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Leading items and editorials

Looking back at LinuxWorld. Now that your editor has had some time to recover from last week's LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, it's time to gather together a few thoughts on what was seen there. The Linux world is changing quickly, and there is no better place to see what's up - at least on the business side - than LinuxWorld.

And the business side is doing great. One had to look hard to find unhappy people on the exhibit floor. With very few exceptions, anybody who has [LinuxWorld] been active in the Linux arena for any period of time is in a good position. If you have code, technology, revenue, or readership, you probably have numerous options to choose from. Almost everybody who wants to cash in is able to do so. A rising tide lifts all boats, and this one is rising in a hurry.

How will the Linux community change as a result of this flood of cash, jobs, and stock options? When everybody who wants to has made their deal, will the volunteer spirit remain? At LinuxWorld a year ago, the .org area was known as "the ghetto." This time around, your editor heard it referred to as "acquisition alley" instead. Times have changed.

The interesting thing is that, if anything, the spirit of Linux shines through more strongly now than it did a year ago. Business may be changing Linux and open source, but it is equally true that open source is changing business. Any self-respecting business on the exhibit floor was emphasizing strongly its contributions back to the Linux community. Contributing to open source is not only seen as a requirement for good corporate citizenship; it makes good business sense.

The definitive example from LinuxWorld may well be the Trillian project. Numerous companies that are otherwise in competition with each other have come together to produce something that benefits everybody. This cooperation may well be unprecedented, and the result is Linux support for a new processor before it starts shipping.

Thus, this editor left New York with the observation that, while the world is changing, there is much cause for optimism. The benefits of open source are too great to be submerged under a flood of money. We have succeeded, and the world - while far from perfect - is a better place for it.

Enough of that, time to get to the important question: who had the best giveways at LinuxWorld? Swag hunters with children quickly passed the word about the nice, LED-equipped bouncy ballsbeing handed out by Compaq. Those in the know could also request the special ones with noisemakers as well, but most parents know better.

Those without children may think instead that the battle was won before the exhibit floor even opened by Maximum Linux Magazine. Their Fedex box arrived at the office at the end of January, and contained a LinuxWorld survival kit: a badge-holder pouch stuffed with a box of Penguin caffeinated mints, an "anti-bacterial hand gel kit" (useful after that unwelcome handshake at the LinuxOne booth), and a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey. There was also a first-aid packet with aspirin, presumably meant for recovering from extensive use of the mints and the whiskey...

LWN's coverage of LinuxWorld can be found on this page.

Linux Expo/LinuxWorld Paris was held at the same time as the New York event. A couple of sites have coverage of this event - both in French. On Cyperus is an extensive set of interviews with participants, including Richard Stallman, Jeremy Allison, and more. And ComputerChannel.com has a set of stories as well. Here's a Babelfish link for ComputerChannel.com - unfortunately Babelfish doesn't get along with Cyperus.

ZDNet France has also put up an article about Richard Stallman. It covers the Free Software Foundation, GNU/Linux, and more. Alas, Babelfish doesn't like this one either. (Found in Portalux News).

Real-time Linux is patented. Some RTLinux users have been surprised that the RTLinux concept is subject to patent number 5995745, held by veteran RTLinux hacker Victor Yodaiken. This patent was issued on November 30, 1999, and covers:

  • providing a real time operating system for running real time tasks and components and non-real time tasks;
  • providing a general purpose operating system as one of the non-real time tasks;
  • preempting the general purpose operating system as needed for the real time tasks; and
  • preventing the general purpose operating system from blocking preemption of the non-real time tasks.
In other words, if you're working with a real-time operating system that is attached to a general purpose system, you're treading on this patent's turf. Of course, there may be some prior art problems - one could say that VMS did all of the above 20 years ago.

Mr. Yodaiken's plans for the patent are evidently being worked out in cooperation with Linux International and Linus Torvalds. The components of those plans, according to his posting on the subject, would appear to include:

  • Users of RTLinux need not pay any royalties as a result of this patent.
  • Users of other real-time add-ons for Linux need not pay royalties, but only if (1) the add-on is explicitly labeled as being (or not being) compatible with RTLinux, and (2) the add-on is released under the GPL.
  • Non-open projects will have to pay. It is not clear what the status is for non-Linux free projects, such as one based on one of the BSD variants.
Mr. Yodaiken has done the Linux community a great deal of good through his RTLinux work. And it is good that he is keeping things open for the Linux community. But the use of software patents, even for a "good cause," is a bit troublesome. Software patents are a double-edged weapon at best, and any embracing of them by the free software community is likely to lead to trouble.

Embedded systems everywhere. People have been saying "embedded Linux will be big" for a while yet. Here's some announcements from the last week which demonstrate that the reality is catching up with the hype in this particular area:

  • Lynx Real-Time systems made a number of announcements, including BlueCat Linux 1.0, the first release of its embedded Linux distribution; the release of its "Lynx Messenger" backplane messaging system as open source; and the participation of its chairman, Inder Singh, in the "ask the experts" panel on LinuxDevices.com.

  • MontaVista has announced that its "Hard Hat Linux" has been embedded in Kerbango, Inc.'s standalone "Internet radio" product.

  • Moreton Bay has announced the release of its "eLIA Development Platform" - an embeddable Linux system based on the ColdFire processor. This is a combined hardware and software platform.

  • Picazo has announced a preview of its Linux-based private branch exchange (PBX) system. Soon Linux may be routing your office phone calls as well.

  • EMJ Embedded Systems has announced White Dwarf Linux - yet another distribution for embedded systems applications.

  • Integrated Software & Devices Corporation (ISDCorp) announced that it is shipping "Royal Linux", ISDCorp's port of Linux kernel 2.2.1 for embedded systems.
It does not take much thought to see the potential scope of embedded Linux. General-purpose computers are relatively rare, but embedded processors will be everywhere. All of the benefits of free software apply in this realm, but the "free beer" aspect is especially important. When systems are shipping by the million, even a small cost difference becomes a big deal. When one considersthe reliability and low resource requirements of Linux as well, it looks like a winning combination.

The acquisition of Andover.Net by VA Linux Systems, along with a number of other acquisitions, is covered on this week's Commerce page. We are pleased to offer as well a guest editorial by Scotty Orr on the subject. Mr. Orr believes it is far too soon for this sort of consolidation in the Linux world, and explains why.

Inside this week's Linux Weekly News:

  • Security: High-profile distributed denial of service attacks.
  • Kernel: IA-64 and RAID in 2.3, new kernel.org webmaster, device driver book update, IBM releases JFS
  • Distributions: Dragon Linux vs DragonLinux, Kaiwal Linux, a Rock Linux update.
  • Development: All roads lead to SourceForge.
  • Commerce: A massive wave of mergers and acquisitions, The Linux Fund heads toward IPO.
  • 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 10, 2000


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See also: last week's Security page.


News and editorials

Distributed denial of service attacks are certainly the theme of the week, after the high-profile shutdown of Yahoo and other prominent commercial sites. These attacks do not attempt to exploit any particular security vulnerability in the operating system; instead, they simply flood the target site with traffic from a large number of compromised systems distributed across the net. As a result, they are very hard to defend against. There is no hole to patch, no single attacking site to block.

The real problem, the thing that makes these attacks possible, is the presence of hundreds or thousands of compromised systems on the net. The existence of these systems makes the Internet an inherently unhealthy thing. Until this contagion can be cleaned up, these sorts of attacks will continue.

Cleaning up, however, is easier said than done. The only thing that will work, perhaps, is some means of isolating compromised systems from the rest of the net. Disconnection renders the broken systems harmless to the net as a whole, and gets the attention of the administrators. Open relay blacklists have helped to reduce the number of systems used to relay spam, even if they have not eliminated the problem. A similar system for the net as a whole would be far more challenging to design and implement, but may need to be considered.

Those interested in the mechanics of distributed DOS attacks may want to look at these analyses of the trinoo and Tribe Flood Network schemes, done by David Dittrich.

Forbes on Security. A Private Little Cyberwar is an article in Forbes Magazine on what can happen when crackers turn mean. Worth a read for any who are out there on the front lines dealing with these sorts of folks.

Linux Intrusion Detection System 0.8. A new stable version of LIDS has been announced. This is equivalent to the 0.8pre4 development version. "The Linux Intrusion Detection System is a patch which enhances the kernel's security. When it's in effect, many system administration operations can be made impossible even for root. "

Locking up Linux. PC Week ran this article about Linux and security. It's a reasonable and straightforward look, asking questions about whether open source adds to or detracts from security. Worth a read.

Security Reports

MySQL server has a remote access vulnerability, which can allow remote users to bypass authentication checks. Details can be found in this advisory; a patch has been posted for those who build MySQL from source. Updated packages from distributors will presumably come soon.

The commercial Zeus web server has a problemwhich can allow the source of CGI scripts to be fetched by a remote site. A fix has been made available by Zeus Technology; see the announcement for download information.

A bug in GNQS can allow users to obtain root privileges; see this note for details. Sites running GNQS should upgrade to version v3.50.8.


Bastille Linux A new version of Bastille Linux is getting closer, as demonstrated by the recent announcement of Bastille Linux 1.0.3.pre5. Bastille Linux is a hardening script which takes an existing Red Hat Linux distribution and improves the security to a reasonable level. The new beta supports Red Hat 6.1 and a new installation/automation script.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

February 10, 2000

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

Kernel development

The current development kernel remains 2.3.42. There is a 2.3.43 prepatch out there (in its sixth revision) for the daring. Much of this patch is devoted to the IA-64 code, but it also includes a Integraphics CyberPro VGA driver (for Netwinders), PCI documentation updates, a number of Alpha tweaks, the long-awaited integration of the new RAID code, an Interphase ATM card driver, and a Qlogic ISP1x80/1x160 SCSI driver. It also appears to include the massive rewriting of hundreds of file_operations structure initializations to use the gcc tagged syntax.

Those interested in the IA-64 port may want to have a look at the documentation notes that come with the 2.3.43 prepatch. They show that the port still has some rough edges - as should be expected for an initial release. Among other things, there are security holes and kernel modules don't work. The IA-64 patch also managed to slip in a simple kernel debugger - something Linus has always resisted until now.

The current stable kernel release remains 2.2.14. Work on 2.2.15 continues, with the current prepatch being 2.2.15pre7. It is presented as the "final cleanup and debug," meaning that a real 2.2.15 should be forthcoming shortly.

Users of the 2.0 kernel series (and there are a lot of those, still) may want to look at the latest 2.0.39 prepatch: 2.0.39pre3. This patch contains almost exclusively crucial bugfixes.

Jim Pick is new kernel.org webmaster. H. Peter Anvin has announced that Jim Pick, the guy behind kernelnotes.org, has been hired to be the new webmaster at kernel.org. Jim is also an active Debian developer and generally good guy. This should be good news for the kernel source archive.

Device drivers talk posted. Jeff Garzik of MandrakeSoft has put up the slides to his Linux Expo Paris talk on writing portable device drivers for Linux 2.4.

O'Reilly's Linux Device Drivers book, written by Alessandro Rubini, is being updated for the 2.2 and 2.4 kernels by none other than your humble LWN kernel page editor Jonathan Corbet. Those who are interested may want to have a look at this interview on the O'Reilly site about the book and the process of updating it to the current state of the Linux kernel.

While nothing has been set in stone, it appears that the second edition of the book may be released under an open content license.

IBM releases its journaled filesystem. At LinuxWorld IBM announced that it was making its Journaled File System (JFS) available to the Linux community. Code is available now, and has been released under the GPL. It is certainly an important contribution.

IBM's press releases somehow neglected to point out that JFS for Linux, while available now, doesn't actually work. Porting the code is a large job, with quite a bit left to do; see the JFS README file for a list of some of the outstanding issues. IBM is certainly not to be faulted for releasing an early-stage port; that is, after all, how things are often done in this community. But one should not expect to see JFS turn up in the 2.4 kernel.

SGI has also released, with less fanfare, a new development version of its XFS filesystem for Linux.

Other patches and updates released this week include:

  • Richard Gooch is back after a one-month break with devfs v153 and v154. He also released devfsd v1.3.1.

  • SUBTERFUGUE 0.0 has been released by Mike Coleman. According to the announcement: "SUBTERFUGUE is a framework for observing and playing with the reality of software; it's a foundation for building tools to do tracing, sandboxing, and many other things. You could think of it as 'strace meets expect.'"

  • Jeff Garzik posted a new driver for RTL-8139 fast ethernet adapters.

  • Andrew Pam has been posting current international crypto patches for the 2.3 kernels on his web site.

  • Trond Myklebust has posted NFSv3 0.18.3, which provides client-side version 3 NFS for the 2.2.14 kernel. There is also a version for 2.3.42 available.

  • Comedi 0.7.36, a set of drivers for data acquisition boards, has been made available by David Schleef.

Section Editor: Jonathan Corbet (whose ugly face can be seen in this LinuxWorld picture posted by LinuxToday).

February 10, 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.

This week's new distributions. We already mentioned a couple of distributions on our front page this week, including the release of Blue Cat Linux 1.0 and White Dwarf Linux, both embedded systems distributions. We've mentioned Blue Cat before, but they've now announced their inaugural version. White Dwarf Linux is entirely new.

Outside of embedded systems, though, new distributions continue to crop up. In this case, we take a look at two new distributions based on providing language support. First, let's talk about the newest naming conflict in the distributions arena (not an uncommon occurrence, unfortunately).

Easy Information Technology has announced a Chinese version of its easyLinux distribution; it will be called "Dragon Linux." easyLinux has been around for a while and it is good to see it expanding its support for additional languages. Unfortunately, DragonLinux is an unrelated distribution that has also been around for some time, first listed on our distributions page in May of 1999. DragonLinux is/was a small UMSDos-based distribution, definitely not a desktop system like easyLinux. The URL for that page worked two weeks ago, but did not today, when we retested it. Therefore, we don't yet know if there is anyone around to protest at this new distribution with the same name.

Next, Kaiwal Linux, was brought to our attention this week. It appears to be a new distribution based on Red Hat. Version 3.1 was recently released in Thailand, complete with a manual in Thai. We found a bit more information via the LinuxBiz page on Kaiwal Software, the parent company.

Last, we have a distribution with a French emphasis: PingOO Linux (in French or English). PingOO has been around since 1997 and is associated with the Project Linux Edu. A Debian-based distribution, it is aimed at local communities, public organizations, schools, etc.

Demo Linux

DemoLinux 1.0 has been announced. DemoLinux is a distribution built to run directly off of CD, without requiring any installation or harddisk. The current version is based off of Mandrake 5.3, with additional technologies from Red Hat and SuSE.

Debian GNU/Linux

Debian Weekly News for February 8. Here's the Debian Weekly News for the week of February 8. The big news this week is that the Debian project is about to begin accepting new maintainers - something they haven't done for some time.

Debian For Kids. A new Debian for Kids project is starting.

Volunteer needed. Richard Braakman is looking for a volunteer to help him with contacting maintainers wtih release-critical bugs.


Linux-Mandrake for the Alpha processor. MandrakeSoft has announced the beta version of Linux-Mandrake for the Alpha processor.

Mandrake 7: Beyond Red Hat? (Ext2). Ext2 (part of Tucows) reviews Linux-Mandrake 7.0. "All in all Mandrake has upped the bar as far as user friendliness in a distribution."


DistributionWatch Review: PhatLinux (LinuxPlanet). LinuxPlanet reviews PhatLinux. "This distribution is a good choice for those who just want to dip their toe into the world of Linux. Although I do have some quibbles in terms of ease of navigation, in general PhatLinux has done a decent job of making a system that will rival Windows in terms of applications and ease of setup." (Thanks to R. McGuinness). PhatLinux is a distribution, around since 1998, that installs and runs on a Windows 95/98 partition.

Red Hat Linux

Red Hat 6.2 beta. Here is the announcement for the beta release of Red Hat 6.2. It includes some hype ("This bad boy eats Lizards for breakfast" - what could they be referring to?), a list of new features (including the 2.2.15 kernel, which still has not been released by Linus), and download instructions.

Red Hat Linux wins InfoWorld Product of the Year - again. Red Hat announces that it has won InfoWorld's "Product of the Year" award for the fourth time in a row...

Red Hat arrive en France (Journal Informatique). Le Journal Informatique covers (in French) the opening of Red Hat's Paris office. This move is accompanied by the acquisition of Logiciels du Soleil, a French distributor. English text available via Babelfish. (Found in Portalux News).

Rock Linux

New Rock Linux website. The official website for Rock Linux has moved to http://www.rocklinux.org/. Rock Linux is aimed at "skilled Linux/Unix Administrators . Look for them at the SANE 2000 conference in Maastricht, The Netherlands, this May.

Since we last reported on Rock Linux in October, they've released a complete PalmOS cross development environment, released Rock Linux 1.3.7, ported to the iMac and added a rescue subdistribution. Talk about busy! For more information on Rock Linux, check out this article on the "Rock Linux Philosophy".

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

February 10, 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
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Also well-known
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ix86 Linux
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NoMad Linux
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GNU/Linux Ututo
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Red Flag
Linux Esware
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Thai Linux Extension

Related Projects
Chinese Linux Extension

Historical (Non-active)
MCC Interim Linux
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See also: last week's Development page.

Development projects

All roads lead to SourceForge. A substantial part of Larry Augustin's LinuxWorld keynote was devoted to SourceForge. And rightly so: since its launch in November, SourceForge has grown to host over 1600 projects and [SourceForge] almost 10,000 developers. That list grew impressively again when it was announced that the KDE and CMU Sphinx projects were also moving over to the site.

Why has SourceForge been so successful? It seems that VA Linux clearly saw a gap in the infrastructure available for open source development projects. It is not sufficient to have the source in the open; a living project needs source repositories, bug tracking systems, high-bandwidth download capability, mailing lists, a web presence and more. SourceForge provides all of this via a combination of well-written (open source) software, heavy-duty hardware, and massive bandwidth. Developers who move their projects to SourceForge can concentrate on development; SourceForge makes much of the rest just happen.

SourceForge sounds like a great thing, and it is. But there is one aspect of it that is a cause for concern. Linux and the Internet are, by nature, distributed beasts and better for it. SourceForge has just created, instead, the greatest concentration of free software development that has ever existed. What happens if something goes wrong with SourceForge?

And a lot of things could go wrong. Earthquakes. Crackers. VA Linux Systems goes out of business. Or VA gets acquired by a company that does not share VA's good intentions. Or Larry Augustin retires to Mongolia and is replaced by Steve Ballmer. With the latter scenarios, it is a little disturbing to note that SourceForge's terms of service can be changed at any time without notice. Essentially, SourceForge reserves the right to do anything without telling its users.

SourceForge also has no posted privacy policy (the TOS mentions one, but it's not there - they tell LWN that one is in the works). The value of the SourceForge registration database and mailing lists alone make that lack a bit worrisome. Some of the free mailing list services on the net have done some pretty unethical things with the lists they host. VA's current motives are not in doubt, but companies can change; imagine a scenario where Dell decides to push VA out of the market, VA's stock drops to $7/share, Larry Augustin is shown the door, and a slash-and-burn CEO replaces him. It's not that far-fetched. What then becomes of SourceForge?

Be it by spam, vandalism, natural disaster, or corporate unpleasantness, SourceForge presents a number of scenarios by which free software development, or at least a large portion of it, could be shut down - at least for a while. What the open source development community needs is competition for SourceForge. This statement can be made without criticising SourceForge or VA Linux Systems in any way. One can say "complementary sites" if "competition" does not sit well. But concentrating this much of the free software development process in one spot - any spot - is asking for trouble.


Netscape may release Mozilla M14 as a branded product. Jim A. Roskind of Netscape posted this note describing Netscape's thoughts for the M14 release. If all goes well, and the number of "beta stopper" bugs can be brought to a minimum, M14 will go out as the first real "Netscape branded" release of the Mozilla browser. After nearly two years, the Mozilla project may be on the verge of realizing its promise. Expect to be hearing a lot more about Mozilla in the near future.


Linux Knowledge Base alpha release. The Linux Knowledge Base Project has announced the alpha release of its site. Check it out and give them feedback on what you see.

Linux Knowledge Base LinuxWorld report. Here is this week's news report from the Linux Knowledge Base project. It takes the form of a report from the LinuxWorld conference. "To be honest, I was rather surprised just how easy it was to get people interested in collaborating together. It really was amazing to me how everyone I talked to wanted to work with us for the benefit of the Linux community. This isn't the same cut-throat world that so many in the Windows world are so painfully aware of." The poor folks also talk about the misfortune of being placed next to the SCO booth.

Linux in Education Report. Here is this week's Seul-EDU Linux in education report. Integration of various education tools seems to be a theme this week, along with a mention of the new K12 Linux site.

LPI Certification has taken a step forward with the announcement of the completion of the merger with Digital Metrics. This merger gives the LPI access to all of Digital Metrics' exam questions. It also gives those who have obtained certification from Digital Metrics a path toward completion of LPI certification.

The LPI has also picked up Maxspeed as a platinum sponsor.


GLHeretic for Linux 1.0. The first stable release of this port of DOS-Heretic has been announced. "The game runs on Linux/x86, Linux/m68k, Linux/Alpha, FreeBSD, Netwinder, SCO-Unix, and other UNIX machines. "

On the Desktop

The AbiWord Weekly News. Here is the first edition of the AbiWord Weekly News. Top news this week: a surge of downloads for the new edition and another prize: Show Favourite in the Office Suite category from last week's LinuxWorld. Some development news and project of the week items are included as well.

LinuxWorld Gimp status report. Dennis Tenney sent in a brief report on Michael J. Hammel's talk on the Gimp at LinuxWorld this week:

Michael J. Hammel presented a summary of Gimp's past, present and future at the LinuxWorld trade show in New York city on February 3, 2000. The immediate future is a stable 1.2 release in about March or April. This release added too many features, improvements, and just plain cool stuff to list (I took three pages of notes).

Active development is ongoing on the Gimp Hollywood. Developers include folks actively working inside the Hollywood film industry.

The Gimp project is looking for people to help with translation into various languages as they move toward a stable 1.2 release (based on the 1.1 development series). Help is needed with most middle European languages, Japanese and others.

GNOME summary. Havoc Pennington's Gnome Summary for February 2 came out too late for last week's LWN. ome of the news for the week: the Australian Research Council is funding work on a Haskell binding for GNOME, the GNOME Sysadmin Guide is off to a good start, Gnumeric zoom has been implemented, plus documentation, help system and Nautilus news and more.

KDE moves to SourceForge. For those wanting to know more, the KDE project has put up a small FAQ about the move. The main part of the KDE project that is moving to SourceForge is the CVS repository; the FTP server may also move at some point. The web site (www.kde.org) and other resources are staying put for now.

Mosfet at LinuxWorld. More KDE news and development information can be found in Mosfet's report from his trip to LinuxWorld.

Search Engines

udmsearch news. Kir Kolyshkin wrote to us to provide the latest udmsearch news:
We are now reached version 3.0.2. It's still beta but proves usable, although not rock-solid. The major improvement in 3.0 is threaded indexer (implemented only on FreeBSD by now), which was achieved by massive code rewrite.

We are also making first steps to divide the data between few SQL servers in order to share the load between it. This will allow to build relatively big but still fast search system. The feature is not yet ready, but so far we implemented so-called "multidict" mode using MySQL, which improves search speed even in traditional configuration (with one SQL server).

Other improvements include ability to mirror any sites while indexing, InterBase support and of course, there are some speed improvements and bugfixes. And now we have a new cool-looking website (http://mysearch.udm.net) thanks to ram@izhcom.ru.

Website Development

Midgard 1.2.6-beta2 released. Version 1.2.6-beta2 of the Midgard application server platform has been released.

The path to Zope Zen has been nicely laid out in How-To: Gain Zope Enlightenment By Grokking Object Orientation, posted by Chris McDonough on the Zope.org site. "If you're a nonprogrammer or a programmer who has only a passing understanding of object orientation, this document is for you. If you're an 'OO zealot' already, it's not going to be very helpful. Go watch television instead."

Zope Weekly News for February 9th. This week's Zope Weekly News announces Zope 2.1.4, a bugfix release that has security implications and is therefore recommended.


The latest Wine Weekly News is from February 7. The big news appears to be the opening of Corel's CVS server containing its latest Wine enhancements. This development should help to speed Wine's progress by allowing work to move more freely between Corel's version and the official Wine project.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

February 10, 2000

Project Links
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More Information



Development tools


Upcoming Java 2 versions submitted. Sun has announced that it has submitted its "Java 2 Enterprise Edition" and "Java 2 Standard Edition" to the "Java Community Process" program. "With this announcement, the Java Community Process program is further strengthened as a sound and successful community-based model for evolving Java technology."


The Perl Journal. The latest edition of The Perl Journal (subscription only) focuses on poetry. A table of contents is available.

Perl 5.6 beta1. A new development release of Perl, version 5.6 beta1, has been announced. Details on the changes in this release may be found in the release notes.


A review of the Python Essential Reference by David Beazley has been posted by Danny Yee. "Given that the online documentation is functionally very similar, however, I suspect that only those with a preference for printed documentation will end up using it as a reference."

Here is Dr. Dobb's Python-URL for February 7. It covers the latest in the Python world, and points out some Python poetry...

And here is the Python-URL! for February 3, which arrived too late for last week's LWN. It contains some reminders about upcoming competitions and conferences, links to reports back from the Python conference, ActivateState's decision to join the Python consortium, and a selection of recently released software and books.


TclX (extended Tcl) 8.2.0 has been released, see the announcement for details.

Here is this week's Dr. Dobb's Tcl-URL with an extensive rundown of recent developments in the Tcl/Tk world.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh


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See also: last week's Commerce page.

Linux and business

Acquisitions and consolidation appear to be the theme of the week. Expect to see many more of these in the near future. Post-IPO companies have a strong need to put their high-priced stock to work and grow. And even pre-IPO companies can make use of their presumed future value and bulk up to look better before that S-1 filing - look, for example, at Linuxcare's pre-IPO acquisitions.

Linux has changed business in interesting ways, but "bigger is better" appears to have survived unchanged. As long as advantages are seen in greater size, companies will continue to merge and acquire. It's worth remembering that most of the companies in the Linux sphere are still small by the usual standards.

Anyway, this week's acquisitions include:

  • VA Linux Systems' high-profile purchase of Andover.net. The deal values Andover shares at 0.425 VA's, or roughly $50/share. VA claims that the deal will give it "nearly two-thirds of the total traffic of major Open Source sites" - a substantial bit of traffic.

    Conversations on the LinuxWorld floor after the announcement revealed a certain amount of confusion. It's not clear to many people that VA and Andover make a good match. Andover's sites are now placed in a position of perceived conflict of interest - a problem even if nothing actually changes in their reporting. VA gets a network of sites that does little to enhance its core business, and which puts it into the web advertising business as well.

    Larry Augustin, VA's CEO, described Slashdot as "the town hall of the open source community," and seems to view it as a good complement to VA's other community-oriented sites. We will see, over time, how well this mixture works out in practice. (See also: the open letter by Larry Augustin and Bruce Twickler published in Slashdot, and VA's press release on the acquisition).

  • Atipa has announced the acquisition of Enhanced Software Technologies, the makers of the BRU backup utility. Atipa is the Linux box vendor whose logo seemed to be everywhere at LinuxWorld - to the point that some surmised they had hired a couple of taggers from the New York streets. They also are the sponsors of Dave Whitinger's Linsight project.

    The emerging picture here is of a Linux hardware company that is trying to branch out into other areas - much like VA before it. With the EST acquisition, Atipa has become a provider of commercial Linux software as well (no mention has been made of open-sourcing BRU). Backup software is an important component of enterprise systems, and enterprises are the pot of gold that all Linux companies seem to be after.

  • Corel jumped in on Monday with its announcement of a merger with Inprise/Borland. At first glance, this looks like a good match. Corel and Inprise both have strong development capabilities, but focused in different areas. Corel's desktop applications will likely do very well in the Linux market - once they finally find their way to market. And Corel's Linux distribution appears to already be a success. Inprise, instead, works in the development area - C++, Java, Delphi, Interbase, etc.

    Corel's strategy thus far in the Linux world has been to push solidly for the desktop - an approach that is quite different from Red Hat's server-centric and Caldera's "e-Business" models. The Inprise acquisition would seemingly prepare Corel to push back into the back-end server side as well.

    Both companies also pointed out, during their press conference, that they do substantial business in the Windows world. Given that their products work with both Windows and Linux, they see themselves as ideally positioned to help Windows users transition over to Linux. Migration from Windows will only become more important if Linux is to continue to grow; companies that can help that process may find themselves in a good position.

  • LinuxMall.com and Frank Kaspar and Associates have announced a merger as well. LinuxMall.com has been at the top of the retail side of Linux almost since the very beginning; Kaspar, instead, is one of the largest distribution channels. Together they will control much of the process of getting Linux into the hands of end users. Getting a better handle on the distribution side was probably crucial for LinuxMall.com; if your business is delivery of the goods you are better off controlling more of the process.
Anybody wandering the LinuxWorld floor could easily pick out a large list of future acquisition candidates. The consolidation in the Linux business arena is not likely to slow down anytime soon.

The Linux Fund on the IPO path The Linux Fund has announced that it will do an initial public offering of its stock soon. The IPO will be run as a self-underwritten dutch auction via MainStreetIPO.com. No actual IPO registration has been done at this time, so the IPO is a little ways off yet.

The Linux Fund is a venture capital operation which seeks to invest in startup Linux companies. Perhaps their highest-profile investment is in HelixCode, the company created by Miguel de Icaza and Nat Friedman. They claim to have another six (unnamed) companies in their portfolio, and to be in negotiations with yet another six.

The Fund is also collaborating with MainStreetIPO.com to create Linux-IPO.com, described on this page. Linux-IPO.com sets out to exactly what the Linux Fund is doing - create open-access initial public offerings on the net. It looks a lot like the OpenIPO process that Andover.Net used, but with an emphasis on Linux companies only. It is perhaps fitting that the Linux Fund would go through its own process before offering it to others.

TUCOWS forms the Open Development Advisory Council. TUCOWS.com Inc. has announced the formation of the Open Development Advisory Council (ODAC) to examine economic models for open-source software programs. Members of the council include Dave Whitinger and Red Hat's Howard Jacobson.

OpenSales ships alpha release. OpenSales has announced that an alpha version of its OpenMerchant e-commerce system is available. It handles order and inventory management, and many other things; the system is written in Perl and has an open source license. A beta release is expected later this month.

Meanwhile, it's already shipping, even in alpha form. TurboLinux has announced that OpenMerchant will be bundled with its "TurboLinux server 6.0" release.

Ucentric Systems announces financing round. Ucentric Systems has announced the receipt of $10 million in financing from Polaris Venture Partners. Ucentric is developing what appears to be a Linux-based server for household "home area network" applications. If this company succeeds, Linux may soon be the glue that ties together your refrigerator, toaster, and television...

eOn Communications announces IPO. eOn Communications, a maker of Linux-based server systems, has announced its initial public offering of stock. The offering went out at $12 on Friday, February 4, and closed at $23. We'll be considering this one for the LWN Linux Stocks Page once the price has settled down a bit.

Tarantella announcements from SCO. SCO made several announcements about their Tarantella web-enabling serverware for leading Linux platforms.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet.

Press Releases:

    Open Souce Products:

  • Hewlett-Packard Company announced that it will offer hardware-accelerated OpenGL on HP VISUALIZE fx+ graphics and that it plans to release the company's large model-rendering toolkit to the open-source community.

  • Here's a press release from IBM, listing its recent Linux moves. These include its ViaVoice voice recognition system, the contribution of the JFS journaling file system, the availability of a NetObjects TopPage beta, and its Network Station products running Linux. IBM is also distributing an application developer's kit via Caldera Systems.

    Commercial Products for Linux:

  • ACCPAC International, Inc. announced that it has released an e-business and accounting solution for Red Hat Linux.

  • Alpha Processor, Inc. introduced its Alpha Linux Developer's Program. This initiative offers developers of Linux software and hardware the opportunity to qualify for discounted UP1000 Alpha-based development workstations.

  • Advanced Visual Systems Inc. announced the release of Linux versions of AVS/Express and OpenViz technologies.

  • Computone Corporation is shipping its new line of high performance Gold Card RS-232 serial PCI controllers with Linux device drivers.

  • Corel Corporation announced plans to preview Corel PHOTO-PAINT for Linux and CorelDRAW for Linux at Seybold Seminars in Boston.

  • Enhanced Software Technologies, Inc. launched its new Web site that lists Linux-compatible tape devices by manufacturer and model.

  • Enhanced Software Technologies, Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Company announced that HP's SureStore DAT/DDS and DLT tape drives are now certified to run under the Linux operating system.

  • IBM announced a new thin client computer and voice recognition software for Linux, as well as new contributions to open source development.

  • IDG Books announced the expansion of its "Linux for Dummies" book series into nine languages, and the addition of new titles (including "Linux Programming for Dummies" and "Slackware Linux for Dummies").

  • IDG Books has also added three new titles to its Red Hat Linux series.

  • IEA Software, Inc. announced the availability of RadiusX software for dial-up authentication, authorization and accounting for ISP's running on Cobalt Networks' server appliances.

  • Integratus, Inc. announced the introduction of a Linux version of its landmark Universal High Availability (UHA) application software.

  • Magic Software Enterprises announced Magic Enterprise Edition V.8 development environment for Linux.

  • MathSoft, Inc. introduced S-PLUS, a new academic site licensing program.

  • MTI Technology Corp. announced that its Vivant storage solutions are now supported on the Linux operating system.

  • Newlix Corporation announced its Newlix Omega VPN Server.

  • Rebel.com Inc. announced that the NetWinder product line is now available from TheLinuxStore.com.

  • Rogue Wave Software announced two new products, XML-DB Link and XML-CORBA Link (XORBA).

  • SGI announced several additions to its growing portfolio of Linux operating system offerings, including the introduction of a new SGI Internet server, SGI Advanced Clustering Environment and global Linux services.

  • Zortec International has announced that their fourth generation language, System Z, is now supported on Linux, good for people wanting to move over older applications.

    Products Using Linux:

  • Patmos International announced the Perpetua, a Linux-based supercomputer.

    Java Products:

  • Novell, Inc. announced the availability of eGuide.

  • Persistence Software announced that it is porting PowerTier for Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) to the Linux operating system.

  • SoftBase Systems, Inc. announced the release of NetLert 2.0, the latest version of its instant messaging software for corporations and call centers.

    Products with Linux Versions:

  • Addonics Technologies announced an Internet sharing device for Ethernet networks that allows multiple users to simultaneously connect to the Internet over a single DSL or Cable Modem, using one Internet account.

  • Apogee Networks, Inc. announced a high-value solution for capturing and utilizing information from Cisco NetFlow-enabled devices.

  • Applix, Inc. launched a free trial program for their Applixware Office product for customers of IBM's Network Station Series 2200 and 2800 thin client solutions.

  • Asante Technologies, Inc. announced a new Gigabit Ethernet over copper solution for workgroups.

  • Computer Associates International, Inc. announced Ingres II Linux Edition, a Linux-compatible version of CA's high-performance, enterprise-class relational database management system.

  • Computer Associates International, Inc. announced that it has extended the functionality of its comprehensive eTrust Access Control for Unix solution to support Red Hat Linux.

  • DataMirror Corporation announced the availability of Transformation Server for OS/390 V4.2.

  • DataMirror Corporation announced a special pricing promotion on its High Availability Suite for IBM AS/400 in conjunction with IBM's High Availability Rebate Promotion.

  • Ensim Corporation announced that ServerXchange, a comprehensive service deployment platform, is now available in Europe.

  • Entera, Inc. unveiled its TeraCAST Streaming Server family.

  • Etnus has started shipping TotalView 4.0, a parallel debugger.

  • Generix announced VSI Fax version 4.0.

  • GraphOn Corporation announced it will release OEM beta versions of its web-enabling software Bridges for UNIX and Linux.

  • Kasenna, Inc. announced a broadband media platform for Linux.

  • Mentor Graphics Corporation announced the availability of IC Station StreamView, a high performance, high capacity physical layout database visualization and debugging tool.

  • Merlin Software Technologies announced PerfectBACKUP+ 6.2 for for all major versions of Linux.

  • MP3.com, Inc. released a Linux client version of Beam-it, its proprietary software that allows consumers to store their CDs on My.MP3.com.

  • NetDIVE announced SiteSticky 4.0.

  • OnStream announced its new ADR50 Digital Tape Drive.

  • ThinkFree.com unveiled ThinkFree Office, a new Web-based productivity suite, available free to consumers.

    Partnerships, Investments and Acquisitions:

  • 1mage Software, Inc. announced the signing of an international reseller agreement with Black Tusk Technologies CC, located in Parkhurst, South Africa. Under the agreement, Black Tusk will license 1MAGE products in South Africa, primarily on the Linux platform.

  • 4Front Technologies, Inc. announced that it has become a US service partner of Red Hat.

  • ApplianceWare Inc., maker's of an intelligent server appliance software layer that runs on top of Linux, announced a strategic alliance with Kerbango. See also this press release about Kerbango's upcoming internet radio.

  • Birdstep Technology AS, developer of Ultra Small Footprint database technology, has signed a Developer Partner Agreement with Red Hat Inc. to port its patented data management software to Red Hat Linux 6.1.

  • Red Hat, TheLinuxStore.com and TurboLinux have signed up to become " Premier Sponsors" for the CNET Linux Center.

  • Cobalt Networks, Inc. and Chili!Soft announced a strategic OEM partnership.

  • eSoft Inc. announced the signature of a multi-country distribution agreement with ACA Pacific Technology (Singapore) Pte Ltd. and the expansion of its Asian operations with the opening of their Asia/Pacific regional headquarters in Singapore.

  • GoAhead Software announced that MontaVista Software Inc. is shipping GoAhead WebServer with Hard Hat Linux.

  • Hewlett-Packard Company and Loudcloud, Inc. announced that they are working together to help high-growth Internet businesses get to market faster and scale to meet their customer needs.

  • Hummingbird Communications Ltd. announced that the Hummingbird EIP (Enterprise Information Portal) core engine will be included in SuSE's Linux distribution.

  • Hyperion announced the signing of a developer partner agreement with Red Hat Software, Inc., under which Hyperion will deliver a new version of Hyperion Essbase OLAP Server optimized for Red Hat Linux.

  • Insignia Solutions and MontaVista Software Inc. have reached an agreement for MontaVista to distribute the Jeode platform to its embedded Linux customers.

  • Linuxcare has announced a deal wherein it will provide back-end support for Hewlett-Packard.

  • Maxspeed Corp. announced platinum sponsorship support for Linux Professional Institute (LPI).

  • Merlin Software Technologies announced the signing of an ISV Business Partner Agreement with Caldera Systems Inc.

  • Rebel.com and JetNet have announced the "Business E-Connector" product. It appears to be a combination of a Netwinder and dedicated ISP service.

  • Red Hat appointed UniDirect, as one of its official channel distributors.

  • SGI announced that IBM's DB2 Universal Database is now available on all Linux-based SGI 1000 series servers.

  • TradeMark Computers announced a deal with Red Hat, Inc. to provide Certified Systems to resellers, OEMs and system integrators.

  • Ucentric Systems announced the completion of a $10 million first round of venture capital from Polaris Venture Partners. Ucentric will use the proceeds to continue development of its home server product, comprised of Ucentric-developed software atop a Linux OS and standard hardware.

  • Wave Technologies International, Inc. has teamed with Sylvan Prometric to launch the Sair Linux and GNU certification.


  • Corel Corporation announced that its Linux Professional Services Program is now in place.

  • IBM announced a program, with free developer kit, for small Linux-based businesses. Distributed by IBM and Caldera Systems, Inc., each kit includes messaging, collaboration and dynamic web application serving capabilities, and more.

  • According to this CNet article, Infostrada Communications, publisher of the Linux Magazine, picked up the Linux.net domain.

  • Red Hat, Inc. announced an offering of 4,000,000 shares, priced at $95.00 per share.

  • Administrators at Training Pages have identified a change in the pattern of demand for IT training. Today the word "Linux" appeared on the site's real-time graph of its most popular keyword searches at the same time as no Microsft-related word (e.g. "MCSE", "Microsoft", etc) was listed at all.

  • TUCOWS.com Inc. has announced the formation of the Open Development Advisory Council (ODAC) to examine economic models for open-source software programs.

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.

February 10, 2000


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

Linux in the news

Recommended Reading:

Salon ran this strongly worded piece on the DVD case. "To the uninformed, the fight over DeCSS might look like the latest hacker obsession -- sure to blow over as soon as the DVD industry starts licensing DVD player technology for the Linux-based operating system. But the key issue at stake here -- corporate control versus individual freedom -- is fundamentally important. It's reason enough for me to stand on a cold New York street corner, and it's reason enough for hackers to fight."

LinuxWorld has done an interview with Jon Johansen, the 16-year old Norwegian indicted, along with his father, by Norway's Department of Economic Crime in connection with Jon's participation in the group which created the DeCSS DVD playback utility for Linux. "...I think the fight we are now fighting is a very important fight for free speech and for the open source community. ... if reverse engineering is banned, then a lot of the open source community is doomed to fail."

More DVD:

ZDNet UK talks with Alan Cox about the DVD mess. "Cox says Hollywood is trying to 'terrorise' people in its pursuit of 'pirates' and suggests it look at the disastrous campaign headed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1998 when it tried to outlaw MP3."

The LA Times ran this opinion piece on the DVD mess. "Far from being an illegal and immoral activity, hacking the DVD encryption codes was entirely legal, moral and necessary in order to circumvent the DVD industry's shameful attempts to restrict the legal rights of consumers through technical coercion."

The Boston Globe attempts to attend a DVD protest. "A chat with the DVD encryption folks revealed that they're happy to share their secrets with Linux computer makers -- for a $10,000 fee. One company, Sigma Designs, has paid the fee, and is now bringing out a circuit card that'll let Linux computers legally run DVDs. You might think this would satisfy the hackers, but you'd be wrong. They're arguing that they have a right to bypass DVD encryption without getting anybody's permission."

LinuxPower has posted this rant for those who think the DVD battle can not be won. "Do not bother replying to this message, the shows over. LiViD is disbanding. In fact, everyone else in the community definitely sees this as the best time to jump ship. I sent a letter to Larry, he agrees and everyone at VA is gonna be let go, because we cannot win. ESR has signed up for a creative writing course at the local community college."


Heise Online covers (in German) the release of IBM's JFS. ReiserFS is also mentioned. English text is available via Babelfish. (Thanks to Christof Damian).

Here's an E-Commerce Times article about IBM's latest Linux-related moves. "Chief among the Linux-related disclosures was IBM's new initiative to foster open-source development. Big Blue will offer versions of its software at no cost to commercial developers to initiate what it hopes will become a new class of Linux applications specifically designed for smaller businesses."

VA Linux and Andover.net:

ZDNet ran this article on VA Linux Systems' acquisition of Andover.Net. "...CEO Larry Augustin said the deal creates 'the Yahoo! for open source developers' with 70 million page views a month and additional revenue streams." (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann).

SmartPortfolio.Com's Investment Opinion for February 3rd, 2000, reported on the stock market's reaction to the VALinux acquisition of Andover. "Shares of VA Linux fell 8 7/8 (-6.48%) to 128, while shares of Andover.Net soared 25.35% (+9 1/8) to 45 1/8."

The Financial Times ran this article about VA's acquisition of Andover. "But IBM is also counting on Linux to boost revenues for its services business, which is its fastest-growing division. This means that VA Linux, Red Hat and others will increasingly face competition from IBM. The issue for these companies will change from: 'Will there be a large enough market for Linux to eventually generate profits?' to 'Will they be able to effectively compete against IBM with its huge customer base and tremendous resources?'" (Thanks to David Williams).

Here's Salon Magazine's take on the VA Linux purchase of Andover.net. "For me, as was no doubt the case with many of Slashdot's fans, the news, coming right in the thick of the LinuxWorld convention taking place in New York, was a bit of a shock. Wasn't VA Linux one of the companies we depend on Slashdot to cover? I immediately flashed back to the last time I had seen Slashdot founder Rob Malda, at last August's LinuxWorld in San Jose."

WebMonkey condemns VA's acquisition of Andover.Net. "Any unbiased appraisal of this merger, however, will yield one difficult but inescapable truth: The camaraderie and high spirits engendered by Linus and his band of programmers will soon be replaced by the same rancor and factiousness that permeates the rest of the capitalist world. And Slashdot, which is so highly revered by its readers and those who know its mission, will soon lose its trust, reputation, and standing." (Found in Slashdot).

News.com covers VA's purchase of Andover.Net. "The acquisition raises the possibility that the Linux.com site will lose the nonprofit status VA Linux has accorded it. VA representatives were not immediately available for comment."

Here's the Red Herring's take on VA's acquisition of Andover.Net. "More than a cosmic communion around Linux, hardware maker VA Linux Systems (Nasdaq: LNUX)'s acquisition of Andover.net (Nasdaq: ANDN) is a customer grab that may drive open-source programmers away from their favorite Web haunts."

Expect to see more acquisitions in VALinux's future, commented this FOCUS article. "'We plan to aggressively grow our business model organically as well as through acquisitions,' Schull told Reuters at the LinuxWorld trade show taking place in New York this week."

Now Slashdot has been featured in a lengthy Forbes article. "Anticipating that his new three-dimensional graphics game for Linux would be featured on Slashdot, Steve Baker, a programmer at Raytheon, delayed releasing the game for a week while he set up mirror sites across the world."

More Mergers and Acquistitions:

Upside ran this article about Linux acquisitions. "With other Linux companies such as Linuxcare and Caldera Systems preparing to enter the marketplace, however, one thing remains certain. The mergers and acquisitions of the last week are only a preview of coming attractions."

CBS Marketwatch looks at Linux IPOs, past present and future. "Given the huge rises in Linux companies' shares in 1999, we can expect about 10 initial public offerings from open-source companies this year, says Mike Kwatinetz, head of technology research at Credit Suisse First Boston."

Itanium 64:

ZDNet UK takes this look at the Trillian project's release of the Itanium 64 source code for Linux. "For potential IA-64 customers the good news was that the Trillian Project, founded in April 1999, is well on its way to meeting its goals of porting and optimising Linux for IA-64. Its final main goal, making it open source under the Gnu Public License (GPL), has been -- for all practical purposes -- accomplished."

This ZDNet UK article jumps around, touching on the version 2.4 Linux kernel, and Linux on the IA-64 chip architecture. "Torvalds said he was excited about the Trillian project, and that while he did not understand the current stock market, he understood investors' interest in Linux."


The Boston Globe's Hiawatha Bray wanders at LinuxWorld. "One key theme at LinuxWorld was concern for the care and feeding of programmers. Open source software is written by hundreds of volunteers, many of whom will never earn a dime from their labors. Will they keep toiling away for free, while major corporations earn millions from their work?" (Thanks to Josh Mayers).

ZDNet's Evan Leibovitch went to LinuxWorld. "The Linux bandwagon is getting heavier by the minute. Last week in New York, the MSNBC mobile broadcasting van was parked outside the Javits Center for most of the show's duration. Companies were falling over themselves to demonstrate how Linux-chummy they are. Gimmicks abounded, from Batman-costumed floor-walkers to Tarantella rappers at SCO."

Linux Games reports from LinuxWorld with a gaming point of view. "From what I saw and heard at the Expo, Linux gamers have a fantastic year ahead of them! From new games to better 3D video cards to better 3D sound cards, members of the hardware and software community showed that they were beginning to not only understand the power of games on the technology market, but also realize the potential that Linux has as a gaming platform." (Found in Portalux News).

Here's a ZDNet UK report from LinuxWorld. "With less than a year of work in (Trillian started in April 1999), Trillian has the foundation laid and the beams raised for a major Linux port. All in all, I think it's the most amazing development story I've ever seen. The lessons from this effort are loud and clear. Open-source code development is faster than me on a wide-open interstate highway. And, not only can it work for old-line corporations, but we have proof positive that open source is the way to get cross-company development teams to actually produce something other than grandiose news releases."

Another ZDNet UK report from LinuxWorld. "I looked for evidence that the imminent launch of Microsoft's Windows 2000 might be causing doubt amongst exhibitors or attendees. But such is the boundless confidence of those here, the event was marked by an almost complete absence of Microsoft bashing."

Reuters picked out some of Linus' comments in his keynote that were aimed at Microsoft. "'The thing about Linux or open software in general is that it actually tries to move software from being witchcraft to being a science,' he said. 'A lot of the programs you see today are actually put together by shamans, and you just take it and if the computer crashes you walk around it three times...and maybe it's OK.'"

Here's a Toronto Sun article (on Canoe.ca) describing what the author learned at LinuxWorld. "6. 'Chicks dig Linux!' Several men I saw had this message on their T-shirts. Strangely, most of them were alone." (Thanks to Bill Duncan).

Corel/Inprise Merger:

Here's a Wired News article about the Corel/Inprise deal. "[Bruce] Perens said the Open Source community must learn how to work with the corporate world as Linux goes commercial, and the Corel deal might prove the perfect example. 'Corel has a good marketing channel and that's the most important thing for Linux,' he said."

News.com reports on the Corel/Inprise merger. "The result will be a company focused more strongly on luring customers to Linux, a competitor to the Windows operating system. The merged company will provide stiffer competition not only to Microsoft, but also to Red Hat, the Linux seller that gained access to programming tools with its acquisition of Cygnus Solutions in November."

ZDNet's Inter@ctive Investor looks at the Corel/Inprise merger with a skeptical eye. "... the combination of Corel, which is becoming a major Linux player, and Inprise, which offers development tools for the Linux world and other platforms, should have been great news to investors. But there's that lingering question: Does one company with a poor track record combined with another company with a poor track record equal a powerhouse?"

PC World covers the Corel/Inprise deal. "As part of the $2.44 billion merger, Inprise/Borland will become a Corel subsidiary focusing on Linux software, on which both companies have bet heavily."

Here's an article in Upside about the Corel/Inprise merger. "Like Corel, [Inprise] has turned increasingly to the Linux community as a source of both revenue and -- some might say -- salvation."

Also in Upside: this interview with Corel CTO Derek Burney. "We devote 10 percent of our resources to Linux, but half of my team is contributing indirectly. That's the great thing about Linux. The rewards are potentially large, but the upfront bet is not high."

Bloomberg chimes in on the Corel/Inprise merger with this article. "The transaction will intensify Corel's rivalry with Red Hat Inc. and VA Linux Systems Inc."

Products and Services:

Arne W. Flones takes a look at Linux thin clients. "Maybe the best rationale for thin clients might be that the small network user can return to being a network user and not just an administrator."

News.com looks at the new PDA from Lernout & Hauspie. "The speech recognition software company is hoping to gain attention this week with a product prototype that combines some of the trendiest technology around--PDAs (personal digital assistants), speech recognition, wireless Internet access and the Linux operating system--into one package."

Publishers Weekly ran a brief article on the new "Linux Journal Press" book line being created by SSC and No Starch Press. Its first book will be the second edition of John Blair's Samba: Integrating UNIX and Windows.

LinuxPower interviews Matheiu Pinard of Tribsoft - a Linux game porting company. "At first, I was a little worried that [Loki] would take all the best games, but finally I believe that our 2000 lineup should be complemented very well by the Loki lineup. Look at JA2, they don't have a similar game. In a way we need Loki if we want Linux to be a gaming platform. There are not enough Linux games, and Tribsoft can't port alone all the best games released in 2000."

Nicholas Petreley plays with a TiVo box. "If you get a Tivo unit, you'll never know you're running Linux. Tivo has added its own flashy graphical user interface, which is surprisingly excellent for such a new product. If you suspect Linux at all, it will be due to its robust behavior. I deliberately unplugged the Tivo box a few times during critical operations just to check how much trouble it would get into. It came back up flawlessly each time."

Fox News looks at Linux in home entertainment applications, including the Sony Playstation and the TiVo system. "The impact of Linux in the home entertainment market could be huge. Its ability to run on multiple platforms, including Intel, Motorola, SGI and Apple, and its open-source kernel that can be modified by lots of developers for any task, give it a tremendous advantage over other operating systems in this market." (Thanks to Tony Peden).

Here's a Business Week article with a skeptical look at the Linux services market. "It's easy to forget, when sizing up these companies, that the biggest competitors in the Linux services business haven't flexed their muscles yet. It's conceivable, once IBM and Sun Microsystems (SUNW) wade in, that several Linux companies will have to join forces to create a large enough beast to compete."


VAR Business has run a five-part series on how to build an E-commerce site with Linux. "Recently, an associate offered Bynari International, a co-location space to mirror our site, provide redundancy and build a database. He asked one favor: Use a stable operating system so he doesn't have to open the lockers frequently. We planned to use Linux."

Government Computer News ran this brief article stating that NASA is out shopping for a large number of laptop systems to deploy in the space shuttle and station; these laptops might run Linux. "The Linux open-source operating system, which rocketed into the enterprise computing orbit last year, may now be headed for outer space." (Thanks to Nathan Myers).

FOSE is the self-proclaimed conference "where government clicks with IT". It will be held April 18th through the 20th, 2000, in Washington, D.C., and for the first time, they will be having a Linux Pavilion. Tim Bogart at osOpinion talks about why we should be there. "Linux supporters from everywhere need to support their effort because this is a golden opportunity the entire community has been waiting for. This is an opportunity to make a little slit in the bottom of the changepurse of their primary nemesis and watch the money trickle away. "

Linuxworld looks at the rapid growth in the open source movement. "As Jamie Zawinski wrote in the letter explaining his resignation from Netscape and Mozilla, 'You can divide our industry into two kinds of people: those who want to go work for a company to make it successful, and those who want to go work for a successful company.' Open source companies will now be besieged by the latter -- but will not be able to hire and keep even these prospecting workers fast enough to compete with the corporations, who don't play nice."

There is an interview with Linus Torvalds which appears on the GNet site. "Mobile Linux came about because we had customers that wanted to run Linux on those smaller devices like handhelds, so it was on their demand really. It isn't really a new version of Linux, mind you, we have just compressed it so it would fit in the smaller memory space of PDAs and the like."

Internet Week looks at large computer companies and Linux. "While Sun is introducing Linux products, its public statements suggest some ambivalence about the technology. Sun executives take pains to differentiate Solaris from Linux, saying that Solaris is far more reliable and scalable than Linux."

The Industry Standard ponders the future of Linux businesses. "A single press release from Compaq or Dell along the lines of 'We have formed a new Linux division and will pursue dominance in that area just as we have in our other markets' could send Linux-company shares tumbling - unless these companies respond by drawing on their idiosyncratic strengths."

Vnunet.com covers the latest Gartner Group pronouncements on Linux. "...a vacuum currently exists in the area of much-needed Linux system management tools for back-up and recovery, volume management, file system management, transaction recovery, high availability, San architectures, cluster server solutions, performance management and hierarchical storage management."

The Times ran this article about Linux and Windows 2000 that is mostly introductory stuff. "The beauty of Linux, to a young coder, is that you can pick it up and start improving it immediately. Because Linux depends on external contributions, it's deliberately easy for a lone teenager to pull it apart and learn the ropes. Better still, if you write something that fixes a bug, is useful to others or adds a new feature, it doesn't matter if you're a 15-years-old street-seller in Mexico: within days, thousands of people will know your name. So this is why more and more of these young coders polish their skills by messing with Linux."

There is also a companion article with some side-by-side comparisons between Linux and Windows 2000. "[Applications are] still Linux's weakest point, though: installing these extra programs still requires peering at Readme files. And printing, at the moment, sucks." (Thanks to Michael Coyne).

Smart Money takes a skeptical look at Linux. "Most PC users aren't sophisticated enough to request Linux and a Linux office package. While the upstart operating system may have cachet on Wall Street, it's not exactly Coke as far as brand awareness goes."

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol

February 10, 2000


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



For more information on the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) or to join in an effort to oppose and stop enactment of UCITA in your state, check out 4CITE.org. (Thanks to Gordon Pence.)

Series 1 Software announced LinuxScope, a new Linux package search engine.

Enhanced Software Technologies, Inc. announced its linuxtapecert.org web site that lists Linux-compatible tape devices by manufacturer and model.

Here's a new installment of Dear Lina from Linuxcare. This week Lina looks at core dumps and global search-and-replace tasks.


The Worcester Linux Users Group will be hosting an Install-fest on February 12 at Stratus Computer in Maynard MA.

Here's a reminder about the Linux Expo 2000 North America, in Montreal, April 10-12, 2000.

A call for papers has been issued for the Extreme Linux track of the 4th annual Linux Showcase and Conference, to be held in Atlanta on October 12-14, 2000. The submission deadline is April 17.

Those of you going to CeBIT may want to have a look at Linux.de's list of Linux exhibitors. There are quite a few of them. The page is in German, and Babelfish freaks if you try to translate it, but even those who are not German-capable can make sense out of the untranslated list.

Jeremy Allison's slides from his Linux Expo Paris talk are available on the web. The topic was "Porting Windows NT applications to Linux," and the slides are available in either Applix or PostScript format.

IDG World Expo has put out this press release summarizing the New York LinuxWorld Conference and Expo. Over 20,000 people attended. The release also summarizes important commercial announcements made at the show and the "show favorite" award winners.

Web sites

TUCOWS.com Inc. has announced the addition of SmartWhois.com, DomainSurfer.com and DomainWatch.com to its domain name registration services.

Dialtone Internet announced that it will host Linuxnewbie.org, a Linux site geared towards new Linux users.

User Group News

The Worcester Linux Users Group will be hosting an Install-fest on February 12 at Stratus Computer in Maynard MA.

The Kansas Unix & Linux Users Association is having a rally at the upcoming Windows2000 launch event at Bartle Hall in Kansas City on February 17th. They will be giving away free software and handouts starting at 5:00pm CST in front of Bartle Hall.

Also on February 17, 2000 is "Toledo's Linux at the Office" demo day.

The Western PA Linux User's Group is putting together an event on the 19th to advocate linux during the release of windows 2000. While this is short notice, they are looking for door prizes, raffle items, flyers and/or photocoping serivce, and basically anything that could help them promote linux. Send an email to James O'Kane if you or your organization can help.

The Linux User' Group of Davis (LUGOD) will meet on Monday, February 21 and again on Tuesday, March 7.

Volunteers Needed

LinuxMonth, an online monthly linux magazine, is looking for volunteer writers. They would like to cover many different topics so whatever your interests are I am sure you will be able to write about it. If anyone is interested in wrting please contact baiju@linuxmonth.com

LinuxPower, too, is looking forvolunteers to help with the publication.

February 10, 2000



Software Announcements

Package Version Description
3c5x9setup 0.05b.redhog.1 3c5x9setup is an EEPROM setup and diagnostic program for the 3Com 3c5x9 series e
3DSE patch for XMMS 5 3DSE support for XMMS.
abook 0.4.0 An addressbook program.
ABYSS 0.2b A fast, small, and portable HTTP/1.1-compliant Web server.
AccuRev 1.3.7 Cross Platform Configuration Management for Distributed Development
acmemail 2.1.9 A multiuser POP3/IMAP to Web gateway with MIME and mod_perl support
AeroMail 1.02 PHP based e-mail client
afbackup 3.2.4pl2 Client-server backup system
AFD 1.1.4 A file distribution system.
AfterStep 1.7.172 Window manager for the X/Windows environment with NeXT look and feel
aidbf 0.1 An advanced interpreter and debugger for BrainFuck.
AIDE 0.6 Free replacement for Tripwire(tm)
Aladdin Ghostscript 6.0 An interpreter for the PostScript (TM) language.
Allen Bradley Ethernet utils 0.1.4b Simple utilities for Allen Bradley Ethernet PLCs
Alliance 4.0 A complete set of free CAD tools for VLSI design.
ALSA driver 0.5.2 An alternative implementation of Kernel sound support
ampd 1.1.0 A MP3 playlist daemon.
Apache-SSL 1.3.11+ssl_1.38 Secure Webserver (using SSLeay)
APE 1.1.0 APE Portable Environment for C++ Threads, Sockets, etc.
Applixware 5.0 M1 Integrated suite of desktop productivity tools.
apt-proxy 0.4 A simple apt-get proxy cache.
Aspell .29 Intelligent Spell Checker
Atari800 0.9.9d An emulator for 8-bit Atari personal computers.
Aureal Vortex PCI sound chip Driver Linux drivers for Aureal's Vortex PCI sound chip products.
Aurora redhog.c Graphical init controller for Linux
autoresponder 0.4 An autoresponder creator and configurator.
Avenger's News System 2.11 Alpha PERL-based online news posting system
Axe 0.2.0 Tool for reading/writing Atari 8-bit disk images.
AxY FTP 0.5.1 FTP client for X with nice and intuitive GTK+ and Motif GUI
Bastille Linux 1.0.3.pre5 A comprehensive hardening program for Redhat Linux 6.0.
BBCTicker 0.2 Linux/GTK version of BBC Online Ticker.
bbkeys 0.2.7 A key-grabbing tool for Blackbox 0.6x.0.
bdist 0.9.2 Build distribution file containing all relevant files in a programming project
BestCrypt 0.4b Creates and supports encrypted virtual volumes for Linux/Windows/MSDOS.
bfa 0.2 An assembler for the Brain Fuck programming language.
bidwatcher 1.0.4b tool for eBay users - track and snipe auctions
Bind 9 beta 1 Berkeley Internet Name Domain
bkmrkconv 1.08 A Netscape bookmarks converter.
BLADE 0.19.0 Broad Language Aided Document Environment
Bluetail Mail Robustifier 1.1.9 Unix clusters specifically for email
BMUD 0.5 GNOME mud client
Boa 0.94.4 Lightweight and High Performance WebServer
Bochs 2000_0104c Portable x86 PC emulation software package
BTW Calculator 0.0.2 beta 2 A program that adds taxes to a price.
Bzflag 1.7d 3D multiplayer tank battle game
CableTV 0.9 A CableCrypt decoder for Linux.
Cactus 4.0 Beta 6 A portable framework for developing parallel applications.
cadaver 0.11.0 command-line WebDAV tool
cadaverserver 1.0.1 realtime artificial intelligence battle game server
CallerCGI 0.1 A CGI to show CallerIDs of one day on a webpage.
Circus Linux! 0.0.1 A clone of the Atari 2600 game.
cmd5checkpw 0.21 A checkpassword-compatible authentication program using CRAM-MD5 auth type.
Connect 1.2.2+ Client-server to easily share (open/close) one ppp link among a small network
Continuus Mode for XEmacs/Emacs 0.2 An (X)Emacs minor mode for the Continnuus Change Management system.
CoreLinux++ 0.4.7 A set of C++ class libraries to support common patterns in software development.
csnes9x 1.0.0 A command line snes9x launcher.
DarcNES 20000206 An X/SVGALib multi-system emulator.
Darkbot 5f18 IRC Help Robot
Date::Pcalc 1.1 All-Perl module for date calculations, based on Date::Calc
dbm 0.10 A command-line based DBM file editor.
DECnet for Linux 2.04 DECnet socket layer and applications
DejaSearch 1.8.0 DejaSearch is a frontend to DejaNews, the leading Usenet archive
DemoLinux 1.0 A Linux OS demonstration CD.
Denemo 0.3.0 A GTK+ musical score editor.
dep.pl 1.30.0 Check dependencies of multiple files.
Diablo 1.27 Fast and efficient NNTP newsfeeder software
DialControl 2.5.7 Remote control for Internet/WAN connections of a masquerading server.
DistroLib 0.6 Library for distributed processes.
DNRD 2.7 Proxy DNS server for home networks with multiple ISPs
dnscache 0.81 Domain Name System tools.
dot.conf 0.6.2 A simple, powerful configuration-file parser.
Double Choco Latte 20000209 Software Configuration Management/Bug/Enhancement Tracking Software
dproxy 0.5 Caching DNS proxy
DWUN 0.7 Controls PPP link by client requests for connection
DynDNS 0.5.4 Dynamic DNS server
e2compr 0.4.36 Transparent compression for ext2 filesystem
ECLiPt Mirroring Tool 2.1-pre12 Full-featured mirroring script
ECLiPt Roaster 1.99a GTK Interface to MkIsoFs and CDRecord for writing CDs on the fly
ECLiPt SSH Shell 0.7b Simple graphical SSH frontend.
EnRus dictionary tools 1.0-000208snap Tcl/Tk scripts for manipulating textual (plain or gzipped) dictionary base.
Entropy Chat 0.1 Web/HTML-based chat server.
Epeios 20000206 Collection of general purposes C++ libraries working under UNIX and Windows.
eSockets 0.0.1 Networking classes and applications for Eiffel.
Ethereal Realms 0.9.0 A Web-based chat server.
eXML 0.1.7 eXML - XML 1.0 parser for Eiffel based on expat
ez328boot 0.03 A bootstrap debugger for Motorola 68EZ328.
fdupes 1.12 Tool to list duplicate files.
Flux 0.4.0 A generic library for protocols, file formats, and program structuring.
FoSaT 0.2.0 A method to slowly read text files.
FtpLocate 2.00 FTP sites search engine
gAcc 0.6.5 A personal accounts manager.
Gaspell .29.1 A Gnome Frontend to Aspell
GCompte 0.3.8 A program to keep track of your finances
GDancer 0.8 A dancing Space Ghost XMMS plugin.
Generator 0.12 A Sega Genesis (MegaDrive) emulator.
Generic NQS 3.50.8 The Leading OpenSource Batch Processing System For UNIX
Getdata Protocol Analyzer 0.95 A protocol analyzer and network sniffer.
Getleft 0.7.11 Tcl/Tk site grabber powered by Curl
getmail 1.03 A fetchmail replacement with reliable Maildir or mbox delivery, in Python.
getpg / UW-IMAP 0.55 A patch for UW-IMAP to authenticate users against a PostgreSQL database.
gfcc 0.7.4 GTK+ firewall (ipchains)
ggitv 0.0.15 TV-application on ggi
gif2png 2.3.1 converts GIF image files to PNG format.
GiNaC 0.5.0 A C++ library for symbolic calculations.
GLHeretic for Linux 1.0 Port of Heretic to Linux
Glide 2.x/3.x Voodoo3/Banshee libraries for X-Free 3.3.x Glide 2.x/3.x Voodoo3/Banshee drivers for X-Free 3.3.x Glide 2.60/3.10 2D X Ser Glide 2.x/3.x Voodoo3/Banshee drivers for X-Free 3.3.x
Glide Voodoo2 drivers 2.53-3 Glide 2.53 for Voodoo 2
gMGAclock 0.4.5 A GNOME application for Matrox G400 overclocking.
Gnofin 0.7.4 A simple GNOME checkbook application
GNOME-Iconedit 1.0.5 A GNOME icon editor.
gnome-napster 0.4.1 A GNOME napster client for MP3-sharing.
GNU cfengine 1.5.4 A tool for administering Networks of Diverse Machines
GNU Keyring 0.7.4 Securely store digital secret keys on your Palm handheld computer.
GNU parted 1.0.8 A partition editor, for creating, destroying, resizing and copying partitions.
GNU Pth 1.2.3 GNU Portable Threads
gnu.hylafax 0.0.2 HylaFAX client protocol implemented in pure Java.
Gnumeric 0.48 Spreadsheet, a new foundation for spreadsheet development, part of GNOME
GOB 0.92.3 Preprocessor for building GTK+ Object
GOBO Eiffel 1.5 Open source and portable Eiffel tools and libraries.
gPS 0.6.1 GTK-based process status reporting like ps, top and task manager
GrabMyIP 1.1 Small Perl script that updates a webpage to show your most recent IP as a link.
grep-dctrl 1.4 grep Debian control files
grepmail 4.20 Searches a normal or gzipped mailbox for a given regularexpression
gtail 0.5a Monitors multiple log files and program output.
Gtk-FMRadio 1.0 An FM radio tuner for Linux/GTK.
GTK-Napster 0.1 BETA 4 A GTK+ Napster client.
GtkExText 0.0.18
GtkSimpleFont 0.1 A GTK interface for SimpleFont.
GTKtalog 0.0.11 Fast Disk Catalog using a friendly interface.
Gutenbook 0.1 The original Perl/GTK+ application for reading Project Gutenberg Etexts.
Gwatch 0.0.4 A graphical mail spool monitor.
harvest 1.6.1 A Web-based document search system.
HiSax National ISDN-1 2.12 A HiSax driver with National ISDN-1 support.
hpbuild 0.1 A script to build web-pages.
HPP 1.2 Simple including and conditionalities for HTML like cpp.
htsserver 0.5.6 Server application of the multiplayer trading game Holsham Traders
httpc 4.1.6 Controls multiple instances of web servers
Hu-Go! 1.09 A PC engine emulator.
Hurricane 0.3.4 A highly extensible IRC daemon.
Hyperplay 1.3.5 Multimedia authoring engine
IcomLib 1.0.0 The Icom PCR-1000 library and applications.
iManager 1.1.5 An image viewer and manager.
Invaders 0.1 A Space Invaders game
isdn_scripts 1.31-3 ISDN configuration tool
Jasper Servlet Engine 0.3.0 Java Servlet Engine.
jaZip 0.32 A program for maintaining your Iomega Zip and/or Jaz drive(s) and disks
Jellybean 0.01 A Perl Object Web server.
Jerry Crypt 2.05 An encryption algorithm/library.
JEsd 0.0.4 A re-implementation of EsounD in pure Java.
JFS 0.0.1 Journaled File System Technology for Linux.
joyd 0.0.4 Execute programs via joystick.
Just Another GTK Tetris 0.2 Small and simple GTK Tetris clone.
kbdfed 0.1 kbdfed - K bdf editor
keeper 0.99 A configuration storage and retrieval library
Keystone 0.71.00 Web-based problem tracking system, rewrite of an older system called PTS
kishidoo 1.0.1 A little puzzle game for the KDE.
Kleandisk 1.0.0 Utility to remove unneeded files from the harddisk.
KMsgModem 0.2 A tool to read the memory of an USR Message Modem
Koala Complete MUD Server 0.2.1a A complete MUD server.
Koch 0.3 A Koch curve generator.
KOnCD 0.4.3 A KDE front-end to mkisofs and cdrecord for burning CDs.
krunseti 0.2.3 A program that starts SETI@home and displays its status.
Ksetiwatch 0.3.2 SETI@home monitor and work unit manager
KTimeclock 0.0.4 Task based timeclock for KDE.
KUPS 0.4.5 KUPS is a CUPS administrator for KDE.
KVolume 0.1.1 A KDE-panel volume control
KWebGet 0.2 Download and Mirror-Utility for the KDE-Project
latency-graph API 0.1 A tool to make timing graphs in your apps.
Lcalc 1.0 A console calculator.
LCD / LCD::MatrixOrbital 0.94 A Perl module for writing to Matrix Orbital LCDs.
Leafnode 1.9.10 NNTP server for small leaf sites
Ledcontrol 0.1.0 Shows info on your keyboard's LEDs.
lhinv 1.1 Linux 2.2.x hardware inventory.
LibVRML97/Lookat 0.8.2 Open VRML97 Toolkit and Browser
Linux ethernet bridge rewrite 20000205 A rewrite of the Linux ethernet bridging code.
Linux Intrusion Detection System 0.8 Linux Kernel-Based Intrusion Detect System
Linux Kernel Spinlock Metering 1.1.3 A kernel patch to incorporate metering of spinlock-usage.
LISC 1.1.3 A lightweight Scheme interpreter in Java, with useful extensions.
loadmon.epplet 0.2 A simple load monitor for Enlightenment.
log4j 0.8.0 Fast and flexible logging tool written in Java.
logi.crypto 1.0.6 Pure Java Strong Encryption Package
Logical Volume Manager 0.8i A logical volume manager for Linux.
Lothar project 0.6 Tools for hardware configuration
lukemftp 1.2 the enhanced ftp client in NetBSD
MacroSystem 0.50 A powerful C++ template system.
MainActor 3.5 Public Beta 1 A multimedia processing package.
Manda 0.7b A download accelerator for Linux.
MapServer 3.3 Web-enabled mapping application development
MasqMail 0.0.9 Offline Mail Transfer Agent
mbx2mbox 0.3 Converts Outlook Express .mbx files into standard RFC822 mail files.
Midgard 1.2.6-beta2 A PHP Application Server Suite - Web building with Web-based tools
miniWeb 1.0 A Web application server intended to run CGIs as root.
MIT Scheme 7.5.3 A programming environment for Scheme.
mod_access_referer 1.0.0-PREVIEW-1 An Apache module for access control.
MOffy Moffy 0.0.2 A WAP-based email client, scheduler, and contact list.
mon 0.38.16 Highly configurable service monitoring daemon
moodss 8.9 Modular Object Oriented Dynamic SpreadSheet
Moonshine 1.0 An application development environment for Linux.
Mork 0.2.2 A stream processing tool.
MOSIX 0.97.2 Single-system-image Clustering Software for Linux
Mozart (Oz) 1.1.0 Development platform for constraint and distributed applications
mp3d 0.2.3 Client-server MP3-player
mpegOrion 0.3 Free mpeg player for linux
mpg123-mysql 0.5 MySQL support for mpg123
mrtg 2.8.12 Multi Router Traffic Grapher
Mutt 1.1.3 Small but very powerful text-based mail client for Unix operatingsystems
mwForum 0.9.5 Web-based discussion forum
MXM 0.1 A sendmailreplacement for dialup connections or small domains.
MySQL 3.23.10 SQL (Structured Query Language) database server
myWebalizer A WWW and FTP-logfile analyzer.
nano 0.8.3 Pico editor clone with enhancements.
nbfc 0.1 New brainfuck compiler.
NEdit 5.1 Beta
Netquery 0.3 A command line driver online query tool.
netscape.sh 1.1 Netscape frontend script.
NetteBook 0.5.0 Web-based PIM
nettimer 1.10 Calculate time and money spent using the Internet.
Network UPS Tools 0.43.0pre2 Multiple vendor (APC, Powercom) UPS monitoring software.
newq 0.4.1 Snarfs realtime quotes from datek to display on the console.
NewsDesk Pro 1.0 Web-based news administration system.
newslog 1.2.0 Yet another Web page news generator.
newsurl 0.02 Extracts URLs from newsgroup-postings.
NFTP 1.62.b1 Powerful, full-featured FTP client
Nightfall 0.17 Eclipsing binary star program
noflushd 1.8.2 Daemon that sends idle disks to sleep (for kernels 2.2.11+)
notwhoami 0.99 Generates a random name, address, phone number, etc.
NS WebMail 0.3 A POP3 Web mail client.
nsc 0.49f A console monitor for Netsaint.
ODBC-ODBC Bridge Provides ODBC access from Unix to remote ODBC data sources
oMail 0.4 A PHP/Perl-based qmail+vmailmgrd maildomain administration Web interface.
oops 1.3 An HTTP/FTP proxy.
OpenGUI 2.0 A very wonderfull C/C++ graphics library
OpenMerchant 0.7pre6 E-commerce Internet application based on Perl.
Oregano 0.11 Schematic capture and circuit simulation application
Oscar 3.2 Public Key Infrastructure Toolkit
PACT 0.4 SNMP accounting tool.
PAddress 0.0.3 A simple address book application.
pam_cryptocard 1.0 PAM module for cryptographic challenge-response authentication
pam_tacplus 1.2.9 PAM module to authenticate against TACACS+ (tacplus)
Pan 0.7.4 Gnome/GTK Newsreader
pasdoc 0.6.9 Pascal documentation generator
Pbotty 1.1C Pbotty - Perl/PostgreSQL/PHP3 IRC Bot
PCCS MySQLDatabase Admin Tool 1.2.3 A Web hosting and MySQL administator tool.
PCRE 3.1 A library that implements Perl 5-style regular expressions.
pdq 2.1.2 Printing system
Penguineyes 0.10 Linux-ified version of Xeyes written with GTK+ and Imlib
perdition 0.1.3 POP3 Proxy
Photoseek 0.1.5 A Web-based image cataloging and management system.
piGIMP Benchmark 0.1 A GIMP benchmarking package.
pimp3 0.4.0 The i(ntelligent)mp3 player
Pine/SSL 1.4 An SSL add-on for Pine.
PingOO 2.0b3 A Debian-based Linux distribution with simple installation and administration.
PingoS-Tipptrainer 0.1 Make your touch-system more efficient.
pkgusage 1.0 Finds out how long ago you used every package (RPM) you have installed.
playmp3list 0.8 color mp3 playlist player
pload 0.9.5 Display ppp statistics in an X window
polyalphabetic substitution 0.0.2 A polyalphabetic substitution program.
PopApp 0.7 GNOME Applet to check multiple pop3 accounts.
PowerShell 0.67 A GTK-based terminal emulator with support for many terms in one window.
ppower 0.1.5 Software for listening to and controlling x10 home automation devices.
PPPOEd 0.44 PPP over Ethernet
prepop 0.1b5 A POP3 client for dialups and other slow links.
PRepS 1.2.2 The Problem Reporting and Tracking System.
PresTiMeL 0.2 A tool to create HTML presentations.
printCode 0.1 A Perl frontend to a2ps for prettyprinting source code.
Project Clock 0.2 A point-and-click task and project time recorder.
pwdgen 0.01 A pseudo-random passwords generator.
PWM 2000-02-08 Yet another rather lightweight X11 window manager.
PWMS A workflow management system written in PHP3.
Q3Aconf 1.0 A Q3A server configurator.
qmail-smtpd-auth 0.23 SMTP auth support for the qmail SMTP server.
Qpopper 3.0b32 POP3 server
Quake3: Arena test 1.11 The test version of Quake3: Arena
Querytool 0.004 BETA An interactive tool for PostgreSQL.
quftp 1.0.1 Command line FTP client with queueing
quotatool 0.3.9 Command line utility for setting Linux filesystem quotas
quotenotifier 0.15 Track single/multiple stocks and see if they go over/below a certain value.
Quotes 1.5-2 Financial Quotations and Linux headlines
R 0.99.0 A language and environment for statistical computing.
RabbIT 2.0.3 Mutating, caching webproxy to speed up surfing over slow links
RADB 0.4 Reunion Address DataBase.
RadioActive 0.9 Radio tuner for X11 and Video4Linux
Rasteroids 0.02 A free Asteroids clone.
RCX.pm 0.7 A Perl module to communicate with a Lego MindStorms RCX.
RediCart 3.9.2 Perl-based shopping cart for real-time transactions.
Rextools 0.1 Tools to sync the Rex PC Card Organizer with Linux apps.
rfcindex 1.1 An HTML indexer of RFC documents.
rhup 0.9.1 Make updates of Red Hat systems easier.
Rio 500 0.5 Linux support for Diamond's Rio 500 MP3 player.
ripple 0.3.1 Water Ripple X Eyecandy
RMOO 1.0 MOO client for Emacs
rp-pppoe 1.3 A user-mode PPPoE client.
Rppp 1.3 Visual ppp application
rsort 0.5 The MSD radix sort.
rsync 2.4.1 File transfer program to keep remote files into sync
rtmk A real-time micro-kernel.
Salomon 0.0.5 A MySQL Client for end users.
SANE 20000206 Provides standardized access to anyraster image scanner hardware
SARITH 0.1.1 SARITH: Safe/Saturating ARITHmetic
sawmill.el 1.13 Emacs mode for editing sawmill code and interacting with sawmill
scdbackup 0.6 Simplified CD backup for Linux.
SDL 1.0.4 SDL is a library that allows you portable low level access for graphics/sound
SDPGTK 0.1.1 C++ wrappers for GTK+ and XML-based user interfaces.
Sendmail Relay Daemon 1.3 Dynamic updates to the sendmail access.db file.
setippp 0.96 An automated PPP-dialer for seti@home.
Settlers 1.2 2-4 player TCP/IP strategy game of expansion and trading
SffView 0.1 A viewer for structured fax files (sff) used by ISDN cards.
sherpa 0.1.4 A system security configuration and maintenance tool
simscomputing.Enterprise Tool Kit 0.20 Tools for writing Java 2 Enterprise Edition applications.
SiteMgrYAP 0.1.3 HTML-application for managing web sites.
slash A database-driven news and message board, using mod_perl and MySQL.
SlideS 0.2 An HTML-embedded scripting language/Website generator.
sng 0.9.2 Compile/decompile between PNG & SNG.
SnowDisk 1.0 Fills a unix device with a secure, encrypted, structureless data chunk.
Socket_com 0.2 A library for doing socket communication quickly and easily.
Socket_poll 0.6 A library to make using poll() fast and easy.
SPINdex 4.0.45 Perl-based Web site-searching suite
Spruce 0.5.15 Simple email client coded for X with the Gtk widget set
Squid 2.3.DEVEL3 High performance Web proxy cache
starcat 0.92 A star catalog visualization tool.
Stereograph 0.10b A powerful truecolor stereogram generator.
Str 0.9.2 A generic string library.
stripmime 0.8.0 A Perl script to filter MIME sections out of email messages.
SuckMT 0.41 A multithreaded suck replacement.
Sunshine Commander 0.0.1 Crossplatform, consolebased FileManager
syslog-ng 1.3.14 A portable syslogd replacement with enhanced, flexible configuration scheme.
T.A.N.K.S 1.0 Multiplayer Tank combat game.
taTelnet 1.0 A cross-platform telnet program utilizing wxWindows.
Tcl/SMAPI 1.0 A Tcl/Tk extension for the IBM ViaVoice speech recognition API.
tclPov 0.3.1 POVRay frontend for rendering POVRay scenes.
Terraform 0.6.1 Interactive digital terrain (height field) editor/viewer
The Gimp 1.1.16 The GNU Image Manipulation Program
The KSI Scheme Implementation 3.2.0 An implementation of the Scheme programming language
The Nebula Device 2000-01-31 A free, portable game engine.
The Penguin Machine 0.0.4 A puzzle game based on The Incredible Machine.
The Urgent Decision 0.9.11 An action strategy game.
threads 1.1 A C++ library for working with threads under Linux.
tin 1.5.2 Curses based threaded NNTP and spool based UseNet newsreader
tinc 0.3.3 Virtual private network daemon
TinyMAZE 2.5a An online game server.
TkCommander 0.6.2 Yet another Norton Commander clone, written in Tcl/Tk.
TkHeadlines 0.84 Headline grabber for about 20 sites
TkSETI 2.08 A GUI for automated control of the SETI@Home client for UNIX.
tn5250 0.15.6 5250 Terminal emulator for Linux, Unix and Win32
TNImage 3.0.8a An advanced image analysis program.
Topsecret 9931 File encryption utility.
tree.pl 1.15 Simple script to generate a html sitemap
Tunez 0.2 An MP3 Web jukebox with voting.
TypeE 0.7 A KDE MIME-type editor.
Universe 0.12 Space Strategy game
usrmgr 0.1 A user-creation script.
UW Imap Server 4.7a Univerity of Washington Imap server
videod 2.0.4kv2 Apple's QuickTime streaming server with Linux enhancements
VLAN 0.0.9 802.1Q VLAN implementation for Linux
Voodoo3/Banshee X Server for XFree86 3.3.x Voodoo3/Banshee X Server 3.3.3-5 and 3.3.5-4 A 2D X server for 3dfx Voodoo3 and Banshee-based video cards.
Voxel Engine 0.9.2 A C++ voxel landscape renderer for Linux/SDL and Win/DirectX.
w3juke 0.7 MP3 Streaming (via http) jukebox
W3Mail 0.9.0 Web gateway to POP3 eMail.
Watchfile 1.0 A program that displays a list of files and their stats on a terminal.
WaveLAN/IEEE driver 1.0.2 Kernel network device driver for WaveLAN/IEEE wireless network card
Webalizer 1.30-04 PNG Support Patch Webalizer PNG Support Patch 1.30-04 A patch to use webalizer & gd 1.7.3.
WebCharts 8.0 Stock charting Java applet for brokers or banks.
Website META Language 200002050000 Webdesign HTML-generation toolkit
Webtasker 2.0 A Web-based task manager.
WebTodo 1.0 Web-based todo list with customer submission forms.
WeirdX 1.0.6 A pure Java X Window System server
Winux 1.2.5-c Graphical configuration interface for LOADLIN
WMAmpMenu 0.27 A simple utility that inserts MP3 playlists in your WM root menu.
WMint 0.9 Dockable interrupt monitor for x86 Linux boxes
wmplay 1.2 a remote-control DockApp for xmms
wmpload 0.9.5 dockapp that shows network stats.
wmSMPmon 2.1 CPU monitoring applet SMP systems running Window Maker
wmtheme 0.4.3 A window manager theme utility.
wmxmms_scope 0.2 WindowMaker dockapp XMMS scope plugin.
wmy2k 2.0pre1 Countdown to y2k for your Window Maker dock
WvDial 1.41 Intelligent Internet Dialer
WWWdb 0.0.6 Database-access over HTTP with consistency-check
X2 5.0 AfterNet's powerfull IRC channel services
x2vnc 1.1 A dual-screen hack for VNC.
Xcdda2wav 1.0.2 An X frontend for cdda2wav.
xdb 1.0.0 An xBase-compatible C++ class library.
XDBM 1.0.9 Database Manager designed specifically to hold XML data
XDC 0.4.0 X Client for DialControl
xinetd Powerful inetd replacement
XInvaders 3D 1.31 A 3D Space Invaders clone for X11.
XMail 0.17 An SMTP/POP3/popsync/finger server.
XML for C++ 3.0.1b An XML parser for C++ with Linux compatibility.
xmlBlaster 0.72 An Open Source project for MOM (message oriented middleware).
xmp 2.0.0 A multi-format module player for UNIX
XRacer 0.95.31 Clone of Psygnosis WipeOut
Xtheater 0.2.4 GTK-based MPEG-1 video & video/audio player
Xwhois 0.4.2 Small and fast GTK+ X11 client for the internet whois network services.
x|front 0.2 A C++ class library interface to X11R5.
Yard 1.18 A suite of Perl scripts for creating rescue disks for Linux
YumfK 0.2 An mpg123/MySQL frontend.
Zope 2.1.4 Web application platform used for building high-performance, dynamic web sites.

Our software announcements are provided courtesy of FreshMeat


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Linux links of the week

In keeping with this week's embedded Linux theme: ETLinux, the free embedded distribution produced by Prosa, has relaunched with a new web site.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet

February 10, 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: Wed, 09 Feb 2000 23:45:56 +0000
From: kevin lyda <kevin@suberic.net>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Your RedHat news item.

You stated it had "hype" in it and quoted the comment in the mail that
it eats "Lizards for breakfast."

You know what sucks about RedHat's IPO?  They can't make jokes without
people getting all uptight.  The piglet announcement also listed "It
works" as a new feature for it's rescue disk.  Was that anti-hype?  And
usage number 4: fodder for a thesis on "works in progress"; that seems
like hype?

Let them have fun fer cryin out loud!  If you'll note, their installer
is called Anaconda which probably eats lizards so it's an old joke (or
old hype) that was too subtle I suppose.

Linux is supposed to be fun.  The RedHat job page used to list "Nerf
guns" as sign-on bonuses, dunno if they still do, but I'm guessing they
still like to have fun.  It's nice to see it spill over into their
announcements, but with "hype" complaints it's easy to see why more
established companies buckle under to a more sterile outward appearance.

Please lighten up.  A little ribbing between rivals is a nice human
hackery type of thing to see.

kevin@suberic.net                              Nutrition Facts
fork()'ed on 37058400		       Puns: 100% RDA  (% good puns: 0)
Date: Sun, 06 Feb 2000 13:09:36 -0500
To: letters@lwn.net
From: Bruno Majewski <bruno@pubnix.qc.ca>
Subject: About the inclusion of JFS into kernel 2.4

Hello --

I will admit to have been completely surprised when I read that IBM not 
only ported JFS to Linux (or at least is working at porting it right now), 
but even GPL'd it!  It looks like Big Blue is becoming a company  you can 
like and respect, instead of being the company everyone likes to hate -- 
quite a change, an almost unbelievable one for the generation that saw the 
original cassette-based IBM PC (yes, Virginia, there was life before the 
omnipresent hard disk).  I just hope this is not just a dream...

A JFS is, with raw I/O and other things like 32bit UIDs, just what Linux 
needs to become even more respectable in the corporate heavy-iron spheres. 
And it would be very nice if it could be incorporated into the kernel ASAP 
-- like, in kernel 2.4 if possible. Since 2.4 is not going to be out in the 
next few weeks, if we will have to wait a bit longer anyway, could it be 
possible for the IBM crew to put the pedal to the metal and work their 
collective butts off to finish porting / integrating JFS into the 2.3.x 
series of kernel so that 2.4 can come out with a JFS?

I already consider kernel 2.4 to be a major upgrade for the Linux world 
when it comes out to the point where I wonder if it should not be called 
3.0. I believe that the 2.4 kernel and XFree86 4.0 combination will be a 
major milestone in OSS evolution and for the Linux marketplace.

BUT we also have to consider against what it will have to go against in the 
marketplace: Windows 2000.

There are enough PHB and "Unknowing Deciders" (those who control the 
budgets) that are already truly excited about W2K that Linux has to gain 
every bit of functionality it can to compare favorably to M$'s offering. 
This is why I believe that, if it is possible, JFS should be rolled in 
2.3.x ASAP to that 2.4 can come out with it. As we currently stand, Linux 
is not quite ready yet for the desktop, but already has a reputation in the 
server area -- and if it wants to compare well to W2K as a server, the 
inclusion of JFS can only help (JFS on a desktop could be overkill). Y2K 
could become The Year Linux Became An Unavoidable Market Player (TYLBAUM 
?), the year where it can walk through the front door of more than just the 
oddball company, if it has all the right bits in place. And one of these 
bits is a JFS.

If W2K was only coming out in 3QY2K, I could live with a 2.4 kernel without 
a JFS. But W2K is coming out _this month_ and too many companies have been 
playing with betas of it for the last few months. So right now, too many 
managers and other "professionals" are enamored with W2K while still 
dismissing Linux as a toy. This is why we need to make 2.4 _the_ Killer 
Kernel, the base for a Killer Linux Distro -- and JFS can be a good way to 
attain that status.

So, can it be done? Can IBM finish porting JFS to Linux in time for it to 
make it into kernel 2.4? Can the IBMers can coordinate with Linus and Allan 
so that we could we see JFS-equipped 2.4-based distros this summer?

Bruno Majewski

Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2000 08:32:16 +0000
From: Mike Goldman <whig@by.net>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: "Flame" sent to LinuxOne

While many distributions began as derivatives of others, something not
only allowed but encouraged in the Free Software / Open Source
community, such "forks" almost always provided some enhancement not
otherwise available, and returned something to the community.  LinuxOne
seeks to share in the "spoils" of the great commercial valuation which
many GNU/Linux vendors have recently enjoyed, without first even
creating a differentiated distribution or service of their own.

In this, LinuxOne is not only behaving unethically, but does real damage
to the credibility of other firms who have invested substantially in the
improvement of free software.  LinuxOne's alleged distribution provides
nothing but what is already available in RedHat and Mandrake offerings,
and they have no demonstrated capability even to provide support for
what they are selling.

Assuming that LinuxOne even manages to hold an IPO, presuming that their
sole underwriter doesn't abandon them, and that Linus Torvalds even
permits them to use "Linux" in their company name, both of which are
becoming increasingly dubious propositions, it is likely that any shares
which unsuspecting investors purchase would quickly collapse in value to
a marginal price.  Given that much of the investment media has no idea
how to differentiate LinuxOne from other GNU/Linux firms, this will
almost certainly result in a great deal of bad press for the whole
community, causing a stock devaluation for other firms who have little
or nothing in common with them.  This is unfortunate, and avoidable, if
LinuxOne were to voluntarily withdraw their offering indefinitely, or at
least until they have earned some credibility.

Should you decide to go forward with your IPO notwithstanding the
unnecessary harm you would inflict by doing so, any profit you might
make by doing so are tantamount to fraud perpetrated against those who
do purchase your shares.

Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2000 13:17:26 -0600
From: "John J. Adelsberger III" <jja@wallace.lusArs.net>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Feb. 3rd OpenSSH 1.2.2 announcement

I'm glad you included this item, because I believe that OpenSSH will
eventually be the only way to fly on Unix-like systems.  However, I
would like to point out that the quoted text is somewhat misleading.

The OpenBSD team created OpenSSH, and one of the things they did was
to rip out all support for other operating systems.  This made the
code easier to audit because it is relatively small.  The people who 
port OpenSSH to other platforms have the benefit of this audit work,
but it is unfair to the OpenBSD team to say that the resulting ports
have been audited.

This is especially true given that in the past, security products ported
to Linux have quite frequently been found to have problems caused by
inadequate care taken by people doing the port.  It is not reasonable
to put the OpenBSD team's reputation on the line for such a product;
they wouldn't willingly do it, I'm reasonably sure(though I don't speak
for them,) and nobody else should either.

Do understand that I have nothing against the people who did this work.
In fact, I know nothing about them.  They may be, and probably are,
good honest people making their best effort - and the result may well
be good solid code.  It is not proper, however, to stake someone else's
reputation on that code.

Eklektix, Inc. Linux powered! Copyright © 2000 Eklektix, Inc., all rights reserved
Linux ® is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds