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Leading items and editorials

Sun NFS v4 component source code released. Reflecting that Sun has noticed the underwhelming response to its previous source code release announcements, its latest announcement uses words to warm the heart: "The Sun Industry Standards Source License is designed to meet the requirements of the Open Source Definition as articulated by the Open Source Initiative. Sun has submitted the license to the Open Source Initiative for their consideration."

Unfortunately, the first word reported back from Eric Raymond indicates that they aren't there yet. There are problems with the license itself: "'Attaching conformance requirements to the license is too easily abused,' Raymond said. New specifications for the software could be written in such as way as to 'lock down' the actual software, he said." In addition, the current NFS code is part of the Linux kernel. Linus requires code used in the kernel to be licensed under the GPL; Sun's choice of a non-GPL license would prevent its inclusion. Eric is continuing to work with them, so it isn't hopeless yet.

What exactly is the code they are releasing? It is described as "a code component of NFS version 4 called Transport-Independent Remote Procedure Call (TI-RPC)". Guy Harris wrote in with some additional details and a comment on what Sun's rationale for releasing the code might be. The Sun announcement read, "TI-RPC is one of the foundations of NFS, and a key component of the security advancements in version 4". Guy suggests, "Sun's rationale for releasing that code is to make available implementations of the GSS API authentication flavor for ONC RPC".

Meanwhile, other elements of the announcement, increased funding for a project to develop a Linux NFS v4 implementation and the release of its rights on the NFS trademark, are certainly welcome. We hope they change their mind and choose to use the GPL for the NFS code as well. (Thanks to Michael Gerdts.)

Richard Stallman on UCITA. Richard Stallman has put out a call to fight UCITA (the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act). "UCITA is a proposed law, designed by the proprietary software developers, who are now asking all 50 states of the US to adopt it. If UCITA is adopted, it will threaten the free software community(1) with disaster. To understand why, please read on. "

For previous LWN coverage of UCITA, see the January 13th, 2000 and the June 30th, 1999 editions of the LWN. We agree strongly with Richard; UCITA is a bad idea no matter which way you look at it.

LWN 1999 Timeline in French. The LWN Timeline is now available in French, thanks to the efforts of Roland Trique over at Linux-france.

LWN Coverage from LinuxWorld 2000 in New York City.

Jonathan Corbet and Dennis Tenney are both out at this week's LinuxWorld Expo 2000 in New York City. Here are some links to what they've sent back so far:

Our unconfirmed rumor of the day, from LinuxWorld: We are told that someone from LinuxOne dropped by the SuSE booth on the exhibit floor and told them that LinuxOne plans on buying SuSE "once they make all that money from their IPO". Another instance of a sense of humor at LinuxOne? The first one was their Flame of the Week contest. Well, a sense of humor is an improvement over threats of lawsuits ...

Inside this week's Linux Weekly News:

  • Security: Open source encryption software in Denmark.
  • Kernel: More Wonderful World of Linux.
  • Distributions: MSC.Linux, Complete Linux 7.0, Spiro Linux reviewed.
  • Development: OpenSSH 1.2.2, CMU Sphinx, lots of Linux in Education.
  • Commerce: An incredible number of announcements and press releases.
  • Back page: Linux links and letters to the editor
...plus the usual array of reports, updates, and announcements.

This Week's LWN was brought to you by:

February 3, 2000


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See also: last week's Security page.


News and editorials

Open source encryption software in Denmark. This article on the Skåne Sjælland Linux User Group's site covers a hearing held by the Danish Ministry of Research concerning the use of encryption software to enable Danish citizens to protect themselves from Echelon and other surveillance activities. Thanks in part to SSLUG's efforts, open source software was well represented at this hearing. "Even more interesting was the 'how do you prevent back-doors in you product?'. Most companies stated that third-party reviewers could be allowed to check the source code given that they conform to a NDA (non disclosure agreement). The representatives for GnuPG and PGP had an easy task here. Roger Needham from Microsoft managed to make the whole audience laugh by stating that 'If our product contains a back-door, we simply don't know anything about it....'" (Thanks to Hans Schou).

More details on "NSA Linux". More information came out this week on exactly what work Secure Computing will be doing on Linux for the NSA and how it will be handled in this note, posted to the securedistros mailing list by Tom Haigh, CTO for Secure Computing. "We will open source all the modifications to the kernel as well as deliver a general-purpose security policy engine...Separately, we will use Linux and develop Linux policy engines for our own products, such as Sidewinder. These policy engines will remain proprietary to Secure Computing."

If you are interested in some of the code origins of the planned "Type Enforced Linux" from Secure Computing, check out Jay Lepreau's comments and Tom Haigh's response from recent conversations on the securedistros list.

Security Reports

New FreeBSD update for procfs. Previous fixes to problems with procfs under FreeBSD have been found to be incomplete. Upgrading to the latest patch is strongly recommended, to prevent potential local root compromises.

Cobalt RAQ server vulnerabilities. The RAQ1, RAQ2 and RAQ3 servers from Cobalt contain vulnerabilities that may allow the site administrator password to be trivially acquired. Cobalt has issued an advisorycovering the issues with information on where to acquire patches to resolve the problems. Applying the patches as soon as possible is highly recommended.


Debian advisory: symlink problem in apcd package. Debian has issued an advisory regarding a /tmp symlink vulnerability in the apcd package. If you have this package installed, an upgrade is strongly recommended.


SARA Security Auditor. SARA, which stands for the "Security Auditor's Research Assistant", is based on the original SATAN scanner, but offers quick response to today's problems and a real-time report writer. It has been field-tested and is now being made available as free software, with a commercial product, SARA Pro, apparently on the way.

Instructor 1.0 is a "32 bit instruction set auditor" announced by author David Goldsmith.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

February 3, 2000

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

Kernel development

Stable kernel prepatch 2.2.15pre5. Alan Cox has released 2.2.15pre5, the next step toward the 2.2.15 stable kernel release.

Development kernel 2.3.42 released. Development kernel 2.3.42 has been released. This patch includes an alternative UHCI (Uniform Host Controller Interface) driver for Linux USB, an apparent complete removal of Sparc AP1000 support, a driver for TMS380 PCI adaptors, the new version 4 automounter, Trident 4DWave support, a new Am8570 serial comunications controller driver, a reworking of the NSC PC108 and PC338 IrDA (infrared) driver, and a Crystal Semiconductor CS89[02]0 driver.

Kernel.org to carry cryptographic software. H. Peter Anvin has announced that, as of February 14, the kernel.org FTP/web site and its mirrors will begin hosting cryptographic software. This policy change results from the change in U.S. export regulations; it means that useful cryptographic code may soon start to show up in the standard Linux kernel.

Updated 2.3 job list posted. Alan Cox has posted an updated list of things to fix before 2.4 come out. Alan claims it's getting shorter, but it's still pretty long... Some reports have come back as to progress on various items on the list, including a note from James A. Simmons with an update on his work with the fbcon races and the fbdev drivers. David S. Miller also commentedthat the merge of the network fixes should be done soon. "75% done, the remaining bits should be doable in 2 seperate code merges. I think I can get this done over the course of the upcoming 2 weeks."

The Wonderful World of Linux 2.4. Joe Pranevich has sent us the very latest version (he promises) of his Wonderful World of Linux 2.4. This is a "document-in-process" and will continue to be updated until Linux 2.4 is released. It is really worth a read; there is a lot of fun stuff coming. Here are some highlights:

  • Enterprise-class support: "Linux 2.4 can also handle much larger "enterprise-class" hardware than could previous Linux kernel revisions. For example, Linux 2.4 now includes support for more than 4 gigabytes of RAM on any hardware that can support it, (including Intel hardware,) more than 16 ethernet cards, more than 10 IDE controllers, multiple IO-APICs, and other seemingly pointless abuses of good hardware."
  • ISA device support:"Linux 2.4 includes, for the first time in the kernel, support for ISA Plug-and-Play devices."
  • Block devices: "One completely new feature in the Linux 2.4 kernel is the implementation of a "raw" I/O device. A raw device is one whose accesses are not handled through the caching layer, instead going right to the low-level device itself. "
  • File system support: "OS/2 users will finally be able to write to their filesystems from within Linux. (This change is a long time in coming and I hope that there are still OS/2 users out there to enjoy it.)"
  • Video cards: "One of the biggest changes in this respect is the addition of the Direct Rendering Manager to the Linux kernel. The DRM cleans up access to the graphics hardware and eliminates many ways in which multiple processes which write to your video cards at once could cause a crash. This should improve stability in many situations. "
  • Speech synthesizers: "When thinking of Linux, the words "user friendly" do not generally come immediately to mind. Therefore, one might be surprised to learn that Linux 2.4 (and some later editions of the Linux 2.2 kernel) supports speech synthesizer cards. This driver and the appropriate hardware will allow vision-impaired Linux users to hear all Linux output, including messages very early in the boot process. Very few Operating Systems can boast such low level support for these devices. "
  • and still much more ...

This week on linux-kernel. It appears to have been a pretty quiet week, with very few large, intense discussions. We presume everyone has been busy getting ready for LinuxWorld, preparing for talks, BOFs, etc. We'll cover a few minor issues that did come up.

Lock granularity. Michel W Zappe brought up the topic of lock granularity and the question of whether Linux 2.3.X was still deficient in this area. Manfred pointed him to a special patch from SGI that measures lock contention and cautioned that "fine grained locks are sometimes slower that one big lock under realistic loads". Stephen Tweedie finished with a summary of the work done early in 2.3 to eliminate all contention points found via kernel profiling. "The one place where we still have a big bottleneck on SMP is the network bottom half. There is code to deal with that (the "softnet" work), but it's not yet in the 2.3 tree."

Progress on keyboard lockup problems. Some progress has been made the past week nailing down some keyboard lockup problems that have been reported with 2.3.X. Miles Lane posted a reminder that the problems were still occurring as of 2.3.41. Linus responded and several other people contributed with error messages and additional testing. As a result, at least some of the problems were attributed to the keyboard not being disabled during the mode set. Linus issued a patch that corrected this in at least some instances.

Other patches and updates released this week include:

Section Editor: Jonathan Corbet

February 3, 2000

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.

Linux/PPC Developer Release 1.1. Version 1.1 of the Linux/PPC Developer Release has been announced. "The Linux/PPC Developers, a loose coalition of programmers, have developed the Reference Release as a basis for other PowerPC Linux distributions. This release is not intended for general use but as a set of common software to be used by Linux distributors as the basis of their PowerPC products." The Linux/PPC Developer Release is based on Red Hat 6.1.

MSC.Linux. Supporting a Linux distribution couldn't be that hard, right? Here's another company, MSC.Software, which has pre-announced a new Linux distribution, MSC.Linux. "Initially, MSC.Linux will focus on high performance numerical applications with a special emphasis on the use of distributed memory parallel hardware, such as Beowulf clusters. These features will accelerate the availability of Linux for high performance computing systems at a very competitive price."

The domain name msclinux.com has been recently registered, but no information is currently provided on that site.

For those who are counting: Tucows released its Linux distribution download statistics. "According to TUCOWS' December figures, Corel attained the highest percentage of downloads at 37 per cent, with Red Hat holding firm in second position at 20 per cent and Debian trailing in third place with 11 per cent. Other companies recording downloads included: Mandrake nine per cent; SuSE seven per cent; Slackware six per cent; and, Caldera six per cent."

Complete Linux

Macmillan Complete Linux 7.0. Macmillan has announced its "Complete Linux 7.0" product. Like its previous distributions, this one is based on Linux-Mandrake. Unlike some of its predecessors, it will have a version number consistent with Mandrake's - Macmillan's "Complete Linux 6.5" release created a certain amount of confusion in the market.

This time around there are actually two separate versions of the distribution. "Complete Linux" is aimed at new users, with PartitionMagic and StarOffice bundled, and a one-click installation process. "Deluxe Linux", instead, is a repackaging of the Linux-Mandrake PowerPack, and is meant for more experienced users.

Macmillan has some other Linux products in the works, a secure server distribution, and a "professional suite" distribution which includes more bundled software, including the secure web server. There is also the possibility of a "web page development kit" for Linux in the near future. [Jonathan Corbet, LinuxWorld show floor.]

