It is time yet again where the next Fedora Core installment (this time, Core 6) begins to grab the attention of red-hat-wearing penