Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, and now Xubuntu. Mark Shuttleworth's work continues on with this new Xfce Ubuntu derivative. Xubuntu shares the same base system and installation system as the common Ubuntu distribution, but ships with the light-weight Xfce desktop environment. Some of the chances in Xubuntu v6.06 Dapper Drake Beta 2 include improvements in artwork, Xarchiver, new panel plug-ins, Xfce core components updated to Xfce 4.4 Beta 1 and newer development snapshots. When we tried Xubuntu for our first time, we were quite surprised with our findings. The theme and programs throughout Xubuntu were excellent and all-in-all it had done an exceptional job of representing the Ubuntu family. Today at Phoronix we have a screenshot tour of Xubuntu Dapper Drake Beta 2.
MCNLive, a Linux distribution that is relatively unheard of but is Mandriva-based and was developed by the Mandriva Club out of the Netherlands. MCNLive's latest release comes with a code-name of Leuven. MCNLive Leuven features the 2.6.14 kernel, KDE 3.5.2, multimedia codecs, and various Mandriva packages. Even so, this feature-packed Linux LiveCD weighs in under 350MB.
The third release candidate has been made available for VectorLinux 5.1 Live. VectorLinux 5.1 Live fixes several bugs beyond the previous development releases, added GParted, and an icon for the LiveCD installer. VectorLinux 5.1 Live RC3 also incorporates NVIDIA's proprietary drivers, Linux 126.96.36.199 kernel, Ndiswrapper 1.9, OpenOffice 2.0, and various other updated packages. Today at Phoronix we have screenshots from VectorLinux 5.1 Live RC3.
Ubuntu, the Linux distribution continuing to gain momentum since Mark Shuttleworth began it two years back, has come out last week with the Beta release for the upcoming 6.06 Dapper Drake system. The Beta release includes the new desktop CD and now goes with a LTS flag for signifying long-term support of three years on the desktop side and five years of software support for Ubuntu 6.06 servers. Among many changes in this Beta are a new graphical installer, improved video playback support, and a graphical shutdown process. Ubuntu v6.06 Dapper Drake is still slated for a June 2006 release.
Kanotix, the distribution derived from a few German developers, has come out with an Easter special of being the second release candidate for their 2006 edition. Kanotix 2006 Release Candidate 2 includes Debian sid packages as of April 16, 2006, X.Org v7.0.12, and KDE v3.5.2. Kanotix has certainly merged itself into a terrific position for being a Linux LiveCD distribution.
SLAMPP, a relatively unheard of minimalistic Linux distribution designed for running an instant home server from a LiveCD, has come out with SLAMPPLite 2.0. This SLAMPPLite LiveCD 2.0 is powered by XAMPP 1.5.1, based on Slackware current, compiled with Linux Live scripts 5.4.1, and added sever elements for SMB, FTP, and NFS. When it comes to a desktop environment for the LiveCD, it ships with Xfce.
SimplyMEPIS, the distribution designed for point-and-click usage, has reached version 6.0 Alpha 1. Recently SimplyMEPIS has been making news for now being based upon Ubuntu rather than Debian itself, and this release begins to pool in some of these changes. This release is still experimental and ships with the latest packages while a Beta is planned for later this month and the final release to come around June 1, 2006. The kernel that ships with SimplyMEPIS 6.0 Alpha 1 is the 2.6.15 kernel, GCC 4.0.3, KDE 3.5.2, and Xorg 7.0.
Kororaa Xgl LiveCD 0.2 has been released. A great deal of improvements have been made to v0.2, in fact it is dubbed the blood, sweat, and tears release. The new Kororaa is integrated into the LiveCD as well as now ATI Radeon fglrx (8.23.7) support and Intel DRI support. KDE has been updated to 3.5.2 as well as GNOME 2.14. A great deal of improvements have made to this LiveCD (and installable) distribution with the Xgl functionality. For those wishing to experiment with Xgl functionality from a LiveCD, Kororaa is certainly an excellent choice.
Not only is OpenSuSE v10.1 Beta 9 (and other distributions) being pushed out this week but also Ubuntu Dapper Drake Flight 6. While Dapper Drake was originally slated for an April launch, it has since been delayed to June 1st to yield greater time for quality assurance and corporate capabilities. Ubuntu Dapper Drake Flight 6 is home to a host of improvements. Among the improvements is the inclusion of GNOME v2.14.0, Deskbar, artwork improvements, Ubuntulooks GTK theme, notification framework improvements, and various other advancements by Mark Shuttleworth and his team.
While Linspire/Lindows can be considered a distribution oriented for those beginning the Linux adventure, up on the Linspire Italian mirrors is a new Beta release for Linspire v5.1 – surprisingly, the American site doesn't seem to be sporting this free access to the Beta program. While there are quite a few noticeable (and visual) improvements to Linspire v5.1.365, the Linux kernel used is 2.6.14 and it uses X.Org v6.9.0. While an experienced Linux user is best off looking elsewhere for their distribution mate, the beginner may find a comfortable niche using this Linux distribution, which shares traits from both Microsoft Windows and Macintosh OS X.
Nexenta, an operating system forged by using the Solaris kernel while tapping into the Debian and Ubuntu packages, has reached its Alpha 4 stage for Nexenta OS, with the codename being Elatte. This testing release provides massive cleanups of the userland, Nexenta OS installer, re-designed and optimized for speed, and Nexenta OS hardware database. In total, there are 3627 packages in Alpha 4. With this hybrid OS of GNU/Solaris, the results were quite interesting.
SLAX, the Linux LiveCD distribution that is known for its compact size and based upon Slackware, has reached version 5.0.8. In addition to the host of other variants – Standard, KillBill, Popcorn, and Frodo – the new special version to come out is a server edition. This new SLAX v5.0.8 Server provides support for DNS, DHCP, HTTP, FTP, MySQL, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, and SSH – all on a LiveCD weighing in at a mere 184MB. In addition, the server edition continues to ship with KDE v3.5.0 and it now uses the Linux 2.6.16 kernel. In addition to this new sever option, SLAX 5.0.8 features several new improvements and various fixes. SLAX is certainly one of the best light-weight KDE Linux distributions available.
Well well, the fifth installment of Fedora Core has been officially released. Although we have been covering the happenings with the Fedora Project at Phoronix, today we have the latest from its official launch. The codename for Fedora Core 5 is "Bordeaux" and among other new features to this release is a new Anaconda installer, Novell mono support, replacement of Up2date with Pirut/Pup, and the beginnings of the Fedora Rendering Project for desktop OpenGL effects. Some of the packages to be included in Fedora Core 5 is the Linux 2.6.15 kernel, X.Org v7.0, NetworkManager v0.6, and GNOME v2.14.0. Continue on as we investigate the happenings with this state-of-the-art release.
With CeBIT taking place this week, the German-based Kanotix has released a 2006 preview of this Linux distribution to display at this exhibition. We have obtained this Kanotix preview release and have a few shots of it here today. Kanotix 2006 CeBIT preview includes the Linux 188.8.131.52 kernel, NVIDIA LiveCD support, and the new Kanotix Control Center.
The fifth Alpha, or referred as Dapper Flight 5 by Shuttleworth's community, of Ubuntu v6.04 Dapper Drake has been released. With many of the low-level enhancements now complete, they have begun adding some finishing touches to this release scheduled for release in April 2006, although there has been some discussions of a possible delay in order to finalize a few finishing touches. Of the new noticeable improvements in this development build is a new installer splash screen, assistive technology available from the initial boot screen, new Ubuntulooks artwork and theme based upon a light brown version of Clearlooks, new icons, help menu resource, improved add/remove applications utility, Graphical Power Tools - gdebi, OpenOffice.org v2.0.2, and a graphical shutdown menu. Some of the packages making their way into Ubuntu v6.04 Flight 5 is GNOME v2.13.92, Linux 2.6.15 kernel, X.Org v7.0, Firefox v1.5, and AbiWord v2.4.2. Marking Flight 5 is the latest v6.04 builds of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and Edubuntu. Today we have taken quite a few shots to visually display some of these changes.
Released late last month by Japan's Alpha Systems was Accelerated Knoppix v1.0. Whether you are a die-hard Linux user, or even a Windows enthusiast, Knoppix is one of the most commonly known LiveCD Linux distributions. Japan's Alpha Systems have taken Knoppix v4.0 and constructed it into an efficient masterpiece. The developers have re-arranged the Cloop file system block and optimized the hardware detection and configuration process. This LiveCD can fully boot on a system in under 60 seconds! Accelerated Knoppix is certainly one of the fastest Linux distributions we have ever tried, and Alpha Systems have provided complete technical illustrations with their project. Accelerated Knoppix comes with the same programs as what is found on the CD variant of Knoppix v4.0.
Gentoo is one of the more popular Linux distributions with die-hard enthusiasts, while also being dubbed one of the hardest distributions to grasp. The team of Gentoo developers have announced the availability of Gentoo v2006.0 as we approach the end of February. Some of the improvements in Gentoo 2006.0 include KDE v3.4.3, GNOME v2.12.2, GCC v3.4.4, and the Linux 2.6.15 kernel. In addition, this premiere 2006 release includes many optimizations for various processing architectures. Today at Phoronix Gentoo v2006.0 is the focus of our spotlight.
GoblinX Mini, the distribution based off of GoblinX Premium, has reached version 1.2.2. Included in GoblinX Mini v1.2.2 is a new "liveupgrade" feature for remastering the entire Linux distribution, improvements to the "goinstall" script, corrected various small errors and corrections, and have shaped up into a fairly nice release and is the focus of the Phoronix spotlight today. GoblinX v1.2.2 also uses the Linux 2.6.15 kernel and X.Org v6.8.2, all of which is contained on the LiveCD with Xfce v4.2.2.
We at Phoronix have long been supporters of the Fedora Core Project since the release of Yarrow (Fedora Core 1) and continuing with Tettnang, Heidelberg, and Stentz. Sticking with Red Hat's 9-month release interval for the Fedora Project, we are on the heals of the Fedora Core 5 launch, which is expected to be released on March 15. Striking the Internet this week was the final test build of Fedora Core 5, which also marks the continual freeze of the development process except for fixing critical bugs. With that said, today we have delivered our first Phoronix examination of Fedora 5 as well as the first official benchmarks coming out for this next release. Our primary focus today is on its benchmarking performance with our long-standing platter of tests at Phoronix, as well as seeing if Fedora Core 5 is truly ready for prime time.
Berry Linux, the distribution based off of Fedora Core, has released version 0.67. Inside of this LiveCD is the Linux kernel 184.108.40.206, KDE v3.5.1, Kudzu v1.2.25, hwdata v0.174, and Firefox v220.127.116.11. The previous Fluxbox desktop environment has been replaced by a custom in-house window manager called Rasp-UI v0.01. In addition to providing all of the Linux and Fedora essentials, Berry v0.67 now includes WINE v0.9.2, GIMP, Inkspace, and Sylpheed.
Pentoo, a Network Security Consortium distribution based off of Gentoo, has released their Mini-Pentoo v2006.0 build. This distribution does include such packages as GAIM and Firefox, however, its key purpose is to provide elite applications and tools to perform penetration testing. Not only is this a great LiveCD security distribution, but it comes without many of the hassles beginning Linux users have faced when attempting to run Gentoo, and of course Emerge is included. Pentoo utilizes the Linux 2.6.14 kernel and Enlightenment environment. Some of the tools include changing a Windows NT password from a hard drive, changing or resetting CMOS passwords, John The Ripper, and Ethereal Network Sniffer.
Sticking with Novell's weekly BETA releases of SuSE/OpenSuSE v10.1 up to its February 16 release candidate, this week we experienced the launch of SuSE v10.1 OSS BETA 3 that is code-named Agama Lizard. In the release announcement no changes are directly mentioned, however, this latest BETA includes the Linux 2.6.16-rc1 kernel, X.Org v6.9.0, GNOME v18.104.22.168, and KDE v3.5.1. Looking over this release, there are a great deal of modifications in store from the present OpenSuSE v10.0 release.
SLAX, one of our favorite mini LiveCD distributions here at Phoronix, has released their v5.0.7 release. Contained in the Slackware-based SLAX Standard v5.0.7 is X.Org v6.9.0, KDE v3.5, Squashfs v3.0, and Linux kernel v2.6.15. Meanwhile, a whole list of changes have been added into this latest release, making it well worth checking out with everyone from the casual Linux user to even the Microsoft Windows folks.
The talented developers at Red Hat have unleashed Fedora Core 5 Test 2, after a one month delay due to development reasons. Making its way into FC5T2 is GNOME v2.13.4, KDE v3.5.0, Linux v2.6.15, and X.Org v7.0. Unlike some past Fedora builds, there is a great deal of changes in this development release on the road to Fedora 5, which is presently scheduled to make its debut this March. With the time we have spent thus far with Fedora Core 5, we can say it is very much worth trying out and is shaping up into becoming one of the best releases thus far.
The Dutch developers of Nonux have embarked upon yet another release. Enhanced in this v2.2 release is the Linux kernel 22.214.171.124, GNOME 2.12.2, OpenOffice 2.0.1, and vast improvements to the hard disk installer. This weekend we took Nonux v2.2 for a spin, but if you are interested in giving it a shot, remember to bring a translator.
Of the many abilities for Linux, one of its advantages is the ability to be localized to fit almost anyone's need from the Italian government to support in Indian languages for FOSS. One of the distributions to take aim at Indian users is IndLinux, which has recently released its first BETA for the upcoming v1.0 Rangoli. IndLinux Rangoli serves as a LiveCD with support for both GNOME and KDE along with multilingual capabilities (Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, Gujarati and Punjabi, Nepali, and Dzongkha). Unlike many distributions which is based off of the ever popular Knoppix, IndLinux swears by Morphix. Packaged in this first BETA is the Linux 2.6.11 kernel, OpenOffice 2.0, X.Org 6.8.2, GNOME 2.10.1, and KDE 3.4.3.
Just before the clock struck midnight on December 31, the German developers of Kanotix released their v2005-04 Linux build. Contained in this release is the Linux kernel 126.96.36.199, X.Org 6.8.2 (with support for X.Org 6.9), KDE 3.4.3, and a wealth of other updates, patches, and new implementations. However, what has everyone talking about Kanotix is its superb hardware detection and auto-configuration abilities on all sorts of i686 and x86_64 hardware for being a LiveCD with HDD installer support. Being Linux-based hardware connoisseurs we couldn't help but to take Kanotix v2005-04 for a test drive.
For your viewing pleasure today we took a look at BeleniX v0.3, which is based upon OpenSolaris and mutated into a LiveCD. This latest release includes a new hdinstaller utility and miscellaneous other enhancements. GtK+ v2.8.6 managed to make its way into this release as well as Xfce v4.2.3 and v6.9 CVS of Xorg, which 7.0/6.9.0 were finally released recently after no major release in over a decade. BeleniX is a growing distribution that certainly has possibilities and is our focus of attention today.
MediainLinux, a Linux distribution formed in Italy and based upon the popular Knoppix, is different from other LiveCDs as it aims to offer a wide collection of FOSS audio, video, and graphics software. With this multimedia software MediainLinux Version 4 RC5, which was released on Christmas of this year, shapes up to be a enticing GNOME-optimized distribution.
With the number of fresh Linux installs we perform on a weekly basis with a variety of hardware, simply using the stock install CDs have become a sizable task due to the number of FOSS updates available on a daily basis. In fact, alone on Red Hat's servers and mirrors are over 839 updates just for the FC4 i386 architecture! Although the Red Hat Up2date process is relatively easy to perform the process can be quite time consuming even with an Up2date server running on the LAN. To fix the updating issue, as well as to provide a few other Phoronix additions, we have begun to re-master the Fedora Core 4 (Stentz) build. We share a few steps to the re-mastering process today in this guide.
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