Debian GNU/Linux

Debian Weekly News. This week's Debian Weekly News is a two-week edition. It gives a status report on the Debian Leader elections; Ben Collins, Joel Klecker, Matthew Vernon, and current DPL Wichert Akkerman have finally stepped forward to nominate themselves. Other items covered include the first test cycle for Debian potato, new boot floppies, the question of whether or not Transmeta's Mobile Linux is based on Debian and the re-emergence of the KDE on Debian debate.


Linux-Mandrake 7.0 reviewed (GeekNews). GeekNews reviews Linux-Mandrake 7.0. "The partition manager (DiskDrake) has quite a few nice features such as auto allocate if you're just not sure how to chop your disk up. As well, they have an option to save your partition information to floppy or even restore it from a floppy. Good job MandrakeSoft, in my mind, this was a feature that was long over due in a Linux graphical disk partitioning tool. It takes a bit of the fear out of partitioning your hard disk for Linux."

MandrakeSoft introduces Linux-Mandrake PowerPack 7.0. MandrakeSoft has announced its Linux-Mandrake PowerPack 7.0 product, which will be unveiled at LinuxWorld.

Linux-Mandrake 7.0 announced for the Sparc. MandrakeSoft announced the availability of Linux-Mandrake for Sun UltraSPARC(TM) platforms.

Spiro Linux

Interview with SPIRO Linux' Rick Collette. GeekNews has put out an interview with Rick Collette, head developer of SPIRO Linux. Look for information on why SPIRO includes KDE, not Gnome, mysql, not postgresql and Zope.

"Geeknews.org: Why have the option to install a Zope server?

Rick Collette: I used to work for an online shopping mall of sorts. And one of the guys there SWORE by this thing called Zope. After I started digging into it, I realized what a powerful tool it really was. Netscape, Sun, and IBM all sell a product called an Application Server. These server products are not near as robust or easy to use as Zope, and the price CERTAINLY cannot be beat. I see a trend in app servers becoming as normal as Web Servers, so we decided to include it as an option."


TurboLinux announces 6.0 distribution. TurboLinux has announced the availability of TurboLinux 6.0 in both workstation and server versions. The workstation version includes a lot of the usual stuff: including StarOffice and a trial version of VMWare. The server version tosses in BRU and OpenMerchant.

Slackware Linux

Slackware booth at Linuxworld. The Slackware folks are out at Linuxworld, booth #134, and are ready with T-shirts, CDs and "other Slackware propaganda" for all their fans.

SuSE Linux

Terabyte memory expansion for Alpha processors. SuSE put out a press release regarding recent additions to Linux kernels 2.2.14 and 2.3.40 to support up to 2 terabytes of memory for a single task on the alpha architecture. "The now completed 2 terabyte expansion for the alpha architecture comes from SuSE Labs and is again based on the work of SuSE employee Andrea Arcangeli."

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

February 3, 2000

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

Caldera OpenLinux
Debian GNU/Linux
Red Hat

Also well-known
Best Linux
Conectiva Linux

Rock Linux

Non-technical desktop
Icepack Linux
Redmond Linux

Boston University
Red Escolar

General Purpose
Alzza Linux
aXon Linux
Bad Penguin Linux
Black Cat Linux
BluePoint Linux
BYO Linux
CAEN Linux
Cafe Linux
ChainSaw Linux
Circle MUDLinux
Complete Linux
Console Linux
Corel Linux
Darkstar Linux
Elfstone Linux
ESware Linux
Eurielec Linux
eXecutive Linux
Fried Chicken
HA Linux
Halloween Linux
ix86 Linux
Lanthan Linux
Linpus Linux
Linux Cyrillic Edition
Linux MLD
LinuxOne OS
Linux Pro Plus
LNX System
Lute Linux

NoMad Linux
Omoikane GNU/Linux
PingOO Linux
Plamo Linux
Project Ballantain
Rabid Squirrel
Root Linux
Serial Terminal
TimeSys Linux/RT
Tom Linux
VA-enhanced Red Hat
Vine Linux
Virtual Linux
WinLinux 2000

GNU/Linux Ututo
Definite Linux
Red Flag
Linux Esware
Kaiwal Linux
Thai Linux Extension

Related Projects
Chinese Linux Extension

Historical (Non-active)
MCC Interim Linux
Storm Linux


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See also: last week's Development page.

Development projects

OpenSSH 1.2.2 released. The release of OpenSSH 1.2.2 has been announced. This is the first stable release of the Linux port of this package. "OpenSSH offers several enhancements over commercial SSH1, including IPv6 support, removal of insecure ciphers and a full security and code review by the OpenBSD team."

CMU Sphinx. Those of you involved in or interested in building applications with interactive speech recognition may want to take a look at the announcement that CMU Sphinx has transitioned to open source and should become available in CVS form over at Sourceforge this week.

"CMU Sphinx has been supported in large part by grants from DARPA and the NSF for many years. Sphinx2, the first component to be released, is a speech recognizer and library, suitable for real-time applications. The system is completely open source, under a BSD-style license. "


Mozilla M13 "spot" review. Leon Brooks was kind enough to send us a "spot review" of the Mozilla M13 release. "Summary: if M14 is as much an improvement as M13 was, it will become my default browser. I have started using M13 for non-mission critical work, and for yet another software opinion of websites that I build. ".


Linux in Education Report. This week's Linux in Education Report takes a look at Learning Logic, "a highly interactive, computerized mathematics program currently used to teach Algebra I", Pangee, a universal language-learning engine and Nico Coetzee's Linux User Course (warning, pop-up ad), a free, web-based training program for people wanting to learn end-user Linux.

They also put in an update and a plug for the Red Escolar project, the Mexican (School Net) Project. "The project has advanced significantly since then and is moving into Phase 2 of their deployment plan. They estimate a savings of approximately $120,000,000 by using Linux rather than Microsoft products."

K12linux. Another Linux in education site has come on-line. K12Linux opened on January 30th, 2000, and is focusing exclusively on Linux for the primary and secondary age group. The site is still under construction, so it may be worthwhile to check back in a week or two. They do have at least one interesting case study up: Silvervalley High School, California and its choice of Linux-based X-Terminals for use instead of Windows systems or MacIntoshes.

Linux Knowledge Base Report. This week's Linux Knowledge Base Report mentions that work is nearing completion for the February 8th launch. They will be showing off a demo of the Linux Knowledge Base at the Linux World Expo this week in New York in the Mandrake booth.

LinuxForKids CD. In celebration of its four month anniversary, LinuxForKids has announced the LinuxForKids CD Collection, Volume 1. "To celebrate this anniversary, we are glad to announce the release of the LinuxForKids Collection, Volume 1, CD-Rom. This CD features all the titles listed so far on LinuxForKids.com, plus all the necessary libraries to compile and run them. In all over 50 different software packages and 20 libraries."

On the Desktop

A peek at what's coming in KDE. KDE, the Next Generation is the title of a Linux Journal article by KDE developer Kalle Dalheimer. "The KDE team is working full steam on the next release of the K Desktop Environment which is planned for spring 2000, so it is time to look at what the new version will have in store. " (Thanks to John McNulty.)

KDE news update. PerlQt support for Qt-2.0 has been announced, KDevelop 1.1 beta 2 has been released and Kurt Granroth, Daniel M. Duley (aka Mosfet), David Faure and Andreas Pour are all out at the Linuxworld Expo this week. For more details, check the KDE News.

Interview with Windowmaker creator Alfredo Kojima. O Linux, a Brazilian Linux site, has published an interview with Alfredo Kojima, creator of the Windowmaker window manager (here is the Portugese version). "This interview took place during an event called Exposalt about operating systems at Federal University Fluminense, Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro last weekend. Kojima was a key speaker in the event where he delivered a lecture about the details of his creation. OLinux's staff caught him in a rare moment when he gave us details about his work with WindowMaker."

Search Engines

ht://Dig report. Geoff Hutchison wrote in with an update for the ht://Dig search engine. "Hopefully 3.2.0b1 will be released on Friday and we can start to show everyone what we've been working on for the last year. Though it's by no means optimized or feature-complete, there's quite a bit to be excited about. After we release, I'll be working on some documentation on the guts of the new architecture. The new architecture is nearly complete and should make it much more flexible!"

Website Development

IPC8 Zope presentations online. Two presentations on Zope from the International Python Conference have been put up on the Zope.org site. The talks available are "Zope for content managers" and "Zope for developers."

Zope Weekly News Rides Again. After a brief hiatus, the Zope Weekly Newshas returned. It is chock-full of good items this time, including industrial-strength commercial Python support from ActiveState, Zope coverage over at the new O'Reilly Network, ZopeStudio (aka the Zope-Mozilla Initiative) news and ZDnet UK's analysis of both Zope and Midgard. The latter article is excellent and well-worth a read all.

Midgard Weekly Summary. This week's Midgard Weekly Summary indicates that Midgard 1.2.6 beta 2 is scheduled to come out this Friday. It also contains some information on improved user self-registration for Midgard 2.X.


Wine 20000130 released. Development release Wine 20000130has been announced.

WHAT'S NEW with Wine-20000130: (see ChangeLog for details)
  • Registry and NTDLL improvements.
  • First steps towards address space separation.
  • Read drive labels directly from device.
  • Lots of bug fixes.

Wine Weekly News. This week's Wine Weekly News is out. Check for this tidbit: "Marcus Meissner mentioned that the original Windows version of DeCSS was used on Wine before Linux support for the DVD filesystem appeared."

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

February 3, 2000

Project Links
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More Information



Development tools


Blackdown JDK 1.2.2 RC4 and Java Plug-In 1.2.2. The Blackdown team has announced the release of the JDK 1.2.2 RC4 and the Java Plug-In 1.2.2. The JDK 1.2.2 RC4 is still not a final release; not all JCK tests pass currently.

Some of the highlights of RC4:

  • The "incompatible raster" problems have been fixed, allowing Swing/AWT apps to run on many more X servers. Also fixed is the problem preventing use with X servers with non-native byte order.
  • The Java Platform Debugging Architecture is now present (back-ported from JDK1.3), as is a new graphical debugger. If everything works, it might even put the Inprise JDK port out of business :-).
  • More problems with native thread and green thread robustness have been addressed.
(Thanks to Nathan Meyers.)

Their Known Bugs and Workarounds page has also been updated.

Java-Linux I18N Tutorial. Renzo Pecoraro has started a little Java-Linux I18N Tutorial. "It includes a custom font.properties file and instructions for Linux that allows you to use the gnu-unifont in your browser/JDK/JRE. This is a work in progress and comments/questions are greatly appreciated."


Perl.com takes a look at RSS in this article by Chris Nandor. "While it was pretty cool that RSS channels were being created for most of the sites I frequented, I was getting frustrated that the content providers out there did not provide all of the channels I wanted, or they weren't in the layout I wanted, or they just did something I didn't like. I wanted to control the content myself. That's the whole point, right? So I finally got around to doing something about it, and wrote a program for a new site I call my_portal. "

Perl Monks Takes Your Confessions. Perl Monks " is a community for anyone trying to learn Perl or improve their current skills."

The German Perl Workshop. The German Perl Workshop will be held March 8-10, 2000.


A brief PHP tutorial (in French). Linux-france has posted a brief PHP tutorial (in French) and notes that they would welcome translations of this material.


Notes from the International Python Conference. Those of us not lucky enough to attend the Eighth International Python Conference this week can at least get an idea of what went on by looking at the notes that have shown up on Frank Willison's "Frankly Speaking" page ("As I mentioned yesterday, venture capital is a major topic in this year's conference. The morning keynote speaker was Hadar Pedhazur, the initial major investor in Digital Creations, the creators of Zope. A year ago, Pedhazur advised Digital Creations to make their software Open Source, much against the initial impulses of the Digital Creations principals.") and the ZopeNewbies site ("So far the Python Conference seems to be surviving the snowstorm. The federal government was officially closed yesterday, as were both of the city's airports, but the Pythoneers trudged on.").

