Linux in the news
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See also: last week's Distributions page.
Please note that all distributions have issued a number of security updates in the last week. Details can be found in the security section.
CalderaWhere is OpenLinux 2.3? Anticipation is rising as the evident release date approaches. The "beta testing" period (done under nondisclosure with selected users) is said to be finished, and 2.3 is showing up in more catalogs. About the most substantive comment we have seen about the new version is "not a drastic change, but very nice." Watch this space for updates.
Nobody in the Caldera user community seems to question the practice of beta testing new releases under nondisclosure. Other distributions (Debian, Linux-Mandrake, Red Hat) develop their new releases out in the open, and actively seek the input of the community as a whole. Caldera, instead, takes a very secretive approach. One wonders what they really gain by doing things this way. The legality of providing a disk full of GPL software under nondisclosure is also an interesting question...
DebianA new Debian security policy was proposed by Martin Schulze this week. It tries to establish the process by which Debian responds to security incidents - no doubt spurred on by the large number of such incidents over the last week. It codifies the usual Debian standards of fast response and full disclosure.
Martin is also working on a Debian 2.1r3 release which would contain only security-related and other highly important updates; details in the announcement.
Linux-MandrakeA pre-release of Linux-Mandrake 6.1. Linux-Mandrake 6.1pre is available for download. This is a pre-release, obviously intended to help them shake out the remaining bugs before the real 6.1 version goes out. They are ambitious, however: 6.1 is supposed to be released next week...
Red HatRed Hat's SEC-mandated quiet period ends September 6. It would not be surprising to see a number of new announcements and initiatives come out shortly after that time.
Red Hat and group ID's over 100 were the topic of a brief note last week. In response, we got this note from Preston Brown at Red Hat explaining their view of the situation. Essentially, Red Hat's scheme has been to not create user accounts with a group (or user) ID of less than 500 for some time. That all works well, of course, in an environment where Red Hat's tools are being used to create the accounts. In larger networks, where a Linux box is not the center of the world, Red Hat's policies do not necessarily hold much sway. Of course, in such an environment, there will be no safe way to "allocate" new user or group ID's when they are needed.
ROCK LinuxVersion 1.3.0 of ROCK Linux - a distribution aimed at experienced users that explicitly excludes configuration tools - has been announced. As if to show how serious they are about the "experienced" part, they have based it on the 2.3.15 kernel...
SlackwareA glibc-based Slackware is coming at last. A new FTP directory has appeared with a warning not to install the packages found therein on current Slackware systems. No word as yet on when a real release will happen.
Slackware has also set up some new mailing lists - the (long needed) slackware-announce and slackware-security lists. Subscription information can be found on the slackware.com site. (Thanks to Joe Orton).
SuSEImpressions of SuSE 6.2 are rolling in. So far, it's not clear how much real work is being done...the first comments are more about peripheral items. Those who had expected the new, reworked manual in 6.2 have been disappointed; it hasn't really changed yet. The other comment has to do with the new cardboard CD packages - some hate them others (the majority, seemingly) prefer them...
Wanting to run SuSE on the new AMD Athlon processor? It can be done, but you need a new boot disk to make it happen. Pick up a copy on SuSE's FTP site.
Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh
September 2, 1999
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