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See also: last week's Distributions page.


It's been a long time since we mentioned Independence. The Independence project was started in 1998 with the goal of producing a free and truly user-friendly distribution, for people without a background knowledge of Unix, etc. This is not an uncommon goal, nowadays, but they've been working on it for a while now. Their announcement of the release of the new distribution provides some details of what they've done to make this distribution different from others.

Like Mandrake, it is based on Red Hat 5.2. However, they've worked on making printing easier for the novice, replaced the ordinary cron with one that doesn't need the machine up 24 hours a day, optimized dial-up support, put in enhancements to LILO to get people up and running without having to read the manual first -- difficult to do if the computer is not yet up --, and added KDE (of course) and lots of applications to provide people with alternatives for the software they are accustomed to running on Windows operating systems.

We haven't had a chance to take it for a spin, but we've followed the project and its aims. Anyone who does get a chance to try it out, please let us know what you think! Good ideas and hard work are always welcome.


Debian 2.1 made the March 9th release date. Many sighs of relief and happiness were heard, we're sure. If you're interested in the details, you can check out the official announcement. We hear the mirrors are running a bit slow right now, but CDs are available for those of you who are impatient.

The Debian Event Pages, now available, contain a list of upcoming Linux-related events and Debian's plans for them.

A new mailing list, debian-commercial has been created. It is a moderated list for publishing vendor and distributor Debian-related materials.

The Debian Weekly News for last week and this week are available.

A new Package Manager for Debian? Swim was announced today by Jonathan Rosenbaum. It will be interesting to see what the reactions to the announcement are.

Joseph Carter's LinuxWorld report is now available.


LinuxPPC Live from MacWorld. LinuxPPC Live has been included on the CDROM insert in the April Issue of MacWorld.

Civilization: A Call to Power will be available for the LinuxPPC in the near future. This MacCentral article notes that it will probably be available sooner than the version for the MacOS. Of course, once the game is running on Linux/Intel, moving it to the PPC should hopefully be trivial ...

In amongst all of the IBM press releases, it was easy to miss their declaration of support for Linux on the PowerPC (this editor did).

Thanks to Jason Haas for providing us with LinuxPPC news this week ...


Linux-Mandrake PowerPack Edition, which comes with CDs, installation guide and 100 days of support, is now available in the U.S. and Canada.

The latest edition of the Mandrake-News is available. It includes lots of good news about how well Mandrake is doing, plus a note about rpms for Linux kernel 2.2.2 which they have made available.

Red Hat

Red Hat re-vamped their web site last week. If you haven't had a chance yet, you may want to check out the new site. Be sure and send them your feedback; it sounds like they are listening and modifying the site in response to comments they've received so far.

Check out the commerce section for news on some additional big-name investors that have lined up to put money into Red Hat.


The Slackware booth at the LinuxWorld Expo did brisk business. It was large, professional and usually very busy. Check out the Slackware.com site for links to pictures and information on how to pick up one of their T-shirts, if you missed them at the show.

No updates to Slackware have been posted since February 24th.


Ars Technica reviewed SuSe 6.0 and are obviously highly impressed. The article is relatively in-depth, with sections on Yast, X installation, and KDE.

Some plans for improving SuSE's security were informally posted to Bugtraq. The note indicates that security-specific mailing lists for SuSE should be announced some time soon as well the introduction of OpenBSD-like security checks that run on a regular basis. This is welcome news.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

March 11, 1999

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


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