More notes .... A.M. Kuchling has made his notes from the 8th Python conference available as well. "Next came GvR's keynote speech about Computer Programming For Everybody, but it was preceded by 3 brief but interesting announcements. First, Greg Wilson talked about the Software Carpentery competition. Provocatively, he said the competition has arisen from what he called "the impending collapse" of current supercomputing, as the apps get moved to Linux clusters and traditional supercomputer vendors go out of business. SC aims to create newer, easier-to-use and more powerful tools, and to introduce the free software community to the supercomputing community, "who have unlimited money and real problems".


Tcl/tk Conference Reminder. The 7th USENIX Tcl/2k Conference begins in less than two weeks, February 14th through the 28th, in Austin, Texas.

Dr. Dobbs' Tcl-URL!. This week's Tcl-URL! mentions a Tcl Poll, timing accuracy in Tcl, and various other pointers to the best of recent posts.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

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See also: last week's Commerce page.

Linux and business

Here's some leading items:

The latest from the Gartner Group is actually a bit of a surprise - it is a positive and relatively correct look at what open source is. "From looking at trade press coverage, it would seem that open source and Linux are synonymous. However, a lesser-known fact about Linux itself is that in a typical Linux distribution of 500MB, only about 2 percent belongs to the Linux OS. The rest is what makes Linux useful and is made up of hundreds of OSS system utilities, tools and applications contributed by equally numerous development teams." (Found in Slashdot).

Tobias Hoevekamp has written a page about the European Union's "Framework Programme 5," an effort which is trying to improve the competitiveness of the European software industry. Tobias notes that (1) the program now recognizes open source software, and (2) there is money available for projects which advance the program's objectives. This could be a good opportunity for companies or individuals to get funding for open source projects. Evidently it's even possible for non-Europeans to participate. See Tobias's page for more information.

LAND-5 Corporation has announced the release of the source code for their enhanced Linux RAID software under the terms and conditions of the Mozilla Public License (MPL).

Here are some highlights of some new hardware announced this week:

Tuxtops, Inc. announced its product launch of Linux powered laptops.

Penguin Computing has announced the "I-Node," which appears to be a high-availability clustered server system.

IBM's port of Linux to the S/390 is now ready to go. Check out the web site for information and downloads.

Amax Engineering Corp. announced a new series of Linux based workstations, rackmounts & servers, which will utilize the Red Hat Linux operating system.

SGI has put out a large Linux announcement which includes a new set of support services (for several distributions), a new Linux-based server system, and a set of cluster offerings.

Highlights of Embedded Systems News:

Sybase has announced its plans for support for the Transmeta Crusoe chip, including a demonstration at LinuxWorld and SQL Anywhere support for Mobile Linux.

Lineo's acquisition of Zentropix was announced. Zentropix has a track record and background in supporting real-time Linux.

Monta Vista Software announced its partnership with FSMlabs also to bolster their real-time capabilities.

MontaVista made several other announcements including:

  • the release of Hard Hat Linux 1.0. In keeping with the evident theme of the day, Hard Hat Linux is an embedded version of the OS. It's completely open source, and thus carries no royalties.
  • this one with information on the demos they ran this week at LinuxWorld.
  • and this one about its Hard Hat Linux cross-development toolkit for Motorola's PowerPC microprocessors.

    On a related note: Embedded Planet announced its new embedded Linux development platform, based on HardHat Linux from MontaVista.

    Also Red Hat announced its "Red Hat Tools for Embedded Developers". This appears to be a repackaging of existing Cygnus tools, with a few Red Hat staples thrown in: EL/IX, the Intuitive graphical IDE, "priority access" to Red Hat's embedded software repository, and an unmodified version of the same x86 2.2.12 Linux kernel that ships with Red Hat 6.1.

    Support and Linux Certification showed up in this week's news:

    The Linux Professional Institute announced that an incentive program is in place to reward the first 300 people to take LPI certification exams.

    Netizen, a Melbourne-based IT consultancy specialising in Open Source software, announced that it will be offering system support contracts for Linux, FreeBSD, and other Open Source systems for Australian clients.

    Linuxcare came out with several announcements:

    • This one about a deal where it will provide support and training materials to "Compaq Solution Alliance" members.

    • Then this one about how they are strenghtening their global support infrastructure.

    • This announcement is about their Custom Solution Service, with their own branded, optimized Linux solutions.

    • And finally this press release is about their advertising campaign supporting the Open Source Revolution.

    • Also Maxspeed's MaxStation is the first Linux desktop device certified by Linuxcare, according to this press release.

    Speaking of Maxspeed, they entered into this agreement with Wave Technologies, parent company of Sair. Wave Tech. will provide Maxspeed with a full Linux curriculum education package.

    Compaq also announced they will be offering call center support for SuSE on Compaq's Alpha and Intel products.

    Web Site announcements were hot this week:

    Ecrix Corporation and the Linux Fund announced the launch of OpenTape.org, a new nonprofit web site supporting the open source software movement.

    O'Reilly Network announced the launch of two new sites, including a new technical portal, http://www.oreillynet.com and a new LinuxDev center, http://oreilly.linux.com.

    Ebiz Enterprises, owners of the TheLinuxStore.com, has announced the launch of LinuxWired.net.

    Andover.Net announced that it is branching out into the corporate services world with offerings like "on-line technical documentation, on-line expert support, application updates and project consulting." These services are to be based around the Freshmeat site.

    A sample of this is shown in this announcement about a new developer site, server51.freshmeat.net. It appears to be a competitor to SourceForge, with the additional twist that it offers the option of sharing advertising revenue with the hosted projects.

    Andover has also announced the acquisition of QuestionExchange.

    Fred N. van Kempen sent us a note saying that he has sold the linux.net domain. No word yet on who bought it - an announcement is planned at LinuxWorld - but Fred says: "It's *definitely not* Microsoft, and they're planning some cool & useful things for the site."

    And oh yeah,
    eLinux.com put out this launch announcement. Welcome to another "single source for Linux harware [sic], software, news, discussion groups, services, support and information."

    eLinux also announced a broad agreement with Linuxcare.

    Press Releases:

      Open Souce Products:

    • OpenAvenue announced the beta launch of OpenAvenue.com, an open-source hosting site, and OAsis (OpenAvenue Source Infrastructure System), its global collaborative infrastructure.

    • Sun Microsystems Inc. made three announcements: it is releasing the source code for a key component of the Network File System (NFS) protocol under the new Sun Industry Standards Source License; it will double the level of funding it began last year for a University of Michigan project to develop a Linux implementation of NFS version 4; and, finally, it will release its rights to the NFS trademark.

      Tape Drives:

      Between this week's Linuxworld in New York and the Linux Expo Paris, the press releases are now coming out hot and heavy. Here's a selection of them announcing linux certification for various tape drives. Our conclusion? Most tape drives can be used with Linux ... but you already knew that, right?

      Commercial Products for Linux:

    • 3ware Inc. announced Escalade, a family of storage controllers that use advanced RAID techniques, specifically designed for Internet servers running on the Linux operating environment.

    • A Linux version of Anarchy Online, a "Massive Multi-player Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG)", was announced.

    • Applix, Inc. announced that they have established a pre-release program to provide early access to the next version of their office suite for Linux.

    • Artificial Life, Inc. announced support for the Linux platform across Artificial Life's complete eCRM (Internet based customer relationship management) product line and other upcoming products.

    • ConSyGen announced the debut of its new E-Commerce division with its first E-Commerce service offering, PrecisionCommerce. This software works well in Linux environments and features custom XML-based plugins.

    • CyberSource Corporation announced the CyberSource Commerce Component for Linux, support for leading Linux platforms, as well as integration with Cobalt Network's new INTERSHOP Commerce RaQ. The company also introduced a CyberSource Development Kit (CDK) for Linux.

    • Dialtone Internet announced that it will begin offering set up of Linux Dedicated Systems in 30 minutes or less. Simultaneously, Dialtone Internet is also announcing that it has implemented $0 setup fees across all of its servers, including Cobalt RaQ 3's webserver appliances.

    • Dot Hill Systems Corp. announced that its SANnet storage solution, a Fibre Channel RAID system, now supports the University of Minnesota's Linux-based Global File System (GFS) device locks (dlocks) within its RAID controller firmware.

    • eSoft Inc. announced the availability of its redphish software on Compaq's Alpha platform.

    • Evans & Sutherland announced the E&S Lightning 1200LXa, one of the first fully hardware-accelerated 3D solutions for the desktop Linux market.

    • IndyBox Systems announced its entrance into the embedded devices market.

    • iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions announced the immediate availability of iPlanet Messaging Server and iPlanet Web Server, Enterprise Edition software, with support for Red Hat Linux.

    • Kx Systems announced that it is releasing Kdb for Linux. Kdb is a relational database management system extended for time series.

    • Macmillan has announced its "Linux for Windows" product - seemingly a UMSDOS-based version of the Mandrake distribution which can run under Windows.

    • Oracle Corp. announced the immediate availability of Oracle's dot-com Suite for Linux.

    • PolyServe, Inc. announced support for the RaQ 3 server appliance from Cobalt Networks, Inc.

    • Progressive Systems, Inc. announced that Progressive's Phoenix Adaptive Firewall appliance based on the Cobalt RaQ2 was network security audited and certified "LinuxReady" by Linuxcare Labs.

    • Secant Technologies, Inc. announced the availability of its complete line of application server and object-to-RDBMS integration products on Linux.

    • Take-Two Interactive Software has announced the release of "100 Great Linux Games, Volume I."

    • Tech Soft America announced a program to promote the development of advanced 3D desktop and web-based applications for the Linux platform. The "Free 3D for Linux" program is designed to promote the development of advanced 3D applications on Linux, and the royalty-free proliferation of non-commercial applications. Commercial applications based on the HOOPS framework, as well as applications ported and distributed on platforms other than Linux will be subject to HOOPS' standard license and royalty terms.

    • Tech Soft America, a global reseller of the Parasolid Kernel Modeler, announced the demonstration of the new Linux port at Linux World Expo.

    • TUCOWS.com Inc. announced the "Feed the Penguin" campaign to make Linux more accessible and understandable to end users worldwide.

    • Xi Graphics Inc. announced a new Web-based product line of graphics hardware drivers for Linux. The 3D Linux drivers are OpenGL 1.1.1 compliant, support libGLU and libGL, and are available for download from Xi Graphics' Web site (www.xig.com) starting at $29 each. A limited number of drivers are currently available, but more are being added weekly.

    • zap business communication systems announced support for Linux on Cobalt Network's RaQ 3.

      Products Using Linux:

    • Automation Control Products announced the introduction of an office-grade Linux-based thin client computer, known as the "ThinTerm TC- 100".

    • BASCOM Global Internet Services, Inc., developers of Linux-based thin server productivity solutions for small business, announced the IQ2 Family of Connectivity Solutions which use Caldera's OpenLinux OS.

    • ImaginOn, Inc. announced its ImOn.comTV Internet television "station in a box" product line will include two additional turnkey packages that incorporate Intel Pentium III and Xeon microprocessors running Linux.

    • Sun Microsystems, Inc. announced that TradeMark Computer Products has selected Sun to supply SPARC based platforms for building their Linux solutions.

      Java Products:

    • Fiorano Software, Inc. announced its interoperability with Linux servers for the deployment of high-speed distributed applications.

    • Sun Microsystems Inc. claims more than 100,000 copies of its free Forte for Java, Community Edition beta, have been downloaded by developers using Java technology in the first 90 days of availability.

      Products with Linux Versions:

    • Actiontec Electronics, Inc. announced that consumers who purchase any of Actiontec's Call Waiting Modems through Actiontec's on-line store have the additional option of purchasing a Caller ID Box for only $19.95.

    • BiTMICRO NETWORKS, Inc. introduced the E-Disk SNX25, a high capacity 2.5" solid state SCSI flash disk.

    • Chili!Soft Inc. announced Chili!Soft ASP for Linux, a solution that enables developers using Microsoft FrontPage to build and deploy database-driven Web applications on Linux servers.

    • Computone Corporation announced IntelliPort Plus ISA 4 RJ, a multiport board.

    • Corel announced that the first beta version of Word Perfect Office 2000 has gone to the beta test sites.

    • CSV Technologies Inc. announced EZHTML v1.3, a completely searchable Hyper Text Mark up Language (HTML).

    • DesignConNovas Software, Inc. announced Debussy 4.4 now has Linux support.

    • Eltrax Systems, Inc. announced that it will expand its current Customer Care Group offerings to include a full suite of support services for the Linux operating systems. The Eltrax Customer Care Group services for Linux will include 24 by 7 technical support, installation, training and programming support.

    • Hewlett-Packard Company announced the HP SureStore DAT40x6 DDS-4 automated tape backup system, featuring HP's One-Button Disaster Recovery.

    • Hewlett-Packard Company announced that it is releasing its first Enhancement Pack for OpenMail 6.

    • iChargeit, Inc. announced it is now manufacturing a line of Dual-Boot Linux/Windows PC Computer Systems for $499. The computers are marketed though their web site, www.shoppingplanet.com, as well as through their Bay Micro reseller network.

    • Inprise made several announcements at Linuxworld, including:
      • a new Linux community on the Inprise/Borland Web site
      • a new on-line Linux Market Research survey for 2000
      • a new Linux track at the company's annual developers' conference
      • a Linux version of Borland C++Builder 5.
      • a Linux version of its Inprise Application Server 4.0
      • and VisiBroker 4.0.

    • JDH Technologies announced Web-4M v2.7, a "Net-Meeting" with advanced security.

    • LizardTech Inc. announced that it has begun shipping its MrSID Image Server 2.2, an image-serving toolkit for Web servers.

    • Natural MicroSystems announced broad support for the Linux operating system.

    • Object Design, Inc. announced that its ObjectStore object data-management system will soon be available on Linux.

    • Rackspace.com announced the company's Instant SetUp service offering, allowing customers with an immediate need for Internet servers to be up-and-running in one hour by selecting from a choice of six server configurations available online through www.rackspace.com.

    • RadiSys Corp. upgraded its EPC-204 CompactPCI CPU card with the EPC-304.

    • RightNow Technologies announced RightNow Web 3.1, a major upgrade to the its product suite.

    • SBE, Inc. announced that it has added support for the Linux operating system to its wanXL family of communication controllers.

    • Showstar Online.com, Inc. announced a strategic decision to develop its existing Internet products and many of the Company's new innovations on the Linux operating system.

    • Sigma Designs, Inc. announced that it will add Linux support to its new REALmagic NetStream 2000 card and EM8400 progressive MPEG-2/DVD decoder chip.

    • Stalker Software, Inc. announced the Super-Symmetric Dynamic Cluster version of CommuniGate Pro.

    • Sun Microsystems, Inc. announced broad support by the Linux community for StarOffice.

    • TeleKnowledge, Inc. announced Total-e v2.0, a customer care and billing solution.

    • TurboLinux announced the release of its new enFuzion clustering technology that transforms a company's existing network of Linux, Unix and Microsoft Windows servers and workstations into a supercomputer.

    • Versant Corporation announced support for it's Java Interface on Linux platforms. In addition, Versant's ODBMS 5.2.2 has been enhanced to support Red Hat Linux servers.

    • Vertigo Software Corp. announced plans to adapt the Vertigo Unix based 3D code to the Linux platform. Beta testing is scheduled to begin in the Fall of 2000.

    • VirtualSellers.com Inc. announced that it has launched a Web site to introduce its Web development software, TAME, to developers and other Web professionals.

      Partnerships, Investments and Acquisitions:

    • AbsoluteValue Software, Inc. has collaborated with Intersil to develop Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) driver software that enables Linux operating systems to communicate with Intersil's PRISM-based WLAN cards.

    • Akamai and IBM have announced an alliance that, among other things, involves Akamai deploying a bunch of Linux-installed Netfinity servers as part of its global web server infrastructure.

    • Alpha Processor Inc. has announced the addition of five new strategic partners: Dirig Software, Inc., Linuxcare, Inc., MandrakeSoft, Inc., PolyServe, Inc. and Stalker Software, Inc.

    • Alpha Processor, Inc. and Red Hat, Inc. announced a technical partnership to create a center for the development of Linux clustering technology.

    • AXENT Technologies, Inc. announced a partnership with Cobalt Networks, Inc. with the intent to develop a Linux firewall and VPN appliance.

    • Caldera and Sun announced a joint agreement for the commercial distribution of Java 2 SDK, Standard Edition in OpenLinux 2.3+ and future versions.

    • Computer Technology Associates, Inc. announced a strategic alliance with QVPL. The alliance will enable CTA to apply QVPL's extensive skill base in Linux development and Oracle implementations to CTA's 120 day-to-solution, Oracle-based "iSolutions" offering.

    • LinuxIT announced that it will be marketing Corel Linux in the UK.

    • Cybernet Systems Corporation announced an agreement with LinuxIT to distribute NetMAX and FreeBSD software products in the United Kingdom.

    • EBIZ Enterprises, Inc. announced that TheLinuxStore.com will offer it's full line of Linux products on iDEAL's business-to-person online auction, DealDeal.com.

    • Enlighten Software Solutions, Inc. signed an agreement to become a Red Hat ISV Partner. The company also announced the immediate availability of EnlightenDSM Free for Red Hat.

    • eSoft Inc. announced a distribution agreement and product development partnership with TriGem InfoComm Corporation, a leading Korean distributor and Internet product developer.

    • Internet.com announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Linuxnewbie.org. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2000.

    • Lutris Technologies, a provider of Open Source Java/XML application server software, announced the successful completion of its Series B round of financing.

    • Medicore, Inc. announced that it is forming a new division with the intended purpose of incubating and investing in new technology, including Internet technology companies. Medicore has loaned $1.5 million to The Linux Fund, Inc., and may provide it with an additional $500,000 loan.

    • Merlin Software Technologies Inc. announced an agreement with Koch Distribution, a leading UK and Ireland software distributor, to sell Merlin's PerfectBACKUP+ Linux backup and crash recovery software.

    • Mission Critical Linux LLC and SGI announced that the companies will enter into an alliance agreement to launch enterprise-class Linux solutions on a global scale.

    • OpenAvenue, Inc. announced that the company has acquired CodeCatalog and Cyclic.com from SourceGear Corporation.

    • Rebel.com Inc. announced that it has completed a private round of financing raising proceeds totaling CAN $9 million.

    • Red Hat, Inc. debuted Wide Open News, another Linux news site, and announced a content partnership with TheStreet.com.

    • Sair Linux, Inc. a subsidiary of Wave Technologies International, Inc., announced an agreement with Compaq Computer Corporation to provide corporate training to Compaq Solution Alliance.

    • TurboLinux announced a new channel program to support TurbLoinux Authorized Reseller partners in North America.

    • Wave Technologies International, Inc. announced it has entered into a licensing agreement with Sparling Capital Corporation to provide its comprehensive Linux training courseware.

      Financial Results:

    • Andover.Net has reported that it lost $15.7 million on $2.1 million in revenue for the previous quarter.

    • OMNIS Technology Corp. announced financial results for its third fiscal quarter and nine months ended Dec. 31, 1999. Jim Dorst, COO/CFO, commented, "We are the only profitable rapid application software tool provider in the Linux open-source marketplace."

    • PC-Tel announced record results in both revenues and net income for 1999. Listed among its successful products is a soft modem solution for Linux.


    • Atipa announced that Marc Torres, former director of SuSE's U.S. operation, has accepted the position of Chief Technology Officer.

    • Business Leader magazine will be awarding its Entrepreneur of the Year award to Bob Young of Red Hat Software at this Saturday's 16th Conference on Entrepreneurship, where he will be one of the keynote speakers.

    • eHOLA.com announced a dedicated Linux division of commercial class web integration products, support, and services targeted at the Latin American business community.

    • friendlyway futurelab will present its Linux/Java strategy to the general public at CeBIT 2000.

    • Metro Link announced that Jon "maddog" Hall has accepted a position on Metro Link's Board of Directors.

    • A subsidiary of M&A West, Inc. put out this announcement. It seems they are forming a company specifically to look at Linux investments.

    • Neoware Systems, Inc. announced that it is now trading on the Nasdaq Small Cap market, and it also demonstrated new Linux-based software products at LinuxWorld Expo.

    • OpenSales announced Bonnie Crater has been named president and CEO of OpenSales, Inc.

    • Red Hat, Inc. announced that it has expanded its Kernel Development Group, continuing to fuel the rapid advancement of the Linux OS for solutions ranging from powerful Internet servers to the next-generation Internet appliances and devices.

    Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.

  • February 3, 2000


     Main page
     Linux in the news
     Back page

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

    Linux in the news

    Recommended Reading:

    Advogato interviews Donald Knuth. "I saw that the whole business of typesetting was being held back by proprietary interests, and I didn't need any claim to fame. I had already been successful with my books and so I didn't have to stake it all on anything. So it didn't matter to me whether or not whether I got anything financial out of [TeX]."

    Here is a well-written and humorous article about what is really going on with the DVD case. Worth a read. "But then the DVD Copy Control Authority (a name straight out of a James Bond movie if you ask me) attempted to sue the ENTIRE INTERNET. It's like a class action lawsuit in reverse. Even for Hollywood, this has to set some kind of record for sheer bulk corporate idiocy. The mind boggles."

    Salon takes a lengthy look at Nethack, calling it one of the best computer games ever written. "...while open-source advocates are more likely to vaunt the movement's ability to transform desktop and network computing, this endearingly pokey dungeon adventure is perhaps its most accessible exemplar, demonstrating how its core virtues seem to work even in the unlikely realm of computer gaming."

    Upside ran this article about Lineo's Embedix and Embedix PDA products. "Like a camouflaged predator disguising itself as the native environment, Embedix PDA hopes to devour the Windows CE operating system market by pretending to be Windows CE, giving applications a chance to ride the low-rent Linux express with zero porting costs."

    Computer Chips and Embedded Systems:

    ZDNet looks at Transmeta's Mobile Linux. "While the company's Crusoe processors will also work with Windows software, for information appliance applications it will push Linux. 'If Transmeta went to Microsoft and asked them to make a stripped-down version of Windows 98,' [Linus Torvalds] said, 'they would have laughed in our face. We and others want to be able to tailor the OS to our needs.'"

    Trevor Turton takes a look at some history behind code-morphing technologies, then ways that Linux could improve support for chips like the Transmeta Crusoe chip.

    This Reuters article credits today's jump in Linux stock prices to the progress of the Trillian project, which is bringing Linux to Intel's coming IA-64 chip. "Shares of Linux companies surged on Wednesday after a coalition of companies developing a version of the up-and-coming software system to run on Intel Corp.'s next-generation microprocessor line said they were ready to release the software to developers at large. "

    ZDNet looks at Embedix, Lineo's embedded Linux distribution. "Transmeta has the thunder, but Lineo has the lightning that comes with shipping an embedded Linux first."

    The storm around Linux in embedded systems is starting to develop, as noted in this ZDnet UK article. "Intel has more than 100 in-house developers working on its Linux-based platform. Companies, such as Caldera's spin-off, Lineo Inc., are cropping up to focus solely on slimming down Linux to a size capable of running on various platforms. And, on Monday, Linux developer Red Hat plans to announce that it intends to also play in the information appliance space with the release of an embedded Linux development system."

    Here's an InfoWorld article about the flood of embedded Linux announcements. "Leading the march will be Red Hat Software, which is expected to roll out its first product for the embedded market. Called Red Hat for Embedded Developers, the new toolset is designed to let developers create a range of open-source applications for embedded or handheld devices that contain as little as 32KB of memory."

    ZDNet ran this article about Linux in embedded applications. "Not that any user of TiVo's personal video recorder would know it had Linux inside. The fact that the recorder runs on Linux only becomes apparent when users browse TiVo's Web site, rather than surf TV channels."


    AboutLinux ran this article on performing high-end scientific work on Linux systems; worth a read. "I installed reiserfs on a test machine for 2 weeks (my overclocked Celeron) and was so impressed with it that I installed it for the /scratch (9 or 11Gb) partitions on all of our Beowulf machines. I have tried it and I think it really is excellent, reboot times are now less than 30 seconds for these machines (when we reboot that is)."

    News.com looks at the new Linux server offerings. "To beef up its 'Beowulf' offerings, SGI will begin selling its new Advanced Clustering Environment, [SGI manager Greg] Estes said. A 32-CPU collection of computers, complete with the management software that distributes jobs among the rest of the computers, will cost about $125,000, he said."

    Brian Martin talks about Linux Security and why he is confident in its eventual success, with a mention of some of the projects in this area, such as Independence Linux and Bastille Linux. " With more and more companies adopting open source platforms for important business applications and mission critical activity, they are setting a standard and acknowledging the inherent benefits."

    Reuters ran an article about IBM's announcement that its "Network Station" thin client systems can now run Linux. "The IBM executive is quick to acknowledge that while Linux is capable of handling a range of Web site management tasks, the software system will require a lot of work before it can be made ready to handle industrial-strength business tasks."

    IT managers are coming around, thanks to case studies like Cisco's use of Linux in its worldwide printing systems and coverage of the stellar Linux IPOs on Wallstreet, reports Infoworld. "For the moment, it appears many IT managers are making sensible decisions about integrating Linux: Where it works, they're either using it or looking into giving it a try."

    News.com reports on Red Hat's partnership with Computer Associates. "The move is a boost to Red Hat's effort to gain a greater presence in large corporations. The deal also could help Red Hat move toward its goal of making more money from services instead of sales of ordinary software."

    Here's an infoworld story about the deal between Computer Associates and Red Hat. "The closer ties will mean that Red Hat can integrate and distribute CA's management packages. Specifically, ARCserveIT for storage, InoculateIT for virus prevention, MasterIT for Web-based systems, and NetworkIT for networks will come bundled with the Red Hat Linux Enterprise Edition series."

    Evan Leibovitch takes a look at the moribund state of CDE and Motif. "In Motif and CDE we have two technologies that offer a microcosm of what's always been wrong with commercial Unix."

    News.com covers Linuxcare's alliance with Compaq. "Under the deal, Linuxcare will provide technical and engineering support for those who need help with the upstart, open-source operating system. In essence, Linuxcare will help software companies revamp their programs so they works on Linux."

    Here's another Red Herring article about the Solaris 8 announcement. "Despite Linux's growing popularity and Sun's moves to react to the trend, [Sun president and COO Ed] Zander claimed that he was supremely confident about Solaris. His confidence stems from his belief that Linux will ultimately become balkanized into splintered factions supporting a variety of versions, whereas Solaris will remain standardized and reliable. He even went so far as so to say that 'there's no such thing as a Unix marketplace -- there's only a Solaris marketplace.'"

    This osOpinion column looks at the Solaris source release. "Sun is giving the open source movement a vote of confidence and proclaiming our credibility! Remember: Solaris is threatened by both Linux and NT, and yet, to improve their attractiveness, isn't it curious they chose to be more like Linux and less like NT? Imitation, even cheap imitation, is, after all, a most sincere form of flattery."

    Dave Winer discovers software patents. "The Internet is a public space. Anyone who tries to own the Internet, as Amazon and Geoworks have, will be routed around."

    TJ Miller jr points out that issues of freedom are not new in the world of motion pictures. This time, Hollywood is on the wrong side. "If you look back to the history of filmmaking, back when the motion pictures were first invented, you'll find Thomas Edison's monopoly in New York City. His company held an exclusive and tight stranglehold over all film projectors, film, movie rights, and nearly anything associated with motion pictures. ... A small group of filmmakers decided to revolt, proclaiming that one should be free to create and show films without kow-towing to some huge conglomeration. To escape Edison and Co., they moved everything they had to a far-away place...a small town known as Los Angeles, California."

    From Humorix, it's the Corporate Media Conglomerate HOWTO. "How can you fight back? Well fortunately, the Recording and Movie Industries(tm) have already laid the groundwork for you to maintain your iron grip on freely available and widely adopted technology and information. Here's how:"

    Solutions Integrator raises the "Linux fragmentation" fear. "The gap between distributions of Linux has been kept to a minimum because of community pressure and the necessary blessing of Linus Torvalds. With the rise of Red Hat as the dominant commercial distribution of Linux, the cracks between the distributions are threatening to become full-blown canyons." (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann).

    Wired News covers the worries of some prominent open source advocates. "[Tim] O'Reilly likened the current state of open source software to the early days of the Internet, which has shifted in the last few years from a medium full of cooperative idealists into 'a competitive, dog-eat-dog environment.'"

    News.com looks at Corel's response to the Corel Update bug. "Fixing the vulnerability is a 'top priority for Corel,' the company said, and a fix will be posted on the company's Web site." Of course, this bug was reported in LWN two weeks ago, so Corel can only be said to be hurrying so much...

    FreeOS.com has put up this interview with Corel CEO Michael Cowpland. "We did look at several distributions but found them very limited. They were difficult to install and use and required an expert, which we did not find acceptable. In Linux, when something is not happening, the best thing is to do it yourself and that is exactly what we did."


    ZDnet UK has started up their Linuxworld coverage; check this article for a round-up of the press releases, if you haven't already had enough of those.

    In recognition of the Linux mania in progress at LinuxWorld, Jesse Berst has marshalled together statistics and press releases in his article Blow Your Boss Away with Linux Firepower. "To get your company on the Linux fast track, you'll need to placate execs with statistics, surveys, research. Don't have the time? Below is all the ammo you'll need to convince your boss to embrace Linux".

    ZDNet UK ran this article about the clustering talks to be held at LinuxWorld. "In a talk scheduled for this Wednesday, Peter Braam of Stelias Computing will review progress on the cluster project, outlining new cluster programming interfaces and functional specifications."

    Replacing People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" Contest, Geek & Guru is sponsoring a 'Sexiest Geek Alive' Contest instead. "The finalists will be chosen from their online questionnaire responses, knowledge of Star Trek trivia, and how well they wear a pocket protector-by a panel of High Tech geeks." This is not a gender-specific contest. Promoter Steven Phenix assures us they already have entries from several sexy women well qualified in the "geek" arena.

    ZDNet UK looks at the threat of Chinese Linux viruses. "Most observers however, including programming guru and authority an all matters Linux, Alan Cox, suggest the warning from Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab Anti-Virus was nothing more than a marketing ploy, designed to talk up a new market."

    Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol

    February 3, 2000


     Main page
     Linux in the news
     Back page

    See also: last week's Announcements page.



    Rob Slade has put out a detailed review of the book "Hackers: Crime in the Digital Sublime" by Paul A. Taylor. Despite problems, he calls it recommended reading: "The book will probably not be a popular hit, which is a pity. I would suggest two reasons for the low profile. The first is that Taylor is making a conscious effort to avoid sensationalism, and, indeed, to counter the sensational, and misinformed, reports of computer security penetration that are prevalent in the popular media."

    David Hoggan's The Internet Book has now been made available on-line and under a liberal copyright, allowing both reproduction and electronic transmission (with proper credit). "'The Internet Book: Introduction And Reference' provides both an introduction to the internet protocol suite and a reference guide in a single volume." (Thanks to Alex Butcher).

    www.whichrpm.com is a site that enables you to find Linux software packaged in RPM format, used by many Linux distributions. With the popularity of Linux growing at an unprecedented rate the number of software packages available has also increased. WhichRpm has indexed more than 35000 software packages from the worlds archives so that you can perform queries such as 'where do I find a package that lets me talk to my Palm Pilot'. The WhichRpm site is built entirely from open source software using the RedHat Linux distribution, Perl and MySQL database.

    Linsight has announced that its LinTraining site has grown to contain over 200 company listings.

    Gamer's Alliance sent us some Linux news.

    Students in the UK are being offered a chance to win cash prizes by entering a ground breaking contest announced by sponsors The Linux/Open Source Foundation, 4linuxjobs.co.uk and 1venture.co.uk plc.

    We would like to pass on this announcement from Linux Gazette.


    The Linux werkgroep HCC afdeling Groningen will be giving Linux demonstrations at a Computer Show in Groningen, Netherlands on February 5th and 6th.

    The call for papers for the August, 2000 LinuxWorld Conference and Expo has gone out. Deadline is the end of February.

    ZD Events will host a second Linux Business Expo co-located with Spring Comdex in Chicago, April 18 - 20, 2000.

    Web sites

    M&A West, Inc. announced the launch of Links2Linux.

    The folks at Linuxpower sent us this announcement.

    User Group News

    February 3, 2000



    Software Announcements

    Package Version Description
    <bigwig> bigwig 1.1 High-level programming language for developing interactive Web services.
    'ZillaKilla 1.0 A Netscape process killer.
    3DSE patch for XMMS 4 3DSE support for XMMS.
    4DOM 0.9.2 A CORBA-aware implementation of the W3C's Document Object Model in Python
    4XSLT 0.8.2 Python XSLT processor.
    abcde 1.0.2 A better CD encoder.
    AbiWord 0.7.8 Fully featured word processor
    ACS 0.5.3 GPL licensed multi-line voice response telephony platform
    adduser-qmail 1.4 Adds mailusers for use with the qmail daemon and virtualdomains.
    AeroMail 1.0 PHP based e-mail client
    Akkord 0.3.1 Advanced KDE Commander
    Allegro 3.9.31 A portable game programming library.
    analog 4.02 WWW logfile analysis program
    Angus' Chess Clock 0.8.1 A small functional chess clock.
    ANVLOGIN 2.0 Easy menu for telnet sessions.
    Apache JetSpeed 1.0b2 An OpenSource GroupWare/Portal
    apcupsd 3.7.0 UPS power management under Linux for APCC Products.
    APSEND 1.40 TCP/IP packet sender
    Ari's Yahoo Client 1.2 A text-based Yahoo! Messenger client.
    Artec As6e Scanner Driver 0.2.2 A driver for the Artec As6e parallel port scanner.
    asmutils 0.06 A set of different utilities for Linux/i386 written in assembly language
    asp2php 0.74.0 Converts Active Server Pages (ASP) to PHP3 scripts
    aumix 2.1 Color text mode sound mixer with GPM support
    authlocal 1.0.2 Automatic authentication of connections from localhost
    autotelnet 1.0a A simple program to handle automatic useradd from telnet.
    Avenger's News System 2.1 Alpha PERL-based online news posting system
    Basilisk II 0.8-1 An attempt at creating a free, portable 68k Mac emulator.
    BioMail 0.44 A program to send new references from a Medline database to its users.
    BitGen 1.3 convert strings of 1's and 0's to SPICE voltage sources
    BLADE 0.18.0 Broad Language Aided Document Environment
    Bluetail Mail Robustifier 1.1.8 Unix clusters specifically for email
    Bluetail Ticket Tracker 1.3 A workflow management tool.
    Boa 0.94.3 Lightweight and High Performance WebServer
    Bomb ô Bomb 1.0.9 A high-speed clone of bomberman
    botnet 1.10 Communication package for making IRC bots (or even clients)
    BRINK 1.2.3 CGI that changes users passwords via a web page.
    BrowserExpress 3.01 Web based e-mail client that supports pop3, smtp, and ldap.
    C-XSC++ 0.9.2 A C++ class library for extended scientific computing.
    CADUBI 1.1b1 A color ASCII-art utility for consoles.
    CAFire 0.0.11 A burning mouse pointer toy.
    Catalog 1.02 Build, maintain and display Yahoo! like resources catalogs.
    ccdecoder 0.9 v4l closed caption decoder
    cdbackup 0.5.1 cd-r(w) backup utility
    cddb2discography Generates an HTML discography of your local flat text CDDB database.
    CDject 2.0 A CDROM eject/close program.
    cdrecord 1.8 Allows the creation of both audio and data CDs
    cgi-util++ 0.0 A C++ wrapper for cgi-util
    CGIBitch 1.0.4 A TCL extension for fast CGI processing
    CiberTienda 0.9 A virtual shop system.
    CircleMUD 3.0 beta patchlevel 17 Multi User Dungeon for Linux
    ColdSync 1.1.2 PalmPilot synchronization tool
    Comicq 0.2.0 A commandline-based ICQ messaging tool.
    Common C++ Libraries 0.0 Common C++ libraries for solving small scale standard problems.
    Compaq Smart-2 Driver 1.0.6 Linux Driver for Compaq Smart-2 PCI Disk Array Controllers
    CompuPic 5.0.1036 CompuPic Graphical Digital Content and File Manager for Linux
    CoreLinux++ 0.4.6 A set of C++ class libraries to support common patterns in software development.
    Courier-IMAP 0.26 IMAP server for maildirs
    Cricket 0.72 System for monitoring trends in time-series data
    crUD 01.27.2000 A MUD built from the ground up, with emphasis on stability.
    D2X 0.0.8 A port of Descent 2 to Linux.
    DBIx::AnyDBD 0.96 DBD Abstraction Layer
    DDD 3.2 Common graphical user interface for GDB, DBX and XDB
    dep.pl 1.29.0 Check dependencies of multiple files.
    DGen/SDL 1.20a DGen Sega Genesis emulator, ported to SDL
    DiSi-Poll 0.9.0 An easy-to-configure php3 voting script.
    distributed.net clients 2.8006.257 Client for participation in the RC5 and DES cracking contests
    DistroLib 0.4 Library for distributed processes.
    dmx4linux 0.1.3 Linux drivers for DMX512 interfaces.
    dnscache 0.80 Domain Name System tools.
    Doc++ 3.4.1 Powerful Javadoc like C++ documentation creation tool.
    dot.conf 0.6.0 A simple, powerful configuration-file parser.
    Downloader for X 1.11 Downloads files from the Internet via both FTP and HTTP
    dqd_dirindex 1.0 Dynamic directory indexing for AOLserver 3.0.
    dsniff 1.4 Sniffing utilities for network security testing.
    E theme updater 0.1 Automatically update all your Enlightenment themes from e.themes.org.
    E-FancyLauncher 0.4 Enlightenment button launcher epplet.
    E-Notes 0.2 A sticky-notes manager epplet for Enlightenment.
    ecasound 1.6.12r10 Sound processing, multitrack recording and mixing
    ecawave 0.1.0r1 audio file editor
    ECLiPt SSH Shell 0.6 Simple graphical SSH frontend.
    EdcomLib 1.0 Alpha 6 A dynamic multiuser Web application development.
    edna 0.3 tiny HTTP server for selecting and streaming MP3 files
    eggdrop 1.4.2 IRC bot, written in C
    eMixer 0.05.5 MP3 Mixing Software
    Endeavour 1.12 Linux/X File and Image Browser
    EnergyMech 2.7.4 Bot for irc with eggdrop like features to manage a channel
    Ensembl 0.5 (Milestone 1) An open-source genome annotation database.
    Eterm 0.9 An X11 VT102 emulator with Enlightenment features
    Etherboot 4.4.2 Source code for making TCP/IP boot ROMs to boot Linux and other OSes
    Ethereal 0.8.3 GUI network protocol analyzer
    EveryAuction 1.5 Beta 1 Perl CGI Online Auction Script
    Exegetical Fish Monkey 3.7.0 A Python-based dictionary server.
    eyep-updater.sh 1.0 A shell script that updates your IP for eyep.net dynamic DNS.
    Falcon Firewall Project 0.1.5 An open firewall project.
    FastGL 1.82 A very wonderfull C/C++ graphics library
    Fastresolve 2.4 Fast log file IP address resolver and utilities
    fcmp 1.0.3 safer floating-point comparison
    Filesystems HOWTO 0.7.3 HOWTO about filesystems and accessing filesystems from several OSes.
    First_math 0.0.1 Simple math quiz game
    FOX 0.99.109 C++-Based Library for Graphical User Interface Development
    Free Pascal Compiler 0.99.14 Turbo Pascal 7.0 and Delphi II compatible 32bit Pascal Compiler
    FreeAddr 0.2 A netscape utility for short URL entry.
    FreeCraft 1.16.1pre1 Clone of WarCraft II
    freemed 0.1.1 Free medical management software in a web browser
    FreeVSD 1.4.0 A virtual server daemon for Linux.
    fsv 0.9 3D file system visualizer.
    FTP4ALL 3.010 FTP server program for UNIX systems
    ftree 1.3-alpha Linux GEDCOM based genealogy application
    Fusion GS 1.31 Telnet BBS-like system.
    g2100config 0.5 Configure HP LaserJet 2100 Series printers under Linux.
    gAcc 0.6.1 A personal accounts manager.
    gatO 0.6.4 Gtk AT Operation.
    gbox_applet 0.4.0 mbox watcher
    gcrontab 0.6.2 gtk crontab editor.
    getpg 0.53 PostgreSQL-aware replacements for the getpwnam() and getpwuid() functions.
    getpg / UW-IMAP 0.54 A patch for UW-IMAP to authenticate users against a PostgreSQL database.
    gfontview 0.3.3 Font Viewer
    ggv GNOME ghostscript frontend (similar to gv).
    ghtsclient 0.2 GTK-based Holsham Trasders client application.
    GHX 3.50 GTK clone of the Hotline software
    GladeRunner 0.0.1 A utility to dynamically bind a Glade interface to a module.
    GLAME 0.020 A generic and easily extensible audio processing tool and sound editor.
    Glitter Newsreader 0.1 Retrieves binary postings from newsgroups at a scheduled time.
    GMasqdialer 0.99.8 Gnome Client for the Masqdialer System
    Gnapster 1.3.4 GNOME Napster client
    GNet 0.1.8 A simple network library.
    Gnome Transcript 0.1.5 SQL Database Client with plugin system to support multiple database servers.
    gnome-applets 1.1.2 A collection of applets for the GNOME panel.
    gnome-core 1.1.2 GNU Network Object Model Environment
    GNU Pth 1.3b2 GNU Portable Threads
    goMP 1.0.3 A highly interactive Web frontend to mpg123.
    gPS 0.5.2 GTK-based process status reporting like ps, top and task manager
    gps3d 1.9 A GPS 3D visualization utility.
    gretl 0.1r An econometrics package.
    gShieldConf 0.1 A tool for editing gShield configuration files.
    Gtk-- 1.1.8 C++ interface for the popular GUI library gtk.
    gtk-font-hack 0.2-gtk-1.2.6 Font smoothing patch for GTK/GNOME programs.
    GtkAda 1.2.5 Ada95 binding of Gtk+
    GTKtalog 0.0.10 Fast Disk Catalog using a friendly interface.
    gtktetcolor 0.3 A small Tetris clone for X.
    GTS 0.2.0 Functions for 3D surfaces meshed with interconnected triangles
    harvest 1.5.20-kj-0.10 A Web-based document search system.
    HiM 0.2.1 Hierarchical marshalling library.
    HSX 3.29 Hotline Server clone for Unix
    HTML::Mason 0.8 A component-based perl web development environment
    htmsysinfo 1.4 Writes information about your system to an HTML document.
    i-no Chart 0.1 Dynamic chart generation for AOLServer.
    IA 2.03 A little AI program.
    ImageMagick 5.1.1 Package for display and interactivemanipulation of images for X11
    iManager 1.1.3 An image viewer and manager.
    imapbiff 0.9 New mail notifier for IMAP accounts
    IMP 2.2.0-pre10 IMAP and PHP3 based webmail system
    imp3 02.0 An intelligent mp3 player.
    imwheel 0.9.7 Support for wheel and 4+ button mice in X11
    Intro to Bash Programming HOWTO 0.3 Bash programming tutorial.
    iODBC Driver Manager and SDK 3.0.1 A new ODBC 3.5 driver manager/SDK for Linux/UNIX.
    ipch-select 1.8 An ipchains log entry filter.
    ippl 1.99.3 IP Protocols Logger
    ircII 4.4M
    jac 0.13 Command line CD Player
    Java Assistant 1.6.1 Java Class/Package Browser + front end to mocha and any decompiler
    JChemPaint 0.5 A 2D molecular structure editor written in Java
    Jetty 2.3.5 HTTP/1.1 Servlet server written in Java
    jftpgw 0.0.7 small ftp proxy
    JMud 0.23 An experimental MUD server written in Java(TM).
    Jonah 0.0.1 RDF Headline parser
    jukebox 0.92 Jukebox for mp3-files with html-interface and playerdaemon
    jwhois 2.4.1 A collection of Perl programs for the whois service
    Kalendar 0.5f Simple, easy to use calendar and to-do list manager
    Katy 0.2.1 Text editor inspired by UltraEdit
    KBoxes! 1.3 A little mind game.
    KCommander 0.61 Windows Commander Clone for KDE
    KDevelop 1.1beta2 KDevelop is a new C++ development environment for Unix/X11.
    Keystone 0.70.00 Web-based problem tracking system, rewrite of an older system called PTS
    kfan 1.1 A utility for Toshiba laptops.
    kishidoo 1.0 A little puzzle game for the KDE.
    Kmp3 1.0 A KDE MP3 Player
    Kmud 0.3 KDE mud client
    Koala Complete MUD Server 0.1.2a A complete MUD server.
    kplotw 0.0.5 A user-friendly 2D plotting widget for KDE
    KRN 0.6.9 A newsreader for KDE with offline functionality.
    krunseti 0.2.2 A program that starts SETI@home and displays its status.
    Ksetiwatch 0.3.1 SETI@home monitor and work unit manager
    KSnes9x 1.2 KDE frontend for Snes9x
    KSrnd 0.97 Control panel for the miroMEDIA Surround Dolby Pro Logic decoder.
    KUPS 0.3.4 KUPS is a CUPS administrator for KDE.
    Lamerpad 0.1 A multilingual handwriting recognition input server.
    Laonux 0.1 A minimal usable Linux distribution.
    Launcher 0.86 One-stop filetype/application mapping solution
    LazaPop 2.0c A messenger for Linux that can also communicate with Windows.
    LCDproc 0.4-pre9 Displays system statistics on an external LCD display
    Le Sursis 0.1.1 Common Lisp packages to facilitate CGI scripting and HTML generation.
    Learning Logic 2.1 System for learning algebra.
    LexmarkPHP 0.0.1 Lexmark printer configuration Tool in PHP
    libcda 0.3 A simple, cross-platform CD audio playing library
    libsnarf 0.0.2-000131 A library for doing socks/http/ftp/gopher/proxy file transfer.
    Licq 0.75.3a Advanced graphical ICQ clone and more for Unix
    Limo 0.3.2 Configurable replacement for ls
    Linux ethernet bridge rewrite 20000129 A rewrite of the Linux ethernet bridging code.
    Linux Memory Technology Device project 20000131 Support for Flash and RAM devices under Linux
    Linux Review Headline Grabber 1.0 Linux Review headline grabber
    LISC 1.1.2 A lightweight Scheme interpreter in Java, with useful extensions.
    localscan 2.1 A Perl-based frontend for filtering and automating nmap scans.
    log4j 0.7.5 Fast and flexible logging tool written in Java.
    LTSP 1.03 Linux Terminal Server Project
    M2Crypto 0.03 OpenSSL tools for Python use.
    Magick++ 0.9.2 Object-oriented C++ API to the ImageMagick image-processing library.
    makeconf.makefile 0.3.5 A Makefile-making script with gettext-support .
    mcountd 0.4 A text-based countdown clock.
    MegaHAL for Eggdrop .01 Gives an Eggdrop bot artificial intelligence, using a port of MegaHAL
    MHDns 1.4 Dynamic DNS Client/Server
    MindTerm 1.2pre2 SSH-client in pure Java, includes stand-alone ssh- and terminal(vt100)-packages
    MIT Photonic-Bands 0.10 Software for computing photonic band structures.
    MIT Scheme 7.5.2 A programming environment for Scheme.
    MMR 1.5.4 Text-based mail reader
    mod_dtcl 0.7.3 Apache server-parsed Tcl module, inspired by PHP
    mod_ticket 1.1 An Apache module for a digitally signed ticket in URL.
    Moffy 0.0.1 A WAP-based email client, scheduler, and contact list.
    Moonshine 1.0beta2 An application development environment for Linux.
    Mozilla M13 A Web browser for X11 derived from Netscape Communicator.
    Mp3 Commander 0.7 A tool to search and play mp3 collections and generate playlists
    MP3 Report Generator 1.0.0 Generates a templated HTML page with MP3s, playing times, and statistics.
    mp3check 0.4.4 mp3 integrity checker
    mpatrol 1.1.0 A library for controlling and tracing dynamic memory allocations.
    mpegOrion 0.1 Free mpeg player for linux
    MultiSeti 0.3 Seti@Home Utility to manage multiple seti@home packets
    Muse, mp3 streamer 0.0.1 An all in one web based streaming system for icecast.
    MUSIC 0.0.5 A MUD-like text-based virtual reality server.
    muttzilla 0.40 Use your favorite e-mail client under Netscape
    MySQL 3.23.9 SQL (Structured Query Language) database server
    MyThreads-Links v0.5.2 Yahoo like links manager writen in PHP/MySQL
    nano 0.8.1 Pico editor clone with enhancements.
    NCatalog 0.0.3 The GTKtalog databse ncurses browser and searcher.
    netscape.sh 1.0 Netscape frontend script.
    netToe v1.0 A Tic Tac Toe game for the Linux console.
    newq 0.4 Snarfs realtime quotes from datek to display on the console.
    NiL Isn't Liero 000128 A violent game, a lot like worms, a bit like quake, but in 2D.
    nmap 2.3BETA14 Full featured, robust port scanner
    nmpg 1.1.3 Command driven frontend for mpg123
    noxis font 0.2 fixed-width X11 font
    NTP 4.0.99c A time synchronization daemon which keeps your system time accurate.
    nuni 0.04 non-bios boot loader for Linux to eliminate bios limitations
    OBM 0.3.0 Intranet application to help manage a company or a contact database.
    Octave 2.0.16
    OpenNaken 1.10 Tcl/Tk client for Naken Chat
    opennap 0.11 An open source Napster server.
    OpenSSH Unix Port 1.2.2 Port of OpenBSD's free SSH release to Linux
    Osiris 1.2.0 An executable file integrity verifier.
    PACT 0.3 SNMP accounting tool.
    Pan 0.7.3 Gnome/GTK Newsreader
    Paralogger 0.88 Script to ease the process of setting up a root tail window
    Pbotty 1.1B Pbotty - Perl/PostgreSQL/PHP3 IRC Bot
    PCCS MySQLDatabase Admin Tool 1.2.2 A Web hosting and MySQL administator tool.
    pcmcia-cs 3.1.10 A complete PCMCIA or 'PC Card' support package for Linux.
    Perl EyeP Client 0.2 EyeP.net Dynamic DNS Client.
    Perlsh 20000127 A Perl-based command shell, stressing interactivity over scripting.
    Pexeso Beta A simple graphic card game for one or two players.
    Photoseek 0.1.3 A Web-based image cataloging and management system.
    php3guest 1.5 A Web guestbook written in PHP3 with a MySQL backend.
    phpLanParty 0.25 Lan Party registration application
    pmidi 1.4.0 Command line midi player for ALSA
    popsneaker 0.1.1 Spam filter for POP3 email accounts.
    Postfix 19991231-pl04 The Postfix MTA
    PowerShell 0.65 A GTK-based terminal emulator with support for many terms in one window.
    Powertweak-Linux 0.1.7 System performance enhancer.
    PPPOEd 0.43 PPP over Ethernet
    Prae's Scripts 1.3 3 Scripts for the eggdrop bot.
    prepop 0.1b4 A specialised POP3 client for slow links.
    Production BASIC 0.2.12 Commercial Quality BASIC compiler and run time environment
    Project Clock 0.1 A point-and-click task and project time recorder.
    Prometheus-Library 1.53 Object-oriented PHP API
    PyGCS 1.3.9 A very stripped down MUD-like chat-server written entirely in Python.
    Pygmy Linux 0.7 beta UMSDOS based, internet ready minilinux.
    pylice 0.7.0 Pylice is a link checker written in Python.
    qpage 3.3 Alphanumeric paging software.
    Qpopper 3.0b31 POP3 server
    QtGantt 0.0.3 A Gantt schematics drawer.
    QuakeForge 0.1.0 A project created around Id software's Quake source releases.
    QuakeWorld Forever 0.02 An attempt at cheat-free Quakeworld.
    Querytool 0.001 An interactive tool for PostgreSQL.
    quotenotifier 0.14 Track single/multiple stocks and see if they go over/below a certain value.
    QVocab 0.20.4 A program to learn the vocabulary of a foreign language.
    RabbIT 2.0.2 Mutating, caching webproxy to speed up surfing over slow links
    RAPID-Q 0.02.1 Multi-platform (Semi-Object Oriented) BASIC Compiler
    Rasteroids 0.01 A free Asteroids clone.
    RBook 0.5.0 A REBOL documentation dialect.
    RealTimeBattle 1.0.2 RealTimeBattle, a robot programming game for Unix
    Regexx 0.96 A complete regular expressions C++ solution.
    RIG 1.02 Random Identity Generator.
    Roots 0.1 Calculate the roots of a quadratic equation.
    RPGD 1.1c A multi-user, medieval-fantasy role-playing game
    rude 0.50 UDP traffic generator and logging utilities
    run_netscape 1.0 Intelligently run netscape
    Saint 1.5patch1 Security Administrator's Integrated Network Tool
    Salomon 0.0.1a A MySQL Client for end users.
    SANE 20000130 Provides standardized access to anyraster image scanner hardware
    Sapphire 0.13.8 A new window manager for the X Windows System.
    sawmill Extensible window manager
    sawmill.el 1.11 Emacs mode for editing sawmill code and interacting with sawmill
    SCEZ 20000129 Smart card library
    Scintilla 1.21 Source code editing component and tiny IDE for Win32 and GTK+.
    scribe 0.2 A C prototype-generator.
    scroller 1.0 Program to watch the ouput from other programs.
    ScryMUD 2.0.10 Original MUD Server and Java Client
    sendmail-tls 0.23 SSL/TLS Wrapper for sendmail (and other MTAs)
    senv 0.2 Runs a program with specified environment
    setserial 2.17 Controls configuration of serial ports.
    sfront 0.54 Translates MPEG 4 Structured Audio to C
    Simple Simon 0.01a An inventory/Point-of-Sale system.
    SimpleFont 1.1.1 A small program similar to banner but better in some ways.
    simscomputing.Enterprise Tool Kit 0.15 Tools for writing Java 2 Enterprise Edition applications.
    SiteMgrYAP 0.1.2 HTML-application for managing web sites.
    sitescooper 2.1.2 Downloads stories from various news sites and converts to text or Pilot format.
    slash 0.9.1 A database-driven news and message board, using mod_perl and MySQL.
    smtm 0.9.1 A Perl/Tk ticker for global stock markets.
    Snort 1.5.1 Libpcap packet sniffer/logger/lightweight IDS
    Socket Script Lib 2.0 Simple C socket programming library
    Solfege 0.6.0 GPL'ed eartraining for Gnome
    Solid POP3 0.14 an implementation of a POP3 server.
    SourceForge 1.0.4 An online Open Source hosting Web application.
    spliff 0.8.1 A GUI mail watcher inspired by TkRat's Watcher utility.
    Sporum 1.8b1 A better web-based dicussion board software
    Spruce 0.5.14 Simple email client coded for X with the Gtk widget set
    SQN Linux 1.6 A simple ramdisk image intended to run on diskless clients.
    SRND 1.2 The miroMEDIA Surround Linux device driver.
    starcat 0.90 A star catalog visualization tool.
    StWeb 1.3.6 A Web application development system.
    sudo 1.6.2p1 Provides limited super user priviledges to specific users
    supermount 0.1.3 Kernel patch for the supermount filesystem.
    swim 0.3.5 Package administration and research tool for Debian
    tclPov 0.3 POVRay frontend for rendering POVRay scenes.
    Terraform 0.6.0 Interactive digital terrain (height field) editor/viewer
    teTeX 1.0.6 Best TeXdistribution for UNIX
    The Cool Zippi Tool 1.4 X-Forms based compression frontend
    The Harbour Project Alpha Release 31 An open source, cross platform xbase compiler
    The Java SSH/Telnet Application/Applet 2.0 RC1 Fully featured telnet program for WWW-Browsers
    The Penguin Machine 0.0.2 A puzzle game based on The Incredible Machine.
    The Urgent Decision 0.9.9 An action strategy game.
    threads 1.0 A C++ library for working with threads under Linux.
    thumbelizer 0.6 Thumbnail creation software
    Tidings 1.0.5 An online project news and information system.
    Tiff2png 0.8 converts TIFF image files to PNG format
    timer_q 0.8 Shared C library for creating timed events (doesn't use alarm()).
    tkchooser 0.65
    tkload 1.2.2 TkPerl tool for monitoring load on remote servers using SNMP
    ToutDoux 1.1.7 A project manager.
    ubiqx library 4.1 Base-level utility modules from undergrad CS books.
    UdmSearch 3.0.2 Fast WWW search engine for your site
    Ultimate Basketball Challenge 0.3.0 5 on 5 basketball game for linux
    VDKBuilder 1.0.6 A RAD tool based on the VDK Library (a C++ wrapper of GTK+).
    vhclmaps 0.7.4 2D/3D map viewers and vehicle simulation servers.
    VMWare 2.0 beta Allows you to run multiple x86 OSs at the same time.
    W3Mail 0.5.1 Web gateway to POP3 eMail.
    wchat 1.2.0 Fully extensible TCP/IP-based Chat Server.
    Web Secretary 1.3.3 Web page monitoring software
    WebCal 3.0 A simple browser based calendar program.
    Webmin 0.77 Web-based interface for system administration for Unix
    Wine 20000130 Emulator of the Windows 3.x and Win32 APIs.
    WMKeyboard 0.3 A keyboard map manager.
    wmseti 0.3.0a Windowmaker dockapp for your SETI@home statistics
    Worklog 1.0 A Web TODO list tracker and diary.
    WorldWide Web Performance Monitoring 0.9.5 Web performance monitoring tool.
    X Interface Monitor 1.7 Monitor any network interface, and view traffic, load, and statistics.
    X Northern Captain 4.2.1 Filemanager for X Windows
    x-wvdial 0.13 An X11-based frontend for wvdial.
    xchat X-Chat 1.3.13 X11 IRC application.
    XDBM 1.0.8 Database Manager designed specifically to hold XML data
    XDC 0.3.0 X Client for DialControl
    Xen 0.1.0 Zope-based task tracking and project management system.
    XFrisk 1.2 Networked X11 version of Risk with computer players.
    xinetd Powerful inetd replacement
    xlpotdb 1.0 XLinux POT Translator/Database
    Xmame/xmess 0.36b15.2 The Unix version of the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator
    xmix 1.0 Alpha Ncurses based Interface to /dev/mixer
    Xmms 1.0.1 X MultiMedia System
    XMMS-Solaris 0.4 Output plugin for XMMS to play on Solaris audio
    XMovie 1.3 Play Quicktime movies in stereo
    xPine 0.0.12 An X11 interface to Pine.
    XRacer 0.95.28 Clone of Psygnosis WipeOut
    XRally 0.7 An X11 clone of the Rally X arcade game.
    XScreenSaver 3.23 Modular screen saver and locker for the X WindowSystem
    XShipWars 1.33a Space oriented highly graphical network game system.
    xterm patch #124 A terminal emulator for the X Window System
    Xterminal 1.0.1 Object Oriented User Interface with a client-serverarchitecture
    Xtheater 0.2.3 GTK-based MPEG-1 video & video/audio player
    Xwrits 2.11 Reminds you to take wrist breaks
    XZX 2.9.2 Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K/128K/+3 emulator
    y-notes 0.5.8 A suite of Web page annotation applets.
    Zircon 1.18.232 An IRC client written in tcl/tk

    Our software announcements are provided courtesy of FreshMeat


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    Linux links of the week

    WorldPilot is a Zope-based system which provides an integrated email, calendar, and address book capability. It's currently available under a free software license, in beta form.

    Tired of silly benchmarks? Then don't head over to the /dev/null benchmark page. This benchmark, also known as "Fhlushstone," measures the speed of the null device; results are available for hundreds of systems.

    Section Editor: Jon Corbet

    February 3, 2000



    Letters to the editor

    Letters to the editor should be sent to letters@lwn.net. Preference will be given to letters which are short, to the point, and well written. If you want your email address "anti-spammed" in some way please be sure to let us know. We do not have a policy against anonymous letters, but we will be reluctant to include them.
    Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 15:12:54 -0500 (EST)
    From: Joe Klemmer <klemmerj@webtrek.com>
    To: letters@lwn.net
    Subject: Linux Security Issue
    	I would like to echo your comments about the need for a more
    organized security model for Linux.  To this I would like to offer a
    donation of $500.00 towards the establishment of some kind of Linux
    Security Body for the purpose of organizing and finding security related
    issues in the Linux specific open source world.
    	I do not do this lightly, I can not afford to put this kind of
    money up, but I am doing this in the hopes that others will follow.  As
    mentioned it would be a very good idea if the companies that are making
    money on Linux were to put some of that money to use for this.
    Thank you,
    Pray to God, but keep rowing to shore.
                    -- Russian Proverb
    Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 21:58:52 +1100
    From: Mark Lillywhite <mark@plasticsoftware.com.au>
    To: letters@lwn.net
    Subject: Kernel performance and threading
    I read with some alarm of your claim of a "challenge" which has been "thrown
    to proponents of highly-threaded applications to recode their programs in a
    single-threaded mode" in the Kernel section of your Jan 27 issue.
    The design of a system will take into account many different factors, and if
    the design is significantly simplified by using more than one thread of
    execution, then that design should not be unduly penalised by the operating
    To suggest that a large multi threaded application should be rewritten using
    a single thread, solely on the basis of peak theoretical performance
    calculated using the relative probability of low level "cache misses" is just
    plain silly. We have so many options to improve the performance of our
    applications without sacrificing design ideals - such as waiting 12 months
    for the CPU speed to double - that basing the architecture of a large piece
    of software around something as esoteric as a low level, architecture
    dependent metric such as potential cache misses is just irresponsible.
    I imagine that a really large system with many processes communicating via
    shared memory will have similar issues to those presented as arguments
    against heavily multi-threaded applications. Are we to be expected to rewrite
    multi-process systems as a single process too? Before long, we will reduce
    our system to just one process - and it will look like an operating system.
    Anyway, perhaps I'm missing something, but I thought that if I was executing
    the same code in the same address space over and over again, then I would get
    *loads* of cache hits?
    Kind regards,
    Mark Lillywhite
    From: "Hyre, Max" <Max.Hyre@cardiopulmonarycorp.com>
    To: "'lwn@lwn.net'" <lwn@lwn.net>
    Subject: I must take exception to that header!
    Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 13:43:04 -0500
       Dear Mr. Corbet:
       In the Commerce page of this week's LWN
    is the announcement that Sigma Designs is building a DVD player for
    Linux.  The heading for the item is ``(Legal) DVD playback for
    Linux'', and I object to the implication of ``(Legal)'', and claim
    it would be much better presented as ``(Licensed) DVD playback for
       The status of DeCSS playback for Linux is in dispute, but most
    disinterested parties hold that DeCSS is legal, probably in the US,
    and certainly in many foreign countries.  The implied disparagement
    of DeCSS's status should be avoided.
       I would appreciate it if you would consider this matter, and would
    be thrilled if you'd change the text.
       Thanks for a great news site.
    			Best wishes,
    					Max Hyre
    From: Art_Cancro@uncnsrd.mt-kisco.ny.us (Art Cancro)
    To: letters@lwn.net
    Date: Thu Jan 27 10:56:25 2000
    Subject: Fun Sun Quote of the Day:      "There is no Unix marketplace
    Fun Sun Quote of the Day:  
     "There is no Unix marketplace anymore.  It's a Solaris Marketplace."  
        -- Ed Zander  
     This one really floored me.  What Mr. Zander (could he be Sun's 
    counterpart to Microsoft's own loudmouth Ed Muth?) is essentially saying 
    here is: "Sun is no longer committed to open systems and open standards. 
     Our proprietary software is better than Microsoft's proprietary software. 
     And pay no attention to IBM, HP, and the Linux community; we're so far 
    ahead of them they'll never catch up."  
     This sentiment sounds more like a spectre from the dark ages of 
    fragmented proprietary Unix than like something from the modern world, 
    which is finally starting to realize the value of a unified Unix (which is 
    what Linux now represents).  It's hard to believe that any Unix vendor 
    would still have the audacity to make such a comment.  
     It's also somewhat hypocritical, considering that open systems played a 
    crucial role in making Sun a successful company in the first place.  They 
    can sit on their high horse now, because they truly do have a world-class 
    operating system that is extremely robust and scalable ... but Linux is 
    rapidly closing the gap.  For that matter, even Microsoft is "shrinking" 
    the gap somewhat.  If Sun continues to pooh-pooh the standards-based 
    world, they won't be the Unix leader for much longer.  
        Art Cancro                           Visit UNCENSORED! BBS at  
        ajc@uncnsrd.mt-kisco.ny.us           http://uncnsrd.mt-kisco.ny.us  
    Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 10:30:09 -0700
    From: Bruce Ide <nride@uswest.net>
    To: editor@lwn.net
    Subject: Sun, Java and the Meaning of Suck
    Sun's antics are very obvious. They want to be the next Microsoft pure
    and simple, and I don't see any reason why we should replace one
    gigantic monopoly with crappy software and proprietary "standards" with
    Sun probably realizes (As I hope do the rest of the readership here)
    that Linux everywhere pretty much eliminates the need for Java
    everywhere. Java was originally written on the concept that the same
    code could be run on any platform without the need to worry about
    platform dependent API's. Well if all the platforms have the same API,
    it really doesn't matter if you do it with Java or C, C++ or whatever
    other language you happen to like. And I personally have always found
    Java's supposed cross platform capabilities lacking for any program more
    complex than "Hello World." Moreover, Java has always been a huge memory
    hog and horribly slow.
    I think we should just jettison Java and hack Perl, Python and Scheme
    (Oh my!) into Mozilla.
    Bruce Ide               nride@uswest.net
    SOMEONE had to put all that chaos there!
    Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 10:43:45 -0500
    From: John Klar <j.klar@xpedite.com>
    To: Bruce Ide <nride@us.ibm.com>, lwn@lwn.net
    Subject: Re: Why do you Bother With the Gartner Group?
    I absolute agree with your assessment of Gartner.  Their opinions over
    the years have definitely qualified for Petreley's "Beverage Through the
    Nose" award.
    I must respond to some of your points and prognostications.
    > So Linux makes sense to most of those people, except SCO
    I think Sun Microsystems is far more deserving of this comment
    especially in light of their recent moves.  If I remember correctly SCO
    recently added a Linux binary compatibility layer to their OS.
    > I'm expecting the Merced to be a flop. It wouldn't surpise me if
    > AMD doesn't step up to the plate within plus-or-minus a few weeks
    > of the Merced release with an ultra-fast 64 bit chip of their own.
    Intel has hedged their bets with Merced.  They've had Cygnus Solutions
    (with the help of HP?) adapting gcc for its use.  In addition, I believe
    they've also been porting Linux.  Similarly, Sun made statements that
    they wanted to be THE definitive Merced OS.  I've not heard anything
    within the last year, but take that with a grain of salt since I've let
    most of my trade mag subscriptions lapse.
    > Despite Wintel protestations to the contrary, PC's are still toys
    > compared to the big blue iron.
    Really, anything compared to a mainframe is a toy.  OTOH, if the
    "pathetic little quad Xeon" can saturate your uplink, what's the point? 
    Maybe a better measure would be cost/transaction.
    > ... those chips are 64 bit TODAY, as are the MIPS chips but we
    > don't see many of those anymore AFAIK.
    The various flavors of MIPS are very much alive and well.  A significant
    number of WinCE machines run MIPS derived chips as well as at least one
    of the current crop of game consoles and (I think) a digital camera.
    My predictions:
    I belive the "embedded linux" market will explode.  The "always-on"
    internet connection market desparately needs a cheap, easy to
    configure/administer device by the average consumer.  I also see
    computers increasingly used in home entertainment roles (streaming
    audio, MP3, DVD) that were the traditional baliwick of consumer
    electronics companies.  Home automation is another potential market. 
    These products all need to be _fanless_, low power, capable of 24x7
    operation and absolutely require a bulletproof user and service
    Consequently the low power properties of Crusoe really excite me.
    Opinions my own and not representative of my employer.
    John Klar
    Software Engineer
    Premiere Document Distribution
    Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 11:24:26 GMT
    From: Duncan Simpson <dps@io.stargate.co.uk>
    To: letters@lwn.net
    Subject: Open sourec fixes --- is Red Hat the problem?
    I read this with and agree modulo quite a lot. A large portion of the
    problem seems to be getting the fixes into RPM format and not the
    speed of actual fixes. Freely avialable fixed lpr was avialable a long
    while back and it is sad that RH failed to put it in a RPM until
    A far more recent example is last time I looked the latest bind 8
    package is one apparently featuring the NXT buffer overrun bug. Bind
    8.2.2p5, which does not have this bug, has been avialable for over a
    month but last time I looked there was no sign of an update to this
    version (plently of ISP name server boxen have been upgraded anyway).
    Taking over a week to produce an update despite advisories with the
    relevent code illistrated and a patch to fix the bug in them is a
    problem. It is a little hard for the linux community in general to fix
    this problem. Having said this the slow speed of fixes for a major
    linux distribution, given that fixes on bugtraq are really fast, is a
    problem that needs attention---how about a community site that RPMises
    the bug fixed versions and signs them itself?
    Disclaimer: I have neither RPM nor a RH system, so can do not this
    site msyelf.
    From: Jan Gruber <jgruber@fbw.htwk-leipzig.de>
    To: letters@lwn.net
    Subject: Linux-Pavillon @ cebit
    Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 22:49:31 +0100
    it looks like Linux is gonna have its own pavillon
    at this years Cebit.
    for more details.
    It's in german, but Babelfish should do the job.
    Earth is a beta site.
    cat /dev/world | perl -pe "(while (<>)\
    {(/(*.?\?) 42 \!/) && (print $1)}"
    From: Richard Simpson <rsimpson@ewrcsdra.demon.co.uk>
    To: letters@lwn.net
    Subject: IBM's Java for Linux?
    Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2000 15:18:14 +0000
    Last week you said, "IBM's Java implementation may not be truly free, but it
    looks like it may now be free enough to become the de facto Java implementation
    for Linux systems".  Are you sure that this is what you meant?  I spent some
    time hunting on IBM's web site and could find their Java only as an i386 binary
    with precisely no indication that it would ever be ported to the other 8(?)
    platforms which Linux currently supports.
    Please do not fall into the common trap of assuming that Linux == i386 Linux.
    As an Alpha user I am constantly annoyed by reading that some wonderous piece
    of software is now available for Linux, and then discovering that it is only
    ever likely to be available for i386.
    I appreciate that many companies who do not wish to release their products as
    open source are unable to support the likes of Alpha and ARM simply because
    they do not have the hardware to compile on.  A solid Java implementation would
    allow them (as I understand it) to ship a Java bytecode (effectively binary)
    version and have it run on every Linux platform.  This would be great news for
    those of us with the "other" platforms, but ONLY if we have, at least, the
    runtime environment.
    If a solid Java implementation becomes available only for the most popular
    platforms then those left out will be at a positive disadvantage.  Some open
    source developers whose software can currently be compiled by (for example)
    m68k users will switch to Java and said users will then not have access to new
    I know that I am always banging on about other platforms, but surely as Linux
    users we believe in hardware choice just as much as we believe in operating
    system choice?
    Thank you,
    	Richard Simpson
    Richard Simpson
    Farnborough, Hants, Uk                 Fax: 01252 392118
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