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Leading items and editorials

The Bazaar was held this week in New York. It was a rather lightly attended event - much smaller than most of the other conferences of recent memory. Nonetheless, many interesting people were there, and a lot of interesting sessions were held.

LWN editor Liz Coolbaugh has sent back a couple of reports from the event - we hope to have more shortly. For now, have a look at the following:

One highly-publicised event at The Bazaar was the awarding of the Free Software Foundation award. The contenders this year were Miguel de Icaza, John Gilmore, and Donald Knuth. Choosing between those three would not be an easy task; in the end, the FSF gave the award to Miguel for his work with GNOME. Here is the FSF's press release on the award. Congratulations to Miguel, and to John and Donald as well.

Stock market craziness. If there was ever any doubt about whether the stock markets are aware of Linux, it has been certainly put to rest by recent events. Linux is now a highly visible - and highly commercial - phenomenon. We'll look over a few of these events, and ponder on what they mean for the future.

Topping the list, of course, is VA Linux Systems' IPO, which set a new record for the biggest first-day gain on the NASDAQ. The stock has since fallen back substantially, but it remains expensive. Investors clearly think well of VA and its prospects (and, clearly, of the prospects for Linux in general).

So what does this IPO indicate for the future? A couple of things come quickly to mind:

  • Expect VA to go on a spending spree before too long. The company has to grow to justify such a valuation. Linux Magazine has already speculated that VA might look at buying SGI sometime soon. That may or may not happen, but acquisitions of some sort in the near future seem likely.

  • Expect a blizzard of Linux-related IPOs over the next few months. The market is clearly hot for them right now, but there is no way of knowing how long it will last. The stock market bubble seems destined to burst at some point; anybody who is thinking about an IPO will certainly be thinking about doing it while the climate is so favorable.
VA Linux Systems has been added to the LWN Linux Stocks Page, along with Andover.net.

Who will be part of the coming flood of Linux IPOs? To an extent, the list is obvious: Caldera, Linuxcare, MandrakeSoft, Rebel.com, TurboLinux, etc. These names have been tossed around in the press for some time. Expect some surprises as well. In particular, expect a few IPOs that do not necessarily make good investments - the prospect of money raining down from the heavens is certainly likely to attract some less-than-stellar companies.

Along those lines, some have questioned our listing of LinuxOne as an upcoming IPO on our Linux Stocks Page. They have filed, so we list them, but we strongly recommend that potential investors carefully read LinuxOne's S-1 filing (or at least LWN's summary of it). Wide Open News also ran an article about this company that is worth reading.

Despite some difficulties here and there, the VA Linux directed share program appears to have gone well. This program allowed developers (as recognized by VA) to invest in a small number of shares at the IPO price. Many of the difficulties encountered by Red Hat (which had to blaze the initial trail for others to follow) were avoided.

The end result is this: VA, by way of this program, has managed to direct a large amount of wealth into the hands of at least some of the people who helped them get to where they are. The fact that a perfect job of it is not possible should not detract from that success. VA has made a serious attempt to pay some of its debts.

Hopefully all those companies lining up to go public next year will follow the examples provided by Red Hat and VA Linux. If somebody in the finance idea is looking for a good business opportunity, they might want to look at running directed share programs as a growth area...

Meanwhile, will the current Linux stock frenzy last? The answer really has to be "no." The current valuations of some Linux companies makes little sense, and, over the long term, the markets will realize that. After all, even when World Domination is fully achieved, the extent to which the current crop of public companies will participate in said Domination is not clear. The resulting correction may leave some people feeling pretty hurt. We can only hope that the image of Linux as a whole is not hurt by it.

Remember that the long-term value of Linux (and free software in general) has very little to do with the stock market. Even in purely economic terms, Linux is going to be a powerful force over the next decade regardless of what stock values do. And the benefits of free software go well beyond the economic sphere. Free software is a great thing, and investing in the code will continue to pay off - even if the markets do not.

Now that Eric Raymond is rich... One last IPO-related item: Eric Raymond has sent around this note on how he will react to the fact that the VA Linux Systems IPO has made him nicely well off. "So I expect I'll just keep on as I've been doing. Hacking code. Thinking and spreading subversive thoughts. Traveling and giving talks. Writing papers."

Back to free software: LWN took a look at GnuCash 1.2.5 this week, in an attempt to determine whether it is ready for Grandma's [GnuCash
logo] checkbook yet. We conclude that it is not there yet, but it is getting closer; in particular, it's at a point where people looking for a free software project to support should really think about chipping in to help finish things out.

Please see LWN's feature article for a survey of where GnuCash is, what it can do, and what needs to be improved.

Inside this week's Linux Weekly News:

  • Security: Bastille Linux 1.0.0, PGP can be exported, Packet Storm 2000 contest
  • Kernel: The pre-2.4 code freeze is coming, updating 2.0, USB point of contact
  • Distributions: DLD folds into Red Hat, Caldera documentation, Debian 2.1r4 released
  • Development: KDE Krash released, Sun/Blackdown followup, UdmSearch
  • Commerce: E-speak released, Xybernaut wearable Linux system, Linuxcare's moves, the Linux Capital Group, Cosource.com acquired, Linux stock wannabes.
  • Back page: Linux links of the week, letters to the editor.
...plus the usual array of reports, updates, and announcements.

This Week's LWN was brought to you by:

December 16, 1999


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See also: last week's Security page.


News and editorials

Bastille Linux 1.0.0 is out. Bastille Linux - a project to produce a highly secure distribution - has released version 1.0.0. This version is not a separate distribution; instead, it takes the form of the "Bastille Linux hardening script," a script which tightens up a Red Hat 6.0 system (6.1 support is forthcoming).

Commercial PGP to be available worldwide. Network Associates has announced that it has been granted a license "to export its full strength PGP encryption software to virtually all countries worldwide without restriction." The granting of this license represents a major change of thinking on the part of the U.S. Government, which has always sought to keep strong crypto products off the international market.

This turnaround suggests one of two things: (1) the government has figured out how to break PGP, or (2) they have concluded that the economic harm of preventing such exports far outweighs the (almost nonexistent) "national security" benefits. In any case, it looks like the resistance to widespread deployment of cryptography is slowly fading away - at least in the U.S. The benefits for systems security are clear.

What pure or applied technical measures can be taken to protect the Internet against future forms of attack? Packet Storm has announced the Storm Chaser 2000 contest which will award $10,000 to the person who can come up with the best answer to that question. Submissions must be in the form of a white paper describing the measures. Those who wish to enter should get writing soon, the deadline is January 10.

Security Reports

The 2.0 kernel has a denial-of-service vulnerability which allows local users to crash the system with a malicious ping command. If you are running a 2.0.x system, you may want to either (1) restrict access to ping, or (2) install an updated ping which works around the problem. Stephen White posted such a ping for Red Hat 5.2 systems. Neither workaround fixes the real problem, but both can prevent crashes in the short term.

In the longer term, a fix is being prepared now, and it appears that a new 2.0 release will be forthcoming.


CERT has put out an advisory on the ssh buffer overflow problem; this advisory does not say much that was not reported in last week's LWN. There does not seem to be an immediate fix to RSAREF available; the quickest fix seems to be to install the international version of SSH instead. Note that the RSAREF problem can also affect other programs, including SSL implementations that use it.

A separate ssh problem was pointed out by Markus Friedl. It seems that the ssh server will allow the client to select an encryption type of "none," meaning that everything goes in the clear. This is a problem, of course, since the whole purpose of installing ssh is to avoid clear-text communications...

An update to htdig was released by the Debian project. This update fixes a remotely-exploitable vulnerability, and should be installed soon.

SuSE updates wvdial. SuSE has issued an update to wvdial which fixes a problem (possible exposure of dialup passwords) found there.


Immunix.org is back online. Immunix.org, home of the Immunix distribution and the paper on buffer overflows mentioned in last week's LWN, has overcome its communications problems and is back on the net.

SecurID authentication in Apache is now possible with the use of the new SecurID module which has just been released.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

December 16, 1999

Secure Linux Projects
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See also: last week's Kernel page.

Kernel development

The current development kernel release is 2.3.33. Linus actually announced this one, mostly to say that it's getting time to think about the pre-2.4 code freeze. He states that there will be no 2.4 in this millennium (leading to a lot of mail from people who just had to point out that the millennium doesn't end for another year - see Linus's response), but that he would like to get the pre-2.4 series going this year.

Long-time linux-kernel watchers know, of course, what came next: a flurry of mail regarding things that still need to go in. Items named vary from truly crucial updates to wishlist items; some of the more serious ones include:

  • David Miller says he is still "a few weeks away" from getting the Sparc platform working properly.
  • A number of filesystems (AFFS, HFS, NTFS, QNX, ...) are broken. Coda is apparently due for a big update that will need serious testing.
  • Ramdisks are still broken.
  • RAID has problems as well.
  • There is a pile of race conditions with module loading and unloading that can lead to user-exploitable holes.
  • A lot of device drivers still need updates. One good task for would-be kernel hackers with the right hardware would be to fix the ISA memory-mapped I/O stuff. It changed in 2.3, and most of the drivers still need to be updated.
  • There are problems with unix-domain sockets, and IP problems as well.
  • Various optimizations for newer processors need to be merged.
  • It's still not clear if the softnet code (nice scalability stuff) will go in or not.
  • The USB code has been through a lot of big changes which need to be merged.
  • The NFSv3 client code is still unincorporated, and would be a real shame to have left out.
  • An impassioned plea was posted to incorporate the 32-bit UID patch, in order to help make Linux usable in very large organizations.

This list will only grow, and Linus, at some point, is going to have to start saying "no" to things. Experience says he will take on that role without hesitation, meaning that not everything everybody wants is going in. This, of course, is about the most important role that Linus plays - drawing the line so that a stable, high-quality kernel can come out in the near future.

The current stable kernel release is still 2.2.13. Work continues on the 2.2.14 pre-patch; the latest is 2.2.14pre14. Assuming that more problems do not turn up, this one might just turn into the real 2.2.14. Really, honestly, we mean it this time...

Note that 2.2.14 will likely contain two versions of the Tulip ethernet driver. Evidently there is no one version that works for everybody; people with Tulip-based cards may have to experiment to find which one works for them. This is, of course, an unfortunate situation; hopefully the problems can be ironed out before too long.

An update to the 2.0 kernel is in the works after a denial-of-service problem was found in the networking code (see this week's security page for details). Alan Cox, however, is not up to the task; for some strange reason he thinks he is sufficiently busy keeping 2.2 going and trying to pull together things for 2.4. So it looks like David Weinehall will be stepping in to put together a new 2.0 release. Assuming Linus is pleased with the results, 2.0 will continue to be maintained for a while yet.

The license for BitKeeper has been released. BitKeeper is the source management system being built by Larry McVoy and others, and which will, in theory, be used by the kernel developers to better keep track of changes. The BitKeeper License has seen its share of controversy, since it contains features designed to convince proprietary software vendors to pay for commercial licenses. Details on the disagreements can be found in our BitKeeper feature, written last spring.

Note that Larry is considering a special exemption from the logging requirements of BitKeeper when used for "administrative" purposes. Such a use would be to put all of a system's /etc files into BitKeeper. A number of advantages would come from such use, including the tracking of system configuration changes and the ability to easily clone system setups.

Meanwhile, we have a license, but where is the code? Larry told LWN that a code release should follow the final version of the license by not more than a week or two, so we're getting close...

The official USB point of contact is Randy Dunlap. Linus had asked for somebody to step into that role last week, after realizing that he was getting too many uncoordinated USB (Universal Serial Bus) patches from too many people. Randy's job, as outlined in this announcement, is to take overall responsibility for the USB subsystem, make sure that all the patches work together, and filter things on their way to Linus. He has taken on quite a job - USB development is a very active area, with a lot of code being produced.

For a good overview of the current status of USB support, have a look at The Linux-USB howto v0.9 which was just posted by Brad Hards.

Announcing the Kernel Journal. Zack Brown, the guy behind Kernel Traffic, has now announced the Kernel Journal. This page consists of the latest announcements of kernel releases, patches, and other development projects.

There are currently two projects developing access control lists (ACLs) for Linux. It would appear that the two are now talking to each other, and that they have established a common mailing list. Interested parties should have a look at this note for subscription information, and pointers to both projects as well. (There is also a web archive for the mailing list which does not appear in the announcement).

Other patches and updates released this week include:

  • An overview of the GNU/Linux IEEE-1394 ("firewire") subsystem has been posted by Sren Thing Andersen.

  • Devfs is up to version 148; there has also been a new devfsd release as well.

  • Neil Brown send out this note about the status of his work with the kernel NFS server. He has been fixing a lot of things, as well as incorporating H.J. Lu's work and that of others. According to Neil, as of 2.3.32 the kernel NFS daemon is in good shape. He has now released a patch which backports the changes to 2.2.13.

  • Keith Owens released modutils 2.3.8.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet

December 16, 1999

For other kernel news, see:

Other resources:


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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.

DLD to be "rolled in" to Red Hat Linux. It would appear that Red Hat has acquired the German distributor Delix, with the result that its "DLD" distribution will be "merged" into Red Hat. Thanks to Michael Fengler, who pointed us to this page (in German) on redhat.de offering support to DLD customers; Michael has also nicely sent us an English translation.

Also available is this press release (also in German) from Delix. Here's the Babelfish link for that one; reading it is easier once you realize that Babelfish translates "Red Hat" as "talk."

Caldera OpenLinux

The OpenLinux 2.3 Getting Started Guide is available from Caldera Systems' web site. They have recently added a version in PDF format.

The Caldera OpenLinux Installation and Configuration Handbook has gotten a number of positive reviews among Caldera users. We at LWN have not read it ourselves, but we have seen a number of testamonials; the technical editing was done by Kurt Wall at Caldera Systems. Here's the Amazon link for those who are interested.

Corel Linux

Corel pleased by CNET's survey. Corel has put out this press release about CNET's survey of Linux distributions - and, in particular, about Corel's position at the top of that survey.

Debian GNU/Linux

Debian GNU/Linux 2.1r4 has been released, see the announcement for more. This is the last minute "Y2K and security fixes" release.

The Debian Project Leader election is coming due. However, Project Secretary Darren Benham has posted this noteproposing to defer the beginning of the process until after the holiday season. His current plan is to call for nominations on January 9.

The Debian Weekly News for December 14 is out; it is a special, two-week edition. It covers the topics above, and many other things.


MandrakeSoft announces Y2K compliance. They pushed it toward the end, but MandrakeSoft has announced that Linux-Mandrake 6.1 is fully year-2000 compliant.

Linux-Mandrake needs internationalization help. MandrakeSoft is looking for people to help with the internationalization of the distribution - especially in Georgian, Armenian, Vietnamese and Occitan.


AbiWord binaries available. The folks at AbiSource have announced that AbiWord is now available in binary (as well as source) form for the LinuxPPC distribution.

Red Hat Linux

Red Hat Linux in Sun's online store. Sun Microsystems has announced that it will start selling the Sparc version of Red Hat Linux via its SunStore site. Sun has not yet reached the point of selling Linux-installed systems, but they may get there...

Storm Linux

Storm Linux 2000 released Stormix Technologies has announced the release of Storm Linux 2000, a value-added version of the Debian distribution.

SuSE Linux

SuSE 6.3 is available by FTP - finally. SuSE has taken a bit of grief from some of its users for being slow in getting new distributions onto the FTP server... Users should complain no more for now, the 6.3 distribution is now available from ftp.suse.com. Most people, however, will have better luck looking on one of their mirror sites.

Comments on SuSE 6.3 seem to be quite positive. Here's a review posted by one happy user.


PC Week ran this article about IPO plans over at TurboLinux. "With regard to rumors of TurboLinux being a possible takeover target by SCO or Sun Microsystems Inc., Lonn Johnson, TurboLinux vice president of marketing, jokingly commented that TurboLinux was planning on 'buying out Sun and HP in the coming year.'"

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

December 16, 1999

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

Caldera OpenLinux
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See also: last week's Development page.

Development projects


GNOME summaries: We have two weeks of summaries this week: December 1-8 and December 8-15. Both are written by Havoc Pennington, as usual.


Geoff Hutchison writes in again with an update from the ht://Dig project. Now that 3.1.4 has been released, focus is now on clearing up the remaining bugs and issues in 3.2.0b1. Serious discussion has been underway on the merits and implementation of a SQL backend for future development. Anyone with interesting examples of how a SQL-based website index could be used beyond ht://Dig (say in content management), should e-mail the htdig3@htdig.org developer mailing list.


Krash released. The KDE Project has released Krash - an unstable, beta version of the 2.0 desktop. It's not for the faint of heart, but more adventurous folks will probably want to jump on this chance to see what's coming.

KDE's documentation knocked. Technofile looked at KDE's documentation and found it wanting. "Defenders of open source software can't argue that help and documentation aren't important, so we're stuck with an embarrassment for the open source movement: In the case of KDE, at least, documentation and help seem to have been forgotten. It's as if explaining and documenting how software works is of no real importance."

Linux Standard Base

The GNU project might work with the Linux Standard Base - but only if they change the name. Richard Stallman, evidently, is now prepared to withhold cooperation in order to press the "GNU/Linux" claim. For now, a name change for the LSB does not appear to be in the works...


Here is the Midgard Weekly Summary, courtesy of Henri Bergius.


The M12 release of Mozilla is "just around the corner." This release is regarded, at least by a number of the developers, as a true "alpha" release. Mozilla is getting there - almost to the point where casual users will want to start playing with it.


UdmSearch is a search engine with similar functionality to the ht://Dig search engine. It already uses an SQL backend for storing data, originally MySQL but now supporting others (at least to some degree) such as PostgreSQL, Solid, and iODBC.

Kir Kolyshkin sent us this description of the project, along with an invitation for people to check them out and contribute if they are interested. "UdmSearch is an advanced search engine developed primarily on FreeBSD and Linux platforms, but we try to do it platform-independent, so people use it on Sun, BSDI etc. UdmSearch has a number of advanced features (http://, ftp://, file:// and even news:// URLs are supported, various kinds of i18n (the thing that don't bother US/Canadian/English users, but is great problem for others), templates, stop-lists, robots.txt, ispell dict files support to search for different word forms (any language supported by ispell), it's completely reenterant (you can reindex pages and search at the same time - the biggest ht://Dig problem) and it's still fast)."


The latest Wine Weekly News is from December 13. Check it out to see the latest improvements, and to get the details of the local C/C++ war - which looks awfully similar to such battles in other projects...


Zope 2.1.1 released. Here is the announcement for Zope 2.1.1, a bugfix release.

Zope and Mozilla join forces. Digital Creations has announced a joint initiative with Mozilla.org. The initiative involves joint development in a number of areas, so that Zope can make best use of the features present in the Mozilla browser. Some specifics can be found in the Zope Mozilla Initiative Vision Document.

Here's this week's Zope Weekly News, courtesy of Mike Pelletier.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

December 16, 1999

Project Links
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More Information



Development tools


More information on the Sun/Blackdown misunderstanding. Unfortunately just too late for last week's edition, Kevin Hendricks was kind enough to send us this note with his feedback on the recent press snafu/debacle with Sun and Inprise. It refutes Sun's claims that the problems have been worked out and also announces his resignation from the Java-Linux porting effort.
"I have resigned from the Java-Linux porting effort. In my "real life", I am a tenured business school prof. The only reasons I was involved in the JDK project at all were to learn something, to give back to Linux community something for all of the benefit I have received, and for fun.

Well it just stopped being fun and there are other ways to give back to the community so on other projects."

Kevin's note contains a lot of useful feedback on the situation. He mentions that he is actually happy to see Sun increase its involvement in the process but then catalogs what has made him unhappy about the process, including, "Sun never told us of this separate effort, never contributed any bug fixes they (Sun/Imprise) found back to us." He goes on to give a list of ideas of how Sun and Inprise can fix things, including these two essential items:

  • 2. Merge the damn trees together asap and get everyone working together to improve a single CVS tree (and not waste time with duplicative efforts).

  • 4. Open the process to get more bug fixes and things moving back and forth between Sun, Imprise, Blackdown (cross-over the two mailing lists if need be).

Discussion continues on the Java lists on how to deal with the problem, and what Blackdown's future role will be - if any. There is a vocal contingent that places part of the blame at Blackdown's feet for not having responded to Inprise's inquiries. There is far from a consensus on this point of view, however. Meanwhile, Blackdown still has not seen the source from Inprise's work - a necessary step if the developments are to come back together. Stay tuned.


...mostly used years ago in early website construction... Perl hackers were amused by this CNBC article about the runup in the stock price of Perle Systems (see also this week's commerce page). From that article:
There is further source of confusion in the name "Perle." PERL is a computer scripting language used in UNIX, mostly used years ago in early website construction before more sophisticated development tools and languages were developed. There is absolutely no connection between this programming language and Perle Systems.
It has been a strange week...


Python.org redesign contest. The folks at Python.org have decided that it's time to redesign the web site - so they have launched a contest to see who can do the best job. The new site needs to be built with Zope, and needs to be submitted by February 21.

MetaKit released as open source. MetaKit is a database library with Python bindings; it has just been released under an X-like open source license. See the announcement for details.

Python Builder Developer 0.1 has been released. This is the first development release, not really intended for people to use yet. But they are hoping for other developers to jump in and help them out...

And here is this week's Dr. Dobbs Python-URL, by Gordon McMillan.


Here is this week's Dr. Dobb's TCL-url, written by Jeffrey Hobbs.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh


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See also: last week's Commerce page.

Linux and business

HP has released the first beta version of e-speak, some details can be found in the press release. E-speak is HP's answer to providing network services in the future - it is strongly oriented toward allowing services to be found, integrated, and accessed without the need to nail down protocols in advance. If all works according to plan, e-speak will be at the heart of a whole new range of dynamic network services - especially oriented around things like wireless devices.

All of e-speak is being released under the GPL and LGPL. Not only is HP using a free software license, but it has picked a standard one, resisting the temptation to create yet another company-specific license. HP has also used the sourceXchange to get some additional development work done on e-speak. This is certainly an interesting package, and it could well become part of the free software-based network of the future.

More information on e-speak - and downloads - can be had at e-speak.net.

[MA IV picture] A wearable Linux system. Xybernaut has announced that its "MA IV" system is available running Linux. These systems are intended primarily for industrial applications - situations where access is required to databases or control systems by somebody who is on their feet and on the move. Consider an aircraft technician, for example, who can now carry the full set of plans while working. Of course, such a system could also be a nice way of staying in touch at Linux trade shows...

Linuxcare on the move. Linuxcare has unleashed a flurry of press releases. Topics include: new members of the board of directors (John Drew, Paul Vias, and Ernest von Simson); new customers (including Enlighten software, Maxspeed, NETmachines, On Channel, ...); a new CFO (Christian Paul); providing support for Amdahl's Linux customers; agreements with Informix (support for Informix engineers); addition of new applications to their support roster (Apache, Sendmail, Samba, and a bunch of commercial ones); acquisition of the Puffin Group; expansion of professional service offerings (porting, drivers, custom distributions, security audits, open source strategy, network management, performance, clustering, and web and email servers); completion of a $32M financing round; and an overall release summarizing the above.

The Linux Capital Group. Bruce Perens sent us a note pointing out his letter to the free software community on the web page of his new employer: the Linux Capital Group. This group seeks to become an "incubator" for new free software businesses by investing in them at an early stage. Their first project is "Progeny Linux," a commercial adaptation of the Debian distribution being done by Ian Murdock.

We hope to have a more in-depth look at the Linux Capital Group next week. Meanwhile, those who are interested in Progeny may want to have a look at at Ian's description of the project which was posted to the Debian development list.

It's official - distributors join Trillian. The Trillian project (which is working to port Linux to Intel's IA-64 (a.k.a. "Itanium", a.k.a. "Merced") processor) has announced that Caldera, Red Hat, SuSE and TurboLinux have joined up.

Adobe moves toward Linux. They are kicking and screaming every step of the way, but Adobe is slowly moving toward Linux. Today Adobe has announced that Acrobat Distiller will be available for Linux in the first quarter of 2000. And for those who have been waiting (a long time!) for FrameMaker, there is a beta available for download now.

Applix acquires Cosource.com. Just days after its official launch, Cosource.com has been acquired by Applix. Cosource founder Bernie Thompson is now the president of Applix's Linux division... (Cosource.com was also covered in last week's LWN weekly edition).

SGI's kernel enhancements. SGI has put out this press release pointing out a number of kernel performance and functionality enhancements that it has contributed over the last few months. Many of these have been covered in the LWN kernel section as they have happened (see last week's issue, if you haven't already, for a description of the SGI-contributed NUMA patches).

We wanna be a Linux company too! Investors recently have been jumping on just about any stock that seems in any way related to Linux. The movements of the stocks listed on the LWN Linux Stocks Page make that quite clear. Some stocks we haven't listed also were quite active; perhaps one of the most interesting examples is that of Perle Specialix. This company makes serial I/O boards; it happened to announce the existence of Linux drivers at just the right time. That announcement, along with, perhaps, a fortuitous stock symbol (PERL), led to a quadrupling in Perle's stock price.

A number of other companies were quick to pick up on this, and have issued press releases trying to get themselves associated with Linux. Here, for your amusement, is a selection of press releases from the "we wanna be Linux companies too!" hall of fame:

Expect to see more of these in the future. The Linux community should perhaps feel flattered that it has produced something that appears to be so valuable to be associated with. Nonetheless, it feels a little sleazy...

Press Releases:

    Products for Linux/Open Source Products:

  • Akopia announced Tallyman, open source end-to-end e-commerce software, is now available for free download.

  • Alpha Data Parallel Systems (a UK company) announced the "Alpha Node," a four-processor system based on the Alpha processor and crammed into a 2U rack mount box. It is intended to be used in the building of Beowulf clusters.

  • Bitstream announced that it is developing a new font server for Linux; Corel then chimed in with an announcement that it will be using the new font server in its products. This is, of course, a proprietary product...

  • Franklin Telecom announced the availability of a T1 card with an open source driver.

  • Icon Laboratories announced Envoy for Linux, a ported version of ISI's Envoy SNMP libraries.

  • InterNetivity Inc. announced its data analysis and reporting application, dbProbe for Linux.

  • Kasten Chase Applied Research Limited announced the availability of Linux support for its VersaPath e-business Internet connectivity solution.

  • Learn2.com announced that it has expanded its courseware offerings to include the Linux market.

  • Magic Software Enterprises announced the release of its "Enterprise Edition v8" for Linux. "Magic's Enterprise Edition v.8, which last year received DBMS Magazine's Readers' Choice Award as the top application development tool on the market, is the only application development technology for the enterprise that offers a uniform paradigm and integrated development environment for both client/server and web computing."

  • Microtest Inc. introduced LinuxZerver a new Linux-based application delivery platform.

  • Orasoft announced the official stable release of the Oracle Applications for Linux suite.

  • P-STAT, Inc. announced a free version of the P-STAT software for Intel PCs running Linux. The P-STAT software combines data and file management, data entry and editing with report writing and statistical procedures.

  • Pacific Softworks Inc. announced FUSION for Linux, an integrated suite of Internet communication software development tools and libraries targeted at software engineers developing commercial applications on the Linux operating system.

  • Performance Technologies, Inc. announced that it has added Linux operating system support to its family of Wide Area Networking protocol software offerings.

  • PhotoLoft.com announced CompuPic, a client side application to transfer their photos from the Linux desktop to the PhotoLoft.com online photo sharing platform.

  • PIKT, Problem Informant/Killer Tool, version 1.8.0 has been released. PIKT is distributed under the GNU General Public License.

  • R3vis Corporation announced the launch of OpenRM, a "scene graph programming interface" which will be available under an open source license.

  • SoftCare EC.com Inc. announced the release of its Linux version of the OpenEC Business Relationship Management Software, and TradeLink EDI Management products.

  • TurboLinux announced that it is releasing its Linux-SNA networking code as open source. They have also hired Jay Schulist, who wrote the original SNA code for Linux.

  • Valu-net Corporation launched its CPAC e-commerce platform for Linux. CPAC processes secure transactions in multiple currencies.

    Products using Linux:

  • HolonTech announced "clustering technologies" which allow the creation of Beowulf-type clusters using Cobalt Networks server appliances.

  • RadiSys Corp. announced Linux support and availability for its EPC-204, an Intel Mobile Pentium II processor-based CompactPCI CPU designed for telephony applications.

  • Rocca Resources and SiegeSoft Systems announced the upcoming release of SiegePipe, the second service in their suite of privacy products.

  • Smallworldwide plc announced the first major revision of Smallworld 3, a spatial resource planning tool using Oracle databases and the Linux operating system.

  • Terian Technologies (a division of Jones Business Systems) announced that it is giving away computers with Red Hat installed to VARs and resellers who are willing to receive commercial messages.

  • Unique Broadband Systems, Inc. announced that it has commenced the development of RealLinux; a real-time Linux-based operating system.

    Java Products:

  • Inovie Software, Inc. announced TeamCenter 3.0.

  • Inprise Corporation announced the JBuilder 3 Foundation.

  • Inprise also announced that there have been nearly 100,000 downloads of its "JBuilder 3 Foundation Edition" since it was made available - "more than double the number of downloads of the Linux version than of the Windows version of the product."

  • NetObjects, Inc. announced NetObjects Authoring Server for Java Server Pages.

  • O'Reilly & Associates a new edition of "Java in a Nutshell" by David Flanagan.

  • Track Data Corporation announced that it plans to offer a java-based version of its myTrack online trading and market data system compatible with Linux, Unix, Mac and Solaris operating systems.

    Products with Linux versions:

  • 1MAGE Software, Inc. announced the availability of its core imaging products on Linux.

  • AuthentiDate.com (BitWise Designs) announced that it is in the beta development stage of a software developer kit (SDK) that will give developers a complete set of stamping and account maintenance tools to interact with the Internet based AuthentiDate.com service. It's compatible with Red Hat Linux.

  • Binary Evolution, Inc. announced the release of VelociGen 2.0, an upgrade to their application server.

  • Cambex Corporation announced Linux support for its FibreQuik PC1000 PCI-to-Fibre Channel host bus adapters.

  • CBQ, Inc. announced that it is in the beta development stage of its PriorityCash.com Internet payment service that will offer Linux compatibility.

  • Centura Software Corporation announced the latest release of its cross-platform Velocis Database Server version 3.0.

  • Classics International Entertainment, Inc. announced that CIE has developed a comprehensive assortment of Linux software products comprised of advanced data compression tools.

  • DataDirect Networks Inc. introduced the EV-800, a new SAN-ready Fibre Channel RAID system.

  • Datalink.net, Inc. announced that it is expanding its XpressLink Application Server technology to support the Linux operating system.

  • Datametrics Systems Corporation announced its new VisualPulse product.

  • Datametrics Systems Corporation announced that it has added support for Linux to its VisualRoute Internet product.

  • DataMirror Corporation announced free licencing of its Transformation Server for Linux.

  • Dataram Corporation announced the availability of memory for the SGI 1000 server family. This includes the SGI 1400L Linux server.

  • HyperFeed Technologies, Inc. announced the availability of its HyperFeed Software Development Kit for Linux.

  • InfoInterActive Inc. announced Internet Call Manager for Linux along with a comprehensive strategy to involve Linux developers in the creation of future services.

  • Iwill USA Corp. announced the Slocket II, a Socket 370 to Slot 1 converter card designed to support second generation Intel Coppermine (FC-PGA) processors, and first generation Socket 370 and Point Grid Array (PGA) processors.

  • JAWS Technologies Inc. announced a commercial end-to-end enterprise security solution for the Linux operating system.

  • LINMOR Technologies announced that its entire network management product line has been ported to the LINUX operating system.

  • Merlin Software Technologies Inc. announced PerfectBACKUP+ for Linux.

  • OMNIS Technology Corp. announced details of the increased web functionality in the latest version of its popular Rapid Application Development tool: OMNIS Studio.

  • Pivot Technologies, Inc. announced they now provide monitoring services to those companies running Linux 2.X (Red Hat 5.1+).

  • Spectra Logic Corp. announced Quick Restore support for the full line of Spectra Logic automated tape libraries.

  • Speedware announced Linux servers can access to the company's Autobahn II technology.

  • TECSYS Inc. announced the commercial availability of its e-commerce/order fulfillment product line on the Linux Operating System.

  • Verisity Ltd. announced SureLint, next-generation static design verification software to analyze and debug complex designs.

  • Vertel announced the release of e*ORB, a commercial Object Request Broker (ORB) optimized specifically for the telecommunications industry.

  • Viewgraphics announced DTVxstream, a high performance MPEG-2 transport stream server for digital broadcast applications.

  • VirtualSellers.com Inc. announced the release of TAME version 4.0, a Linux compatible programming language.

  • WebTrends Corporation released WebTrends Security Analyzer v3.0.

  • WebVision announced JOBtropolis, a recruitment management application designed to simplify, streamline and automate the online recruiting process.

  • Workstation Solutions announced Quick Restore 2.6, a network backup system for Red Hat Linux servers and clients.

  • Xenos Group announced Linux operating system support for its Documorph and transform product families.

    Partnerships, Investments and Acquisitions:

  • Computone Corporation announced that SuSE and Red Hat are including its driver for its IntelliPort serial cards.

  • Etnus, a supplier of parallel application debuggers for the UNIX market, announced TotalView support for Kuck & Associates Guide OpenMP cross-platform compilers on Compaq, IBM, SGI, Sun, and Intel/Linux platforms.

  • KeyLink Systems announced it has signed an agreement to become a value-added Red Hat distributor.

  • Lineo announced that Arriba!, Viosoft's Integrated Development Environment (IDE), will ship as part of the Lineo Embedix SDK, an embedded Linux development kit.

  • LinuxIT, a distributer of Linux Software in the UK, announced a Distribution Partner agreement with Informix Software.

  • Lutris Technologies announced the receipt of $10 million in funding from Chase Capital Partners and Chase H&Q. The company plans to use the funding to build on the acceptance Enhydra has received in the Open Source community and make it the de facto standard Java/XML application server for Internet applications.

  • National Computer Systems, Inc. announced that through its Virtual University Enterprises IT testing service, it has contracted with Informix Software, Inc. and Linux Professional Institute, Inc. to begin test delivery of their certification exams.

  • Rebel.com Inc. and LINMOR Technologies announced that they are working together on a hardware-software network management system solution.

  • Red Hat and HP have announced a joint sales initiative, which consists, mainly, of Red Hat promoting and selling HP's OpenMail system.

  • Stormix Technologies, Inc. announced an agreement with PowerQuest Corporation to include the PowerQuest Linux Prep Tool with the Stormix product Storm Linux 2000.

  • TurboLinux announced it is becoming a platinum sponsor of the Linux Professional Institute.

  • UniComp, Inc. announced that its subsidiary, Unibol, will offer a bridge from IBM midrange servers to Linux.

  • Veritas Software Corporation announced that its NetBackup client is shipping with Red Hat 6.1 Deluxe.

  • Webb Interactive Services, Inc. announced JabberIM, an instant messaging service built in partnership with the Jabber.org XML-based, open-source movement. JabberIM is included in Corel's application platform, CorelCity.com; in addition to being embedded within Corel's new Linux Desktop OS.


  • Aceweb Internet announced it has recently upgraded and redesigned its Linux software archive, LinuxArchives.com.

  • Cobalt Networks, Inc. unveiled the RaQ 3J family of products for Japan.

  • Dunn Computer Corporation announced that it has shipped 41 Linux-based servers to the Department of Defense.

  • e-MedSoft.com announced that it has launched what it believes to be one of the first Linux-based Web-native comprehensive health-care management systems.

  • GameCom, Inc. announced that it has completed its Linux installation into its 'Net GameLink interactive entertainment system.

  • Hewlett-Packard Company announced a new on-line hub which includes pay-per-incident Linux support.

  • The LinuxWorld Expo has put out this press release trying to get the attention of people watching the VA Linux IPO. "LinuxWorld Conference & Expo At Epicenter as Linux Industry Takes Wall Street by Storm; Recent IPOs Indicate Trend Towards World-Wide Acceptance"

  • M&A West, Inc. announced its LinuxFunding.com site. They are evidently on the prowl for promising Linux companies to invest in.

  • Macmillan Computer Publishing announced "Special Edition Using Caldera OpenLinux" by Allen Smart et al.

  • Mission Critical Linux announced its "Secure Service Technology" for enterprise Linux support.

  • Progressive Systems, Inc. announced the free giveaway of a personal-use Linux version of its Phoenix Adaptive Firewall. In addition, Progressive Systems is giving away unlimited session copies of the software to Linux user groups.

  • ProsoftTraining.com announced the worldwide availability of its Linux training and certification offerings. Support for the Linux Professional Institute was also announced.

  • Red Hat announced its "reseller starter kit." "The Red Hat Reseller Starter Kit enables the reseller to join the first level of the company's channel program and includes the necessary products to get the reseller up and running. Red Hat Reseller Starter Kits have pricing options available from $500 to $5,000. For resellers who prefer a more significant partnership with Red Hat, there are three starter kits tailored to their businesses; System Builder Starter Kit, System Integrator Starter Kit and Application Provider Starter Kit. Resellers who purchase one of these kits join the second level of the program and are named a Red Hat Certified Reseller."

  • Red Hat, Inc. announced that Mark White has been named general manager of Red Hat Asia-Pacific.

  • Specialized Systems Consultants, Inc. (SSC) and Be, Incorporated announced the launch of Be Magazine.

  • TechRepublic announced the expansion of its TechProGuild editorial team to include Chris Dinsmore, a Linux expert in security systems.

  • Wave Technologies announced that a "tremendous amount of activity in the Linux marketplace" has inspired it to expand its Linux training activities.

  • WireSpeed announced its "embedded Linux service," which, as far as can be determined from the press release, consists of helping companies use a stripped-down version of the Red Hat distribution in embedded settings.

  • Worldwide Online announced the launch of its new Linux Development Division.

  • XTERRAgear.com, an online sportswear retailer, has chosen the newly released Linux version of WebCatalog from Smith Micro Software, Inc.'s Internet Solutions Division to create an online catalog of athletic sportswear.

  • Zap.Com Corp. announced that it has added a "Linux Resources" channel to "The Zap 200 Best Internet Sites" list.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet.

December 16, 1999


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

Linux in the news

Recommended Reading

The Red Herring ran this article about the future of open source software as part of its Ten Trends 2000 series. "The demand for paid open-source development will give rise to a major trend in 2000: market systems will emerge that let companies commission custom software from the international community of open-source developers, ensuring that companies get the software they need and that programmers get paid."

News.com reports on Linuxcare's new investments and acquisitions. "Indeed, Linuxcare likely will change its name at some point to Opencare, [CEO] Sarrat confirmed. But for now, the company is chiefly targeting Linux."

Salon Magazine ran this article about the VA Linux IPO, and about spectacular IPOs in general. "By Friday afternoon, anybody who had bought VA Linux at $320 had already lost $102 a share, as the new issue closed the week at $218. But there's something missing from this picture. Everybody knows that IPOs that run up to astounding heights lose a big part of their value within days. So who are the investors naive enough to buy into them?"

VA Linux:

Here's USA Today's VA Linux article. "VA Linux's products are easy to copy because its computers are built with readily available pieces, such as Intel chips, says Cory Ostman of AlertIPO. ''Its advantages are not defensible at all,'' he says. ''Investors are just looking at the last five letters of its name.''"

ZDNet reports on the VA Linux IPO. "The main reason Va Linux, Cobalt Networks, Red Hat and others are going bonkers is simple supply and demand. There aren't a lot of publicly-traded pure Linux companies."

Here's another summary article from News.com about VA Linux Systems' IPO. "Cliff Miller, chief executive of privately held Linux seller TurboLinux, said he's pleased that Linux companies are being well received on Wall Street. But he cautioned that potential investors should do their homework, studying the company personnel and often unusual business models before putting in their money."

Also in News.com: VA Linux founder becomes paper billionaire in a day looks at VA's big winners. "Not only did Augustin end the day as a paper billionaire, venture capitalist Sequoia Capital's investment is worth about $2.25 billion. Intel, another investor, holds VA stock worth nearly $1 billion. VA Linux vice president John Hall's stake in the company is worth about $718 million."

Linux Magazine has made available online their August interview with VALinux CEO Larry Augustin. Apparently the topic is thought likely to be of high interest today. "VA Linux Systems is one of the most important companies driving the Linux movement forward," said Linux Magazine Executive Editor Robert McMillan. "Larry Augustin is a truly visionary leader in the Linux Community, and we were fortunate to have the opportunity to interview him earlier this year".

Here is the Washington Post's article about VA's IPO. "In an attempt to give back something to the community of hackers who have built Linux over the years, VA Linux (like Red Hat before it) offered shares of stock at insider prices to people who had been involved in creating Linux over the years. Most were offered 100 shares--at yesterday's closing price, enough to pay for an Audi A4 or, with strong haggling, a BMW 325i."

The LA Times covers the VA IPO. "Technology analysts noted that the huge infusion of cash into Linux companies over the last few months has given the operating system a level of legitimacy and power that few could only dream only a year ago."

Upside chimes in on the VA Linux IPO. "Originally priced at $30 after an almost daily series of pre-IPO markups this week, VA Linux (LNUX) hit the roiling tech market like a can of WD-40 tossed into a late autumn campfire."

Here's the Red Herring's take on the VA Linux IPO. "If the first-day stock performance of VA Linux Systems is any indicator, the end of the millennium signals the end of the world as we know it."

This column in the Detroit Free Press by sports writer Mitch Albom boggles at the VA Linux IPO. "This company is in ...the computer business! What a shock! It sells computers that run not on Windows 95, but on an operating system called Linux. This is not unique. Several huge companies, including Dell and IBM, sell computers like this. And they dwarf VA Linux the way a Sumo wrestler dwarfs a figure skater." (Thanks to Raymond Ingles).

Reuters reports on the VA Linux IPO. "'Thirty five years of IPO research down the toilet,' joked Irv DeGraw, research director at Worldfinancenet.com in Sarasota, Fla. 'It just shows that Linux fever has replaced the dot com mania. A little bit of this is fad. The core of it is that Linux does represent a new direction of the future.'"

The New York Times takes a dim view of VA's IPO. "Internet mania reached new levels of frenzy Thursday as investors paid huge multiples on an initial public offering, giving a market value of almost $10 billion to a tiny company with powerful competitors, little revenue and no expectation of earnings in the foreseeable future." (The New York Times is a registration-required site).

ZDNet's Inter@ctive Investor reports on the repriced VA IPO. "VA Linux upped its price range twice leading up to the offering. On Wednesday, the company said its new range was $28 to $30 per share, up from the $21 to $23 announced Tuesday, and far above the original price range of $11 to $13."

This Reuters article comments on VALinux' debut having an opposite impact on some non-Linux stocks. "Meehan said big name technology stocks such as Microsoft and Intel looked to be taking a hit as investors were distracted by newer issues, such as VA Linux , which was up more than 800 percent at 252 from its $30 initial offering price. "


News.com reports on the Andover.net IPO and the "OpenIPO" process that it used. "Peter Phelps, chief financial officer of Andover.Net, said his company selected the OpenIPO process because it wanted Linux developers to be part of the IPO. According to Phelps, Andover.Net shied away from a traditional IPO because of snafus associated with allocating IPO shares to developers in the Red Hat IPO." Don't be surprised if more future Linux IPOs use this mechanism as an alternative to running complicated programs to get shares to developers.

Here's Upside's take on the Andover.net IPO. "Asked to provide an end-of-the-day analysis, IPO Monitor senior analyst Gail Bronson could only laugh. 'The market's hot for Linux,' Bronson said. 'I think anyone trying to make a microscopic analysis of this is on a fool's errand. If it's Linux, it's gonna go higher.'"

Here's a Reuters article on the first day of trading in Andover.net's stock. "Because interaction between developers is key in the open source community, Andover.Net's Web sites, like Slashdot.org and Freshmeat.net, are very popular and their traffic is on the rise. Their sites compile content and commentary, where programmers post news items and rumors and make commentaries on them."


Here is Forbes Magazine's take on Linuxcare's announcements and IPO prospects. "Despite the overwhelming euphoria in the marketplace for anything Linux, it might be wise for Linuxcare to take its time. The company has one of the more viable business models out there, since many industry pundits believe services is going to be the juiciest part of the Linux market."

Reuters is covering the latest moves by Linuxcare, including getting more than $32 million in financing from Dell, Sun, Oracle, Motorola, and others. They have also bought up three companies: The Puffin Group, Prosa, and Cheek Consulting.

Other Business:

Open source figures, of course, in this 1999 retrospective from Salon. "Could there be any better demonstration of how passion can affect the economy? These stock market valuations are fueled in part by the belief of thousands of small investors that Linux is well on its way to world domination. Their willingness to pony up their cash is making that belief come true, provided Red Hat and VA Linux use their market clout wisely."

The Ottawa Citizen, too, has an article about the craziness in Linux stocks. "A potentially significant hurdle to Linux-related companies, however, is the fact that some Linux followers are now trying to create applications that can be given away free along with the operating system. This poses a challenge to companies looking to make money off Linux, say analysts."

Reuters reports on the recent drops in Linux stock prices. "Profit-taking on Tuesday deflated shares of Red Hat Inc., the biggest distributor of the Linux computer operating system, extending a slump that has shaved 28 percent from the high-flying stock in less than a week."

Here's an Ottawa Citizen article about Ottawa-based Linux companies. "At least five companies are developing products based on the Linux operating system that has galvanized world stock markets in the past month. And at least one, Rebel.com Inc. plans to go public by next March. And yesterday's 24-per-cent drop in Corel Corp.'s share price is not expected to slow the action."

Reuters looks at Corel's stock price. "Shares of Canadian software developer Corel Corp. rode Linux mania to a record high Wednesday as interest in the open-source Linux technology continued to surge."

Reuters talks with Linus Torvalds about the Linux frenzy in the stock market. "Torvalds is distributing his operating programme through the Internet for free, and even though he owns some VA Linux shares, he has not yet become one of the 'nerd' millionaires that now populate California's Silicon Valley. Becoming rich could actually hurt his cult status as someone who does programming for kicks not cash, and Torvalds said he was satisfied with the 'ego-boost' the enthusiasm for Linux brings to him."

The Boston Globe uses the Linux stock frenzy to compare Eric Raymond and Richard Stallman. "That's why [Stallman] turned down the chance to invest in two red-hot GNU/Linux companies: Red Hat Inc., a North Carolina firm that distributes and services a version of GNU/Linux; and VA Linux Systems Inc., a California company that makes computers that run GNU/Linux. Both companies include some ''non-free'' software with their products, and Stallman felt that ownership of their stock would fatally compromise his principles."

The (Pittsburgh) Tribune-Review ran this opinion piece about Linux stocks. The author sees little value in Linux, but seems somewhat confused... "Often a good story generates a sequel. Looking for users who do not need a heavy-duty operating system, already a Linux sequel dubbed Linus, is in the works. Apparently the hope is that this version will reach the commercial viability its cartoon namesake did. Viable or not, the story is probably enough to be the catalyst for unfathomable gains in some stocks."

TechWeb has pulled out the top ten findings from its "State of the VAR market 2000" survey. Number six: "One-third of respondents support Linux, up from nil last year."

VARBusiness ran this introductory article. "That near-zero software cost for the operating system means hefty margin potential for VARs."

News.com looks at the Trillian project, and the joining thereof by four Linux distributors. "The Trillian project is a big factor in the future success of Linux, as companies try to push the operating system to the loftier position occupied by the closely related Unix operating system. Though Linux runs on several 64-bit chips, such as the UltraSparc from Sun Microsystems, the Alpha from Compaq and the PA-RISC from Hewlett-Packard, the Linux stronghold today is on 32-bit chips from Intel."

Here's an article on ZDNet (reprinted from the Wall Street Journal) on a plan by Compaq and Samsung to invest $500 million into promoting the Alpha processor. Their plans include "...the creation of a fund to invest in Linux software makers and promote the use of Alpha-based computers." (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann).

News.com looks at the buyout of Cosource.com by Applix. "'Certainly there will be an opportunity for us to use Cosource to add value to...Applixware,' said Richard Manly, director of marketing for the Applix Linux division."

EE Times ran this article on why Unix systems are more reliable. "In the last 18 months, Unix-type systems have enjoyed a renaissance in the embedded, desktop and server worlds as the platform of choice for mission- and business-critical applications. Much of the resurgence of Unix arises from the adoption of Linux and the success of the open-source movement."

News.com talks with Corel's Michael Cowpland. "Cowpland also dismissed rumors that North Carolina-based Linux supplier Red Hat is looking at Corel as a possible acquisition. 'We have a phenomenal user base, and we're bringing that to Linux. We've got five times more Linux developers than Red Hat. There are no negotiations going on with Red Hat,' he said."

TechWeb ran this Reuters article about Corel CEO Micheal Cowpland's pep talk. "It will take time -- analysts suggest up to one year -- to determine if Corel's Linux strategy adds up on the balance sheet."


Here's a Computer Reseller News article about MySQL. "A Swedish-born Linux database dubbed MySQL is being used as part of an overall freeware combination that may put E-commerce in reach for small and midsize users."

This article in Network World Fusion talks about open-source applications servers - Zope, Midgard, and Enhydra. "These offerings - with intriguing names such as Enhydra, Midgard and Zope - feature most of the same pros and cons of other open source software. They are free and tend to be more easily customizable than their commercial counterparts, but generally lack the service and support infrastructure on which commercial software users have come to rely."

Jerry Pournelle gets a NetWinder, and likes it. "...for what we're doing here this system is wonderful. Communications have never been better. You can treat it as a Linux box and learn to use Linux with it, or you can stay with the Rrebel GUI and treat the NetWinder as a black box that does things for you."

PC World tries out LinuxOne's 'Ready Drive', and is not impressed. "LinuxOne aims for easy installation, but its Ready Drive is anything but."

It seems that Neil Stephenson's classic In the Beginning...Was the Command Line has been released in paperback form (Amazon link). So the Atlantic Monthly has gone and reviewed it. The review looks a little at the book, but is really more of an anti-Linux piece. "There is a kind of warning here, and at the risk of being banned from all the better quadrants of cyberspace, I want to post it: Linux is the second coming of Unix; it's the revenge of the Unix experts known in the culture as the wizards.... This time around, the wizards are camouflaged by Linux to appear friendly, cooperative, even cuddly (with adorable Finnish accents), rather than only bristly, fiendishly technical, and inanely competitive." (Thanks to Phil Austin).


LinuxPower has put up an article about the Linux Business Expo. "While waiting in that line for Linus' keynote, I started scanning people's badges to see how many had attended the LBE and was surprised to discover that many did not have that yellow sticker. I spoke to a few people around me. Many of them hadn't used Linux. But here they were, waiting for an hour to hear a keynote by Linus Torvalds."

TechWeb attended Sun CEO Scott McNealy's keynote at the Java Business conference. "The explosive growth of companies such as Red Hat Software, which makes a business of free software, and the rise of open source software, is forcing companies to look at alternative methods of business beside selling packages of software." (Thanks to Ramon Garcia Fernandez).

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol

December 16, 1999


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



MSLinux Index updated. Dan Kegel has updated his MSLinux Index - a count of the number of instances of "Linux" found on Microsoft's web pages. His figures show a nearly 500% growth rate in the "popularity" of Linux at Microsoft...

LWN Stock Index script. Marc Christensen has announced version 0.2 of a script which grabs the LWN Linux Stock Index and produces an HTML file for use via server-side includes.

On Linux Politics. Pjotr Prins writes about Linux politics on the NLUUG web site. "Personally I don't think that the motivation of developers really changes. More money is obviously involved now, but essentially Linux is being developed by people who want to use the software themselves, for whatever purpose. Money or no money."


4th Annual Atlanta Linux Showcase announced. The Fourth annual Atlanta Linux Showcase has been announced for October 10-14, 2000. Mark your calendars.

The India Linux ambush. Last week we pointed out this schedule from India's version of Comdex, wherein Jon 'maddog' Hall was put next to a session on "Why you should not use Linux." Well, an determined crowd from Linux-India was there to help out, and they have put up a description of what transpired. The title ("The angry penguin charged...") is appropriate - it's worth reading. There is also a page full of pictures from the event.

Web sites

LinuxBusiness.com. A reworked LinuxBusiness.com has announced its existence and put out a request for case studies and experiences with the use of Linux in business settings.

December 16, 1999



Software Announcements

Package Version Description
aargh 0.9 A procmail auto-response generator.
AbiWord 0.7.7 Fully featured word processor
alarm applet 0.8.9 Simple alarm for the GNOME panel
Alien 6.53 Converts between the rpm, dpkg, stampede slp, andslackware tgz file formats
Allegro 3.9.29 A portable game programming library.
angif 1.0.0beta3 LZW-free GIF code to output animation and/or true-color
apt-proxy 0.1 A simple apt-get proxy cache.
arla 0.29.1 A free AFS client and server for Linux, *BSD and others.
as-gps 0.2 Library / Utilities for using the AISIN-SEIKI GPS Module
avtv 0.04 An Accuview TV/Video viewer.
Bastille Linux 1.0.0 A comprehensive hardening program for Redhat Linux 6.0.
bcnu 1.19 Powerful Web-based client-server system monitoring
Berlin 0.1.3 distributed windowing system
BetaFTPD 0.0.8pre6 Single-threaded, small FTP daemon
BHRPFF 1.0 An mp3 file renamer
Big Brother 1.3a Highly efficient network monitor
Birthday 1.0.1 Birthday reminder
bitbus4linux 0.2 The bitbus protocol daemon and kernel driver for Linux.
BLADE 0.8.1 Broad Language Aided Document Environment
BladeEnc 0.90 Freeware MP3 Encoder
BRINK 1.2 CGI that changes users passwords via a web page.
bug-buddy 0.6 graphical bug-reporting utility for GNOME
BusyBox 0.39 A suite of tiny Unix utilities, for building rescue disks and embedded systems.
BW whois 1.4a A whois in perl that works with the newly mangled whois system as of 1 Dec 1999.
C-XSC++ 0.9.1 A C++ class library for extended scientific computing.
Cacheability Engine 1.22 CGI/command line script to check Web page cacheability
cadaver 0.5.0 command-line WebDAV tool
cadaverserver 0.99.5 realtime artificial intelligence battle game server
changate 0.13 An IRC channel gateway.
chlastmeter 0.1 A display graph of the amount of alcohol in blood.
comics.pl 1.3 A Perl script to download all of today's online comics.
Common UNIX Printing System 1.0.3 Internet Printing System for UNIX
Conglomerate 0.1.0 XML document system.
CoreLinux++ 0.3.0 A set of C++ class libraries to support common patterns in software development.
Correcteur 101 1.0 French grammar checker with complete grammatical analysis
Courier-IMAP 0.20 IMAP server for maildirs
crocodiles 0.22 An ISP packet accounting management package
csnes9x 0.9.30 A command line snes9x launcher.
cthumb 2.3.3 Automatic creation of a picture album in HTML w/ thumbnails
ctm 1.3 SNMP interface statistics gatherer
Cut The Crap 1.0.1 Ad-blocking proxy-like python-based software.
Cyrus SML ACAP 0.2 A standardized remote preferences storage.
Darkbot 5f13 IRC Help Robot
defcon.epplet 0.0.2 A system load monitor epplet.
Defkon 17 019991210 Realtime Strategy game
Dejafilter 0.07 Content-filtering CGI-based proxy script for Deja.com queries
DejaSearch 1.7.2 DejaSearch is a frontend to DejaNews, the leading Usenet archive
dep.pl 1.18 Check dependencies of multiple files.
DHTML Dynamic Headline Fader 3.0 DHTML dynamic headline fader/flipper display
Dia 0.82 gtk based diagram drawing program. Much like Visio.
Dieresis Newsboy 1.1.0 Web-Based News and Announcements Publishing Perl Script
Double Choco Latte 19991213 Software Configuration Management/Bug/Enhancement Tracking Software
Downloader for X 1.08 Downloads files from the Internet via both FTP and HTTP
Drall Allows users to access their directories and files remotely via a web browser
Dune 0.6.7 A tiny Web server implementation.
DWUN 0.6a Controls PPP link by client requests for connection
E-Speak Beta 2.2 E-Services Platform
E-Weather 0.1 An Enlightenment weather epplet.
E8Ball 0.0 Magic 8-Ball for Enlightenment
EasyGTK 1.1.5 Wrapper library for GTK
EasyStat 3.0 EasyStat is a statistical application for web pages.
ecasound 1.6.9r9 Sound processing, multitrack recording and mixing
Electric 5.7.3 CAD/EDA tool for multiple levels of design
Email Security through Procmail 1.95 Email filter to remove remote security exploits of email clients
emelFM 0.6.4 Two-Window File Manager
Empath KRASH A new mail transfer agent for KDE. Uses maildir and will contain news reading.
Endeavour 1.09 Linux/X File and Image Browser
EnRus dictionary tools 1.0pre-9 Tcl/Tk scripts for manipulating textual (plain or gzipped) dictionary base.
Epeios 19991212 Collection of general purposes C++ libraries working under UNIX and Windows.
EpsClean 0.2 A utility to clean the print heads of an Epson Stylus Color 800.
Etherboot 4.2.12 Source code for making TCP/IP boot ROMs to boot Linux and other OSes
Everybuddy 0.0.6 Universal Instant Messaging Client
Exim 3.12 Message Transfer Agent for Unix systems
eXtace 1.2.15 ESD FFT visual plugin, eye-candy
Fast Webpage Exchanger 2.1.0 A non-interactive FTP client for updating Web pages
fblogo 0.1 Generate your own framebuffer boot logo.
Festival 1.4.1 General multi-lingual speech synthesis system
FOX 0.99.94 C++-Based Library for Graphical User Interface Development
FreeAmp 2.0 beta5 Open Source MP3 player
FreeTDS 0.50 Open Source implementation of the TDS database protocol
FROGS 1.0.2 An event-driven simulator.
ftpgrab 0.1.1 FTP mirror utility
FutureForum Web Discussion Software 1.30 Web based discussion forum written in Perl and MySQL
Fworld IRC Operator Services 2.1.2 IRC Operator Service with features rivalling Undernet's.
GalaxyNG 4-1 A server for a multi-player play-by-email spacewar game.
Galway 0.33 Guile-gtk HTML Editor
GameTrakker 2.0 An integrated tool to monitor game servers using QStat and MRTG.
gbox_applet 0.2.4 mbox watcher
gCatalog 0.2.16 A database program for just about anything.
Geheimnis 0.91 A KDE shell for GPG/PGP2/PGP5
Getleft 0.7.4 Tcl/Tk site grabber powered by Curl
gFTP 2.0.6 A multithreaded ftp client for X Windows
gg 0.0.2 Graphical guestbook for the Web
gmap 1.1.0-1 Map viewer with emphasis on temporal data
Gnapster 1.2.1 GNOME Napster client
gnome-o-phone 0.5 Internet telephone with a gtk interface
gnotepad+ 1.2.0pre4 An easy-to-use, yet fairly feature-rich, simple text editor
GNU cfengine 1.5.4pre1 A tool for administering Networks of Diverse Machines
GNU parted 1.0.0-pre11 A partition editor, for creating, destroying, resizing and copying partitions.
GOB 0.91.1 Preprocessor for building GTK+ Object
gProjectGenerator 0.1.1 A GNOME source-tree generator.
grep 2.4 GNU grep, egrep and fgrep.
gShield 1.0 Godot's Modular Firewall
gsteak 0.2 A German <-> English translator.
GTK+XFce 3.2.2 Easy-to-use and easy-to-configure environment for X11
GtkIconList 2.0 Icon List Widget for GTK+
GtkPlot 5.0 2D Scientific plot widget for GTK+
gtkpool 0.3.3 Simple GTK+ pool game
GtkSheet 9.0 A matrix/grid widget for Gtk+
GtkTiLink 0.40_1.96 A TI calculators <-> PC communication program using a GTK interface
GTS 0.0.1 Functions for 3D surfaces meshed with interconnected triangles
Guava 1.0.1 C-like preprocessing for HTML
hello-world 0.7 A Roxen Hello-world module.
Heyu 1.28b Controls powerline remote control interface (CM11) made by X10 corp.
HP OfficeJet Linux Driver 0.4 Linux support for the HP Officejet All-In-One series
ht://Dig 3.1.4 Complete world wide web indexing and searching system
HTMLDOC 1.8.3 Converts HTML to indexed HTML, PostScript, and PDF
HTMLPerlSETI 0.10 Display SETI@home client statistics in an HTML table.
Hurricane 0.3.2 A highly extensible IRC daemon.
icewm 0.9.54 Window Manager designed for speed, usability and consistency
icqlib 19991212 ICQ interface library
Ija 0.3 Interactive command-line client for Deja
impose+ 0.1 A imposition program and related PostScript utilities.
inn 2.2.2 Complete and full-featured Usenet System
InterfaceLED 0.6 Interface monitor program
iOffice2000 US English Patch 2.11 US English patch for the UK version of iOffice2000
ipacct 1.06 Collects IP accounting information for metered usage
ipchains-firewall 1.6.2 Rules-based ipchains firewall/masquerading script suite
iPlanet Web Server, Enterprise Edition 4.1 alpha Web server from the Sun/Netscape alliance
IPSC 0.4.1 IP subnet calculator (GNOME/CLI)
IPWatch 0.01 Beta 10 Restores network connectivity when there is a loss or change of IP.
isp-watcher 2.0.4 A perl script which monitors lines at an ISP for disconnects.
Jabber 0.8 Instant Messaging Platform
jac 0.11 Command line CD Player
java2html 1.3.1 a simple program that converts Java source to syntax-highlighted HTML
JFlash 0.3 Java Flash Card Program
JIPSY 0.1.0 IPv6 for Java.
jukebox 0.91 Jukebox for mp3-files with html-interface and playerdaemon
KDiary 0.0.1 A diary/journal program for KDE.
keeper 0.9 A configuration storage and retrieval library
Kgutenbook 0.4.6 KDE port of the perl app gutenbook, to download, and read etexts from Gutenburg
KHexEdit 0.8.5 Versatile binary file editor for KDE
kicq 19991212 ICQ clone for KDE that looks like Mirabilis' ICQ client
Kit Client 1.0b3 KDE-based client for the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) service.
KLuach 0.1 A Jewish calendar for KDE.
kmp_sybase 0.1.0 KMySql plugin for Sybase.
kNetmon 0.99.2 KDE-aware X frontend for many network tools, especially samba
Koala Complete MUD Server 0.0.1a A complete MUD server.
konkhydra 0.0.1 Control multiple X servers from one keyboard and mouse.
KOPI 1.4B A completely open-source Java compiler and development environment
KSEG 0.1 A geometry exploration program like Sketchpad, Cabri, and Cinderella.
LANdb 0.76 Provides network managers with a means of cataloging network connections.
LCAP 0.0.2 The Linux kernel capability remover.
LCDsys 0.2 A sysinfo-tool for external LCDs.
Libcfg 0.0.2 A simple configuration management library.
libiconv 0.1 Character set conversion library, portable iconv implementation
Libtool 1.3.4 GNU libtool is a generic library support script
libutf8 0.6.1 Unicode/UTF-8 locale support at the C library level
lidentd 1.0p1 Highly configurable identd.
Lift Off Java Installer 0.1.1 An installer for Java applications.
Limo 0.2.3 Configurable replacement for ls
LinCVS 0.2.3 A graphical frontend for the CVS-client.
Linux Intrusion Detection System 0.6.1 Linux Kernel-Based Intrusion Detect System
Linux VPN Masquerade 2.2 Masquerade support for IPSec and PPTP VPN traffic
loadlib 0.1 A shared-library loading program.
Lua-Linux 1.1a Lua Language Interpreter 3.1, Linux-optimized, Distribution Version 0.9
LUCGI 1.3.0 CGi Library for C++
LxA 0.0.5 Linux appliance construction set.
Mad Bomber 0.1.1 An SDL-based clone of Activision's 2600 game,
maildircmd 1.0 Run a command on messages in a maildir
mailshift 0.11 Utility to transfer UNIX mailboxes to a Windows POP3 server
mcal-drivers 0.6 Calendar drivers for libmcal
Melys 0.1.12 A MIDI sequencer for ALSA.
Mesa 3.1 3-D graphics library which uses the OpenGL API
MetaKit 2.0 Structured storage database library in C++, with Tcl and Python interfaces
MeterMaid 1.0 GPLed troubleticket system written in Perl
Mexx 1.1.0 Shoot'em up for Linux/Win32/BeOS
mifluz 0.9.0 Full text indexing C++ library
mini_httpd 10dec99 small HTTP server
mod_cgisock 0.1.3 A CGI interface over a Unix Domain socket
mod_layout 0.5 Layout module for Apache.
mod_pcgi2 0.0.1 An Apache module for Zope/PCGI.
mod_random 0.9 An Apache module for random URL display.
Moonshine 0.9.6 An application development environment for Linux.
mp3blaster 2.0b15 Provides interactive playing of mp3 files on a text console
MP3c 0.24 Audio-CD to MP3-Converter, with use of CDDB. Included GUI and cmdline-support
MPAC 0.2 The Microstrip Patch Antenna Calculator.
mpg123+eq patch 0.1 X11 Graphical Equalizer for mpg123-0.59r
mpg123-mysql 0.3 MySQL support for mpg123
Mserv 0.28 A centralised local music server for MP3s.
MSNewsGrabber 3.0 Grabs news headlines and stories from various sites
Muddleftpd 1.2.4 A small, fast configurable ftp server that can run without root.
MySQL 3.23.7 SQL (Structured Query Language) database server
namegen 0.6 Tool and library for randomly generating strings of a specified format.
ncp 0.7 Copy files (and URLs) quickly inside your LAN.
NEStra 0.65 Dynamic-Recompiling NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) emulator
NetBiff 0.9.1 A more featureful version of the traditional biff.
NetHack 3.3.0 A single player dungeon exploration game.
NetLeds applet 0.9.1 A gnome applet that displays lights (RX, TX and COL) from a network device.
nettimer netttimer 0.01 Calculate time and money spent using the Internet.
Newsbackend Interfaces for Perl 0.1a Perl scripts to fetch the latest headlines for SSI webpages.
NotLame MP3 encoder 3.50 A high quality MP3 encoder based on the LAME patch.
NTP 4.0.98g A time synchronization daemon which keeps your system time accurate.
ODBC Socket Server 0.91 Access Microsoft ODBC databases from Linux/UNIX using XML.
oFBis 0.0.10 Framebuffer graphical library for Linux.
OpenH323 gatekeeper 0.11 An H.323 gatekeeper.
OpenLDAP 1.2.8 LDAP suite of applications and development tools
OpenSSH Unix Port 1.2pre17 Port of OpenBSD's free SSH release to Linux
Oracle Procedit 3.0 X11 Oracle Procedure and Function Editor
Oracle Session Monitor 3.0 X11 program that can be used to manage user sessions on your Oracle Database
Oracle SQLWork 3.0 An SQL Worksheet-like querying tool for Oracle
Oracle TableBrowser 3.0 An Oracle Table and Index Browser/Modifier for Linux/GTK
Pagecast 2.0 alpha 2 Automates submitting lists of URL's to various Internet search engines.
pakajla.sh 0.3 A simple script which can be very useful after CVS checkouts.
pam_cucipop 1.31-6 Patch to use PAM with cucuipop
Pan 0.6.7 Gnome/GTK Newsreader
PCI Utilities 2.1.2 Utilities for diagnostics and cofiguration of PCI devices
pcmcia-cs 3.1.6 A complete PCMCIA or 'PC Card' support package for Linux.
PerfectBackup 6.1.2
Performance Co-Pilot 2.1.1 performance monitoring toolkit and API
Perl Shell 0.004 Simple interactive Perl shell
PHP auto prepend/append script 1.0 A PHP auto prepend/append script.
phpAds 1.3.0 Banner management and tracking system written in PHP
PIKT 1.8.0 An innovative new systems administration paradigm
Poppy 2.0 Small Perl script to read/save/delete messages on a POP3 server
Postfix snapshot 19991211 The Postfix MTA
pppctl 0.0.3 A suite of simple programs of use for controlling a ppp connection.
PPPOEd 0.41 PPP over Ethernet
Primax GUI 0.99-8 Tcl/Tk Frontend GUI for Primax D600 Scanner
Printerspy 0.91 Perl/Tk tool to monitor printers via SNMP
ProcMeter3 3.2 System monitor with multiple graphical outputs
Project Lightbulb 1.03 Project Lightbulb uses distributed computing and a genetic algorithm to find pat
Prometheus-Library 1.0.3 Object-oriented PHP API
psrip 1.2 Extracts images from postscript files
ptkRun 0.17 A command executor for X.
PTlink ircd 3.5.0 New featured ircd with a great services integration
PTlink Services 1.6.1 IRC Registration Services
Python Builder 0.1 A development environment written in Python.
QDPoll 1.1 A highly-customizable polling program written in Perl.
QextMDI 0.4 cross-platform GUI library extending Qt with MDI functionality
QIR 0.3 An IRC Quake 3 server-status reporter.
QIRpl 0.1 An IRC Quake3 server-status reporter.
Qpopper 3.0b25 POP3 server
QPOV 0.1.0 A Persistence of Vision scene editor.
Quick Restore 2.6 Heterogeneous network backup and recovery.
R 0.90.1 A language and environment for statistical computing.
randtype 1.5 Displays text at random intervals.
RearSite 1.2 Tool for updating personal www pages
Recall 0.3 Framework for replicated fault-tolerant storage servers.
redir 2.2 Redirects TCP ports to another IP address and port.
rh-isdn 0.58 A few scripts and documentation to set up ISDN on RedHat
ROBODoc v3.1d Documentation tool for many programming languages
ROCK Linux 1.3.6 Linux Distribution for high skilled Linux User and Admins
RTP 1.0.0 Real time plotter
safecat 1.1 Copies stdin to a qmail-style maildir
SANE 19991212 Provides standardized access to anyraster image scanner hardware
Sarien 0.4.9 Play Sierra AGI version 2 and version 3 games like Kings Quest and Space Quest.
sawmill 0.19 Extensible window manager
scdbackup 0.5.2 Simplified CD backup for Linux.
screen 3.9.5 Full-screen window manager that multiplexes a physical terminal
SDCC-z80 0.1.0 A re-target of the SDCC C compiler to the Zilog Z80.
SDL 1.0.1 SDL is a library that allows you portable low level access for graphics/sound
Sendmail 8.10.0Beta10 Powerful and flexible Mail Transport Agent
senv 0.1c Runs a program with specified environment
serproxy 0.1.1 A serial port <-> TCP socket proxy.
sifi 0.1.5 Stateful TCP/IP packet filter for Linux.
Simple Web Server 0.4.1 Simple web-server
simpleproxy 3.0 A TCP proxy.
Sirobot 0.8.2 A Web fetch tool similar to wget.
sitecopy 0.9.0 Maintain remote copies of locally stored web sites
sitescooper 2.0.2 Downloads stories from various news sites and converts to text or Pilot format.
SMB-Mode 0.22 An Emacs mode for editing Samba's smb.conf.
SMM++ Mud Client 4.2 Mud client with mapping functionality and lots of other features
smtm 0.7.0 A Perl/Tk ticker for global stock markets.
snes9express 1.26 Gtk GUI front-end for snes9x
Snort 1.5 Libpcap packet sniffer/logger/lightweight IDS
Soma 0.75 A Multithreaded HTTP/1.1 webserver written in Java.
Space Racer 0.2.1 An OpenGL Car Game
SPIRO Linux BETA 4 A Linux distribution that is easy to install and use
SPIRO-Bastille 1.0 A System Hardener for SPIRO-Linux, adapted from Bastille-Linux.
SPS4Linux 1.7.04 An SPS language IDE and interpreter.
SquirrelMail 0.1 A PHP4 Web-based email reader.
star trek ency reader 0.7.4 Reads the star trek encyclopedia under linux
StatistX 0.1.0 Small GTK-based statistics program.
Style-print 0.1.1 Print files with a lot of styles.
sudo 1.6.1 Provides limited super user priviledges to specific users
Superficie 0.7.1 A program for basic 3D surfaces viewing and manipulation.
svncviewer 0.1.1 An SVGA VNC viewer with German keyboard mapping.
syslog-ng 1.3.7 A portable syslogd replacement with enhanced, flexible configuration scheme.
Sysmon 0.82.2 Accurate and high performance network monitoring tool.
tavrasm 1.12 Assembler for the Atmel AVR series of micro-controllers
tdof 0.0.1 The Telephony Devices Object Framework.
Tea 0.6-beta Transparent Encryption Agent - fully automatic PGP/GPG encryption
TeamWave Workplace 4.3 Shared Internet places for any-time collaboration
teapop 0.20 A POP3-server with thoughts for virtual domains
THCNET Message System .06b A PHP Web message system.
The Guild 0.1.89 A fully 3d-rendered/raytraced first-person interactive adventure
The Linux Image Montage Project pre-1697 Linux Image Montage Project Preview Release
The Veganizer 0.04 A spam counter-attack
timofometro 0.14 Control your telephone expenses.
tin 1.4.1 Curses based threaded NNTP and spool based UseNet newsreader
TINY 0.1 Small Linux distribution for reusing old computers
tiny cobol 991210 Cobol'74 compiler
Tk 42 0.1.0 A networked 42 (dominos) game.
tkFTP 1.1.0 tkFTP is an FTP client completely written with the Tcl/Tk scripting language.
tkMOO-light 0.3.23-dev-06 Powerful cross-platform chat client.
toolame 0.2e Optimized MPEG 1/2 Layer II audio encoder
ttysnoop 0.12d Allows you to spy on telnet+serial connections
Tube R7 A Hotline client written in Java.
TuxNES 0.73 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) Emulator
Ultra Power Rubix Cube Max II 1.0.2 A Rubick's cube system for Linux.
Updee 2.0 An uptime daemon that is compatible with most UNIXes.
upgrade 0.2.2 Uploader for HP49 ROMs.
Uptime client 4.00 Keep track of your uptime and compare it with other hosts.
Uptimed 0.1.1 Uptime record daemon keeping track of the highest uptimes the system ever had
VICE 1.2 Versatile Commodore Emulator
w3m 991203 pager/text-based WWW browser
WAI 0.0.1 A rewritten whoami.
WebCal 2.02 A simple browser based calendar program.
WebCalendar 0.9 A multi-user PHP/MySQL-based calendar.
Webmin 0.75 Web-based interface for system administration for Unix
WebNews 0.04 A Web page news PHP script with users-capabilities.
WhoiShOstFast 0.1 Multiprocess Scanner
windsock 0.1.1 SOCKS4/5 server in Java
Wine 991212 Emulator of the Windows 3.x and Win32 APIs.
Wizard Watchdog 2.0b07 A modular multiple-platform High Availability system.
wml-tools 0.0.3 Tools for dealing with WAP WML documents
wmMailMenu 19991212 Create a Window Maker menu with mail addresses.
wmmp3 0.11 mpg123 front end for Window Maker
WMRun.app 0.1 A small program for executing applications, based on the WINGs library.
wmsensors 1.0.4 wmsensors draws graphs of data from your sensor chips
wmSu 19991210 An su-like program with a X11 interface (done with WINGS).
Wolfshade mud 1.65.9 Wolfshade Mud: an original MUD code base written in C++
X-CD-Roast 0.96ex A program-package dedicated to easy CD creation underLinux
XDBM 0.9.6 Database Manager designed specifically to hold XML data
XGlobe 0.5 A toy that displays a globe on your X desktop
XKeyCaps 2.46 A graphical front-end to xmodmap.
XMagick 0.0.3 Integrate ImageMagick with any X application.
XPLSISNJASP 0.6 An XMMS plugin for a light show via parallel port.
xpuyopuyo 0.2.10 Tetris-like puzzle game with AI
xraw 12081999 Another multimedia development kit.
XScreenSaver 3.22 Modular screen saver and locker for the X WindowSystem
XShipWars 1.26 Space oriented highly graphical network game system.
Yacas 1.0.22 Yet Another Computer Algebra System
Yams 0.5.5 An e-commerce package written in Perl and utilizing a MySQL database.
yank 0.1.1 Yet another notekeeper.
ydSLitProg 0.0.3 Prototype for an SGML-based literate-programming tool
ZAngband 2.2.8 Rogue-like roleplaying game
Zen 0.0.1 A Web browser with dynamically linked interfaces.
Zope 2.1.1 Web application platform used for building high-performance, dynamic web sites.
ZZplayer 0.2 An MPEG-I video player.

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

Given the stock market frenzy of the time, let's look at a couple of Linux investment sites...

  • LinuxInvestments.com bills itself as "The Linux\Open Source Investment Portal." You'll find mostly links to other Linux stock-oriented sites.

  • LinuxStockWatch.com is a front end to a number of network quote and information services with a wide view of what makes a "Linux company."

  • LinuxFreak has a stock page which is mostly a Yahoo front end; it's easy to get some nice charts there.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet

December 16, 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: Richard Simpson <rsimpson@ewrcsdra.demon.co.uk>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Binary only modules
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 1999 14:03:55 +0000


In your item on possible support for binary only modules, you overlooked one
significant agument against such a move.  I refer to platform independence.

No matter what happens most hardware vendors will not be producing binary
modules for non-i386.  Not least because they don't have any such machines to
compile or test on.  Therefore we non-i386 users must rely on open source

Hardware vendors make their money by selling hardware and they are starting to
notice a large group of potential customers called Linux users.  Generally,
their first solution is to produce a binary only i386 module.  However, as you
pointed out binary only modules create all sorts of problems.  The vendor gets
swamped with emails saying "I have your XYZ-Mega-Card and have just upgraded to
Purple-Hat Linux 12.34 and now the driver doesn't work.  What are you going to
do about it!!!!" and finally even their pointy-haired bosses figure out that
the best plan is to release a GPLed driver and let the Linux community sort out
the problems (e.g. Creative SBLive).  At this point those of us with Alphas,
SPARCs etc can rejoice.

If, however, support for binary only modules appears vendors will be able to
stick with their binary modules and respond to requests from the likes of me as
follow "You have an Alpha?  Is that like a Pentium III?  Sorry, I've never
heard of it and we don't support it.  Good bye!".

Of course, I don't expect that all i386 users will agree with me.  Binary only
support would provide more drivers for i386 and I get the impression that there
are a minority of Linux users who rage against the Microsoft monopoly whilst
tacitely supporting the i386 one.

Thank you,

	Richard Simpson


Richard Simpson
Farnborough, Hants, Uk                 Fax: 01252 392118
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 1999 01:45:56 -0600
From: Chris Lawrence <quango@watervalley.net>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Minor nitpick in description of Andover IPO jump

You wrote in this week's LWN:

As of closing time on the 8th, ANDN shares were worth more than
$63. Volume was over 8 million shares, meaning that each
publicly-available share traded at least twice. It would appear that
there was interest in this offering.

This is an example of the ecological inference problem (trying to
estimate the behavior of individual shares from aggregate data).  All
we really know is that the sum of the blocks of shares in the
individual trades was over 8 million; there could have been 80,000
trades of the same block of 100 shares, for all we know.

However, we know that because the prices were bidded up, there must
have been a scarcity of supply (i.e. supply outstripping demand).  If
every Andover.net shareowner had ditched their shares today (which
this phrasing implies), the stock would be in the gutter now, rather
than in the mid-$60s.

|        Chris Lawrence        |             The Linux/m68k FAQ             |
|   <quango@watervalley.net>   |   http://www.linux-m68k.org/faq/faq.html   |
|                              |                                            |
|   Grad Student, Pol. Sci.    |     Join the party that opposed the CDA    |
|  University of Mississippi   |             http://www.lp.org/             |
From: james@westongold.com
To: <letters@lwn.net>
Subject: counter-FUD
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 1999 22:39:37 -0000

Are you going to include stupid postings by Linux evangelists about NT?

Are you going to have a counter-hype site to counter over-enthusiastic
evangelising about Linux?

We should be told ...


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