network diagnostic tool
Muddleftpd 1.1alpha5 A small, fast configurable ftp server that can run without root.
MudNames 1.4 Mud character name generator
Mutt 0.95.7 Small but very powerful text-based mail client for Unix operatingsystems
myip-upate.pl v1.0 MYIP.org automatic update script
N64 Controller Driver Module N64 controller driver module for the Linux joystick driver
NAMG 0.1.2 Downloads mail from a NetAddress account and forwards it locally
NetSaint 0.0.4b4 A relatively simple active network monitor
News Clipper 1.16 Integrate dynamic information into your web page, in your own style.
ngtk 0.06.0 The Ncurses GUI ToolKit
NmapFE 0.9 GTK+ front end for Nmap.
nmsms 0.04 Newmail to sms announcer
Object-GTK+ Alpha C++ Wrapper for GTK+
omega 0.5.82 Implementation and extension of the M-Technology (MUMPS) standards
Omniserver 1.0.8 Application Server
oolaboola 0.3.0 digital DJ tool; real-time sound-file mixer
OpenDiS 0.0.2 Linux support for digital cameras running the Digita operating system.
OpenMap 3.3.3 JavaBeans tool kit for building applications/applets with maps
OSS 3.9.2q Provides sound card drivers for most popular sound cards under Linux
Palm-Mail 0.1.5 Interface between PalmOS Mail application and Unix mailbox files
pam_tacplus 1.2.8 PAM module to authenticate against TACACS+ (tacplus)
pcmcia-cs 3.0.14 Card Services for Linux is a complete PCMCIA or ``PC Card'' support package.
Perl PDC 1.1 Perl Project Detour Client
Perl Shell 0.002 Simple interactive Perl shell
perlbot 1.1.5 An IRC bot in Perl written with simplicity in mind
PFinger 0.7.3 Highly configurable replacement for GNU Finger
pgp4pine 1.62 Interactive program for using PGP with email programs, specifically Pine
PHP ircd 0.4.2 IRC server written in PHP
phpMyAdmin 2.0.3 Handles the basic adminstration of MySQL over the WWW
pidentd 3.0.7 Daemon implementing the IDENT (RFC1413) protocol
Ping 0.9 The official tennis simulator of the US army.
PoPToP 0.9.12 PPTP Server for Linux
Portaloo Alpha 19980813 Web Portal Engine
Powertweak-Linux v0.1.2 System performance enhancer.
pppd ppp 2.3.9
Pybliographer 0.6 tool for bibliographic databases manipulation
PyGCS 1.3.5 A very stripped down MUD-like chat-server written entirely in Python.
pypvm 0.8.2 Provides an interface to the Parallel Virtual Machine to Python
qc-net 0.08 A streaming daemon with clients for the B&W Connectix QuickCam.
qps 1.8.1 Displays processes in an X11 window
QTmclient 0.13 Qt based masqserver client
Qutar 0.98 Revision 5 QT interface for tar
randtype 1.1 Displays text at random intervals.
RAR For Linux 2.60 Beta A general purpose archiving and compression program
RealTimeBattle 0.9.10 RealTimeBattle, a robot programming game for Unix
RegExplorer 0.1.3 Regular Expression Explorer
rglclock Rotating 3D clock
ROCK Linux 1.2.0 Linux Distribution for high skilled Linux User and Admins
RPGD 1.0 A multi-user, medieval-fantasy role-playing game
Ruby 1.4.0 An object-oriented language for quick and easy programming
rxvt 2.6.1 A VT102 emulator for the X window system
Sapphire 0.12.1 A new window manager for the X Windows System.
sawmill 0.2 Extensible window manager
Scene 0.1.4 Inventor and VRML toolkit.
screen 3.9.4 Full-screen window manager that multiplexes a physical terminal
SDL 0.10.0 SDL is a library that allows you portable low level access for graphics/sound
Secure-Linux Patch 1.1 Linux kernel patch to block most stack overflow exploits
sh-utils 2.0 GNU shell programming utilities
Sharity 2.0 Unix client for the Windows network file system
ShellSecure 0.3 ShellSecure shell scripts
si 0.6 /proc system information viewer
Simple Web Server 0.2.2 Simple web-server
Sing-Along Disc Player 2.0.0b A text-mode CD player with spectrum analyser, oscillator and DB.
SLFFEA 1.0 Free Finite Element Analysis
slurp 0.1.0 Watches as any program is installed and turns it into an RPM
SMS Client 2.0.8o Command line based utility which allows you to send SMS messages
snarf 2.0.8 Command-line URL retrieval tool with some unique features.
SNES9x 1.21 Portable, freeware Super Nintendo Entertainment System(SNES) emulator
SoundTracker 0.3.0 A music tracker for X / GTK+
star trek ency reader 0.6.7 Reads the star trek encyclopedia under linux
Strip 0.4 Secure password and account manager for Palm Pilots.
Sula Primerix II 0.09.4 Extensible multi-server IRC Client for X
Swift Generator 0.10.3 Dynamic Flash content generator.
Tacacs+ 4.0.3 Cisco tacacs+ daemon
tar 1.13.8 utility used to store, backup, and transport files.
Tcl/Tk 8.2.0 A portable scripting environment for Unix, Windows, andMacintosh
TCSH 6.09 Enhanced version of the Berkeley C shell (csh).
tinyproxy 1.2.9 A small, lightweight, easy-to-configure HTTP proxy.
tipxd 1.01 IPX tunneling daemon
TkZip 1.0.14 X front end to standard archiving/compression programs
Toolbox 0.4.6 a qt-based graphical configuration utility for the blackbox window manager.
ToyPlaneFDTD 0.3 In the vein of ToyFDTD, this is a 2D heavily commented FDTD code
ToyTLM 0.1 3D Transmission-Line-Matrix Simulator for Computational Electromagnetics
Trinux 0.62 2-disk distribution that includes network security tools and runs in RAM
TTC 3.1 Controls login on ttys
TwinTRIS .60 Multiplayer tetris clone for all Unix boxes
Twisted Reality 1.1.0 A fully buzzword-compliant roleplaying system.
Ultimate Basketball Challenge 0.2.0 5 on 5 basketball game for linux
UnrealIRCd 2.1.5-tabby Advanced IRC daemon based off EliteIRCd with numerous of new features
UPX 0.82 powerful executable packer
User Scan 0.0.4 User monitoring tool
VCHE 1.7.0 A hex editor which lets you see all 256 characters .
vchkpw 3.4.6 qmail addon package for virtual domain email
VDKBuilder 0.1.4 A RAD tool based on VDK Libray (a C++ wrapper of gtk+)
Virtual X68000 X68000 emulator
WebEvent 3.11 WebEvent is web calendar software for your web site.
WebFetch 0.09 Perl5 module infrastructure to export and retrieve news for web display
WebPageGen 0.82 Java servlet web page generation interface and html template class.
Wine 990815 Emulator of the Windows 3.x and Win32 APIs.
wmfire 0.0.3 fire in a window maker dock applet
wmG 0.0.2 A small, lightweight, GNOME-compliant window manager for X.
wmmmnn 0.3 wm-mail-mon-net-netselect combined in one compact app.
wmpinboard 0.9.1 Window Maker pinboard dock-app
WMpop 0.40 WidowMaker DockApp for monitoring a POP3 mailbox
WMPop3 0.5.6a Window Maker Dockable App. Checks a pop3 account to see if any mail is waiting.
wmseti 0.1.0 Windowmaker dockapp for your SETI@home statistics
X ARCHON 0.1 A clone of the classic ARCHON game
X-Chat 1.1.8 GTK+ Based IRC Client. Alot like AmIRC (Amiga).
X-ISP 2.6 X11 and XForms based visual interfaceto pppd and chat
X-Mame 0.36b2.1 The Unix version of the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator
X/RTA 0.29 Audio Real Time Analyzer for X
xlHtml 0.0.4 XLS to HTML converter
XShipWars 1.11 Space oriented highly graphical network game system.
xslt-parser 0.11 First Perl XSL-T Parser.
XTC 0.1.9 An XTree Clone for Linux and other UNIXes
Yacas 1.0.8 Yet Another Computer Algebra System
Yiff! for X11 0.3 A foxy puzzle game
Zebra 0.77 Route Server and Route Reflector daemon
Zope 2.0.0b4 Web application platform used for building high-performance, dynamic web sites.

Our software announcements are provided courtesy of FreshMeat


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Back page page.

Linux links of the week

The Epeios Project has set out to make a large set of programming libraries available under the GPL. They have an initial set now, and are actively working to create more (and to recruit helpers, of course).

It is nice to see that the GNU echo command has finally gotten some proper documentation.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet

August 19, 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.
From: "Tery Hamer" <tery.hamer@virgin.net>
To: <letters@lwn.net>
Subject: Dedication
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 22:26:33 +0100

I've just received my Oracle Technology Network Evaluation copy of Oracle8i
CD via DHL. (Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou!)

Now for the joys of trying to install it, configure it, figure it out, etc
on Red Hat and SuSe.

But I noticed that the Oracle CD label is "Release 8.1.5 for Linus"

Aw.  Isn't that sweet!


From: "Matt.Wilkie" <Matt.Wilkie@gov.yk.ca>
To: esr@snark.thyrsus.com
Cc: letters@lwn.net
Subject: ESR's 'Will You Be Cracked Next?'
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 16:46:00 -0700

Hi Eric,

I normally await with interest your next piece. Usually they
are thought provoking and promote content over hype.
However in "Will you be cracked next?" I feel you have 
begun to blur the line and are slipping into marketspeak.

The phrase which raised my hackles was:

"Non-Microsoft operating systems such as Linux are 
invulnerable to macro attacks, immune to viruses, and can 
laugh at Back Orifice."

This statement while factually accurate, is misleading
(according to my understanding anyway - I am not a 
security expert). Yes Linux is immune to viruses; I have no
idea about macro attacks. Although Linux can laugh at
Back Orifice itself, Linux is -not- immune to a BO
style of attack: a trojan wrapped inside an innocuous
program which the recipient/user does want to run.
(rootkits anyone?)

Not to take away from the main point of the piece: 
monocultures are by their very nature more suceptible to
(epidemic) disease. 

I couldn't agree more wholeheartedly. I just wish your 
writing was less hyped. In this world of mucho over 
hypedness, even the smallest application makes me dig 
for my salt cubes. ;-)



Date: Sat, 14 Aug 1999 19:32:02 +0100 (BST)
From: Richard Simpson <rs@rcsimpson.CutThisOut.demon.co.uk>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Intellectual property


We read much these days of the threat posed to the open source community
by software patents.  I realise that patent law is fiendishly
complicated and that there are critical differences between the
rules here in Europe and those in the USA, but we really need
an authoritative legal opinion on some of the questions which relate
specifically to open-source software and particularly that which is
non-commercial.  For example:

+ I thought (possibly naively) that patents give exclusive rights to the
commercial exploitation of an idea.  If I give software away for free then
I am not commercially exploiting it and therefore not infringing the
patent.  Right?  Wrong?  Only true in some countries?

+ If software has been developed by 50 different people spread all over
the world then who do you sue?

Questions of this nature tend to produce numerous responses which begin
"I'm not a patent lawyer, but it seems to me...". Well, frankly, these are
not a lot of use.  I guess most patent experts are far too busy making
loads of money to bother with Linux, but surely there is a LWN reader who
is related to a suitable expert.

If we do have a problem with intellectual property then perhaps we need to
start creating a counter strategy.  Fortunately, we have one extremely
powerful weapon in our armory - The Internet.  Can I propose that we
create some software which will allow developers to establish a virtual
presence in a legally untouchable country and communicate via a secure
channel.  Patent owners will then not be able to find out who developed
the software - so they won't be able to sue and if we choose the host
county correctly (somewhere like Nigeria or China) then they won't be able
to get the site shut down.  Obviously, such a system would make it easier
for US developers to cooperate in international cryptography work, but due
to the same laws it would initialy have to be developed outside the USA.

Thank you,
	Richard Simpson

Richard Simpson @ home
Linux - Where do you want to go tomorrow?

Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999 14:46:28 -0400 (EDT)
From: Clemmitt Sigler <siglercm@alphamb2.phys.vt.edu>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Trillian versus Monterey.


I've been reading the same web pages as most everybody else about Trillian
(Linux on IA-64) and Monterey (new commercial Unix flavor designed for
IA-64 and supported by IBM, Compaq, and SCO). I guess it's confusing for
Linux users to understand at first why someone like IBM would pour
resources into both projects.  Lots of us would expect Linux to displace a
closed source OS like Monterey in short order.  But it makes business
sense if you look at it another way.

There are any number of companies that shy away from Linux because of its
Open Source nature.  As a result, the Monterey devleopers see the ability
to sell and/or support *more* Unix by backing both Trillian and Monterey.  
Companies looking for "traditional" solutions can go for Monterey. Those
who recognize the power and utility of Linux will have Trillian there for
them, and they can buy support from a mainstream hardware/OS vendor if
they want to.  More Unix is used, and everybody wins.  It's a case of "A
rising tide raises all boats in the harbor."

It looks like the only real loser if this scenario plays out will be
Microsoft because the penetration of NT won't be as high as they
originally hoped for, and even at that NT penetration will probably
increase somewhat from current levels as time goes on.  But even if
upcoming versions of NT are better than the present, the crack that was
opened in the door allowed Linux and Unix to step in, push it open, and
gain market share.

					Clemmitt Sigler

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