Linux in the news
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See also: last week's Distributions page.
Lists of Distributions
Please note that security updates from the various distributions are covered in the security section.
News and Editorials
REDICE-Linux from REDSonic.REDICE-Linux is not actually a Linux distribution; it is, instead, another entrant into the field of real-time Linux kernels. REDICE-Linux is based on the RED Linux project, an academic project out of the University of California at Irvine. Professor Kwei-Jay Lin brought his work out of academia and joined with Dr. Kwei-Jay Lin to form REDSonic in July of this year. As you might expect, REDSonic is based in Orange County, California.
REDSonic is clearly a new entrant into the ranks of embedded Linux providers, such as Lineo, MontaVista, etc. From their website, likely sources of revenue will be programming services, support and training. They currently have classes listed as available for real-time development, Linux device drivers, REDICE-Linux internals and, of course, building embedded applications with REDICE-Linux. Given their origins in academia, their ability to provide quality classes after such a short time in business is understandable.
REDICE-Linux 1.0 provided real-time services on the user level. However, REDICE-Linux 2.0 was introduced in September and has integrated RTAI to provide both user-level and kernel-level real-time support. A small amount of additional information on REDICE-Linux can be found in these LinuxDevices.com articles:
There are no plans to expand REDICE-Linux from a kernel to a full distribution. "We didn't want to duplicate the work of other distributors. REDICE is designed to make sure you can still run your standard Linux applications on top of it", commented REDSonic's Chief Technology Officer, Andrew Chen.
By the way, in case you're curious about another "Red" distribution, the use of "RED" in the names is actually derived from "Real-time Embedded".
FlyingLinux. What fun! Thanks to Gerhard Fiedler, we got a chance to take a look at Flying Linux, a new Linux distribution that was built as part of a project to support DHCP-based wireless services for the student labs at the IT-University in Kista, Sweden. (The IT-University KTH-Kista was established by the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden in 1999).
The Flying Linux distribution uses MobileIP for IPv4, Kerberos, Arla (an AFS-clone), OpenSSH and the Wireless Extensions for Linux to support the Flying Linux environment, a well-organized and flexible structure containing public, private and mobile networks.
The Flying Linux distribution takes its core from another distribution new to our list, Bambi Linux. Bambi, in turn, is based on Red Hat, but includes Kerberos, IPv6, MobileIP and native support for WaveLAN cards from the startup.
Monkey business. Monkey Linux is another small Linux distribution with DOS/FAT32 installation support. The site hasn't been updated since 1997, so when they claim to use the "latest Linux kernel", take that information in context. Nonetheless, the distribution is still available for download and was recently recommended for use on old 486 machines on the BLUG mailing list (Boulder, Colorado, USA) by Dana J. Hall.
Caldera OpenLinux News. Caldera has now licensed Java technology from Sun to include in their OpenLinux distribution. They announced this week that their developer preview now ships with Java HotSpot. It also ships with a 2.4beta kernel (though it doesn't say which one), glibc 2.1.91, and a developer snapshot of KDE 2.0 (hopefully replaced with the real thing, soon!). Again, "developer preview" means just that -- don't pick this thing up to play with unless you know what to do when it breaks on you.
Meanwhile, those of you wanting to learn more about Caldera and OpenLinux may want to look for the Linux/UNIX Power Solutions Tour [Fall 2000], starting in Canada and then winging its way south.
Debian News. The Debian project announced that it has been invited and will be part of the LinuxPark at Systems 2000, November 5th through the 11th in Munich, Germany. Of course, that conference is mostly over now, but if you're in the area, you may want to stop by to catch the last few days.
Recent additions to Debian's "unstable" development tree are discussed in this week's Debian Weekly News. They include XFree86 4.0.1 (thanks to the work of Branden Robinson), perl 5.6 and dpkg 1.7.0. As a result, "unstable" is living up to its name -- definitely intended only for the brave and adventurous.
DWN also talks a bit more about Progeny Linux, a relatively new commercial version of Debian from Ian Murdock's new company. It released its first beta last week and more details on the beta were discussed on debian-devel this week. It uses many packages from Debian's "unstable" tree, more hardware auto-detection and boot support via GRUB instead of LILO, among other features. Work done by Progeny will be made available back to maintainers in Debian for consideration for inclusion into Debian.
On a more administrative note, Debian's votes on a couple of proposed amendments to the Debian constitution dealing with how to handle "non-free" software have expired. Apparently, discussion raged for a few weeks, then died out without the vote being moved forward. There was also concern about the ballot wording, which seemed to be causing a lot of confusion. Now they'll all been thrown out. We'll have to wait to see if the proposals get revived. For more information on the issue, check the October 12th Distributions Summary.
Still want more Debian News? Check out the November 2nd issue of Debian Kernel Cousin, more news from the debian-devel mailing list.
Slackware News. A version of Qt not linked with Mesa has been made available, due to conflicts seen by people using the NVidia OpenGL libraries. For security reasons, pine has also been upgraded, along with IMAP. Check the Slackware Current Changelog for more details.
Storm Linux News. LinuxOrbit has run this review of Storm Linux 2000. "Storm Linux being based on Debian, comes with full and complete Debian compatibility (current version 2.20 Potato). All packages can be installed through the apt-get (console based Debian package retrieval system) or the Storm Linux Package Manager (stormpkg). "
SuSE Linux News. SuSE 7.0 has a "clean installation" and "upgrades smoothly" according to this review in FreeOS. "Since I was already running SuSE 6.4 on my system I first tried the upgrade. That went off smoothly enough and I was soon running SuSE 7. All packages were detected and upgraded. Next, I tried a clean installation which went off smoothly as well. I chose the default with office install which is just the default installation with StarOffice on top. No problems here either."
Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh
November 9, 2000