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See also: last week's Distributions page.


Please note that security updates from the various distributions are covered in the security section.

Out of Thailand: Linux-SIS and Linux-TLE. Linux-SIS and Linux-TLE are two Linux distributions out of Thailand. Linux-SIS was developed to serve as an Internet Server for schools in Thailand, particularly those involved in the SchoolNet Thailand Project.

Linux-TLE, on the other hand, is targeted at Thai desktop users. It is based on Linux-Mandrake, but adds Thai language extensions. Check this message from Pattara Kiatisevi for more details. Many thanks to them for their web site, which, although understandably primarily in Thai, was clear enough for us to navigate, get some information and register for regular updates on their work. Best of luck to them.

Don't forget Phat Linux! Phat Linux isn't new; it has been around since 1998. This week, F. Odenkirchen in Germany dropped us a note to point out that it was missing from our list. Simultaneously, it also popped up in the press releases, with this announcement from TUCOWS about the availability of a special download of Phat Linux v3.2. Phat Linux is another distribution built to run on a Window 95/98 partition, so people can run Linux without having to repartition an existing Windows disk.

Armed Linux

Comments on Armed Linux. Someone took a look at Armed Linux and wrote a column on it for osOpinion. "MIKE" seemed pretty impressed. "I took the CD home, unzipped the 'ARMED.ZIP' file, read the README.TXT file, rebooted as instructed, and 10 minutes later I was net surfing. I was stunned. It found all my hardware and configured everything correctly except my proxy server. All I could say was, 'Wowser, this is how it oughta be.'"

Caldera OpenLinux

Lone Wolf. Quietly, without any official announcement, Caldera has made Lone Wolf, a Pentium-optimized version of OpenLinux, available in as ISO CD image form as part of an open beta project. It is already in its final few weeks of testing and available to download and play. Besides the pentium-optimization, there are apparently some other subtle differences for which we have no exact details to report.

Corel Linux

Computer Currents on Corel Linux. Computer Currents follows up their review of TurboLinux with a look at Corel's beta. "But the company that brought you CorelDraw is set to give TurboLinux (and perhaps Windows) a run for its money. My tests with a prerelease Corel Linux show that it's even easier to set up and use than TurboLinux, and it closely matches Windows' intuitive interface." Of course, not everyone around would agree that Windows' interface is "intuitive" ...

Debian GNU/Linux

Debian Weekly News. The Debian Weekly News for October 26th mentions that activity is heating up in preparation for the freeze. A BugSquash will be held this weekend, Saturday, October 30th, and work is progressing on both the boot-floppies and on apt. More generic discussion topics covered this week include the size of Debian and a call for vote on package pools.

Looking for information on Debian GNU/Hurd? The latest Kernel Cousin debian-hurd has been released. Ports of the Hurd to the Alpha platform and the development of Hurd users groups are a couple of the topics covered.

Definite Linux

Definite Linux ships IPSEC-enabled kernel. Definite Linux announced that it will be the first Linux distribution to ship a kernel that has IPSEC enabled. This kernel includes the International crypto patches, as well as the recent FreeS/WAN 1.1 release.


CPUReview on Mandrake 6.1 Powerpack. William Henning at CPUReview took a long look at Mandrake 6.1 and gave it an "A". "You can't go wrong buying Mandrake 6.1; it is an excellent Linux distribution, and it has found a permanent home here at CPUReview."


LinuxPPC News. In what we hope will be the first of many reports, Jason Haas at LinuxPPC has provided us with news on current developments, including progress on an iBook, a new mailing list for users of the Apple Network Server (ANS), upcoming plans to help people transitioning from AIX to Linux and 128-bit Netscape, from LinuxPPC within the United States or Fortify for people outside the United States.

The iBook boots LinuxPPC. Progress is reported by Benhamin Herrenschmidt, LinuxPPC developer, on the project to port Linux to the iBook. Two test kernels with iBook support have been put out so far, which boot up to the LinuxPPC installer, though clearly more work still needs to be done. Another day, another platform on the way to World Domination ...

Red Hat Linux

Red Hat responds to 6.1 installer problems. Red Hat released two sets of updates to their boot disks to address some of the installation difficulties that have been reported in Red Hat 6.1 The first update apparently did not correctly fix the problems, so a second update"refixed" them and also fixed a problem where the choice of a KDE desktop still installs a Gnome desktop. This can't be a happy time back at Red Hat. This much sloppiness in a point release of what is expected to be a fairly stable product does not look good.

Geeknews on Red Hat 6.1. Geeknews.org has put out a review of Red Hat 6.1. They mention Red Hat's new interactive startup, "you can detect and modify hardware as you boot the box. This is their first review, so they'd love to get some feedback. [From Linux Today]

Linux.Netnerve reports on another Red Hat 6.1 problem. Problems with cdrecord under Red Hat 6.1 are discussed and an unofficial workaround suggested. Note, you may also want to check the Red Hat Bugzilla Database to report or look for known bugs with a distribution. This particular problem is not an installation problem.

Rock Linux

Rock Linux 1.3.4. Rock Linux is a distribution aimed at the highly skilled and experienced. It is always built on the latest sourcecode for each package and provides support for easily downloading only source and compiling the entire distribution on your own hardware. They have announced version 1.3.4, with kernel 2.3.22 and other package upgrades.

Rock is a fun installation, in many ways. After giving talks on Linux Distributions, I now pick up occasional mail with requests for specialized distributions. A recent one requested a distribution that was really built to allow you to recompile everything from scratch, rather than install binary packages. Of course, Slackware was one option, but Rock Linux was definitely another. Just download the 1MB Rock Linux source package, extract it and run three commands to download, test and compile all the source packages.

Slackware Linux

Kernel 2.2.13 has been added and work started on new boot disks based on the latest stable kernel. wu-ftpd, elvis, imap, bind and ypserv have also been updated as well. The wu-ftpd and ypserv updates are security-related, so upgrading your packages is recommended.

Small Linux

Steven Gibson sent us a development report for Small Linux that was mistakenly left out of last week's Distributions Summary. Our apologies! The report mentions that version version 0.7.2 is now available. It uses the 2.0.0 kernel and the binaries for free, vi and more have been added. Small Linux is especially designed for people that need a Linux distribution to run on small memory machines, as small as 2MB.

Storm Linux

Storm Linux Beta released. Stormix has announced the official beta release of Storm Linux, a Debian GNU/Linux-based enhanced for ease of installation, particularly with auto-detection for hardware and containing several GUI modules for systems administration tasks like networking.

New mailing lists for Storm Linux. Stormix Technologies has announced three new mailing lists for users of the Storm Linux distribution.

SuSE Linux

Beta Versions of SuSE Linux 6.3 have been sent to the beta testers, who are all very busy ironing out the last bugs. No details on what has been added to 6.3 are yet available.

Lenz Grimmer confessed that he's been unable to keep up with the regular SuSE lists as much as usual while working in North Carolina on a project for the past few weeks. However, if you head over to irc.linux.com, channel #SuSE, you just might run into him and a few other SuSE folks ...


Last week, we mentioned a problem between Red Hat 6.1 and Tomsrtbt: "The Tomsrtbt rescue disk may have problems with ext2 file systems created under Red Hat 6.1. This week, Tom Oehser dropped us a note to mention that Tomsrtbt-1.7.185 fixes this problem and to provide more details on what the problem was.
The problem is that ext2fs-1.16 creates filesystems by default that cannot be used with 2.0.x kernels which don't support the sparse-super option. 1.7.185 has a patch applied to 2.0.37 to add sparse-super support. The patch to retrofit sparse-super support to 2.0.x is available at http://www.toms.net/rb/add-ons/sparse-patch.bz2 if anyone else is interested in it. Many thanks to Ted Ts'o for whipping this patch together in record time.
This new version also contains new programs for assisting in the rescue operation, including rescuept, findsuper and undeb. See Tom's note for more details.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

October 28, 1999


Lists of Distributions
Woven Goods
Known Distributions:
Alzza Linux
Armed Linux
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)
LinuxOne OS
Linux Pro Plus
Linux Router Project
nanoLinux II
NoMad Linux
Peanut Linux
Phat Linux
Plamo Linux
Project Ballantain
Red Hat
Rock Linux
Small Linux
Storm Linux
Vine Linux
WinLinux 2000
Yellow Dog Linux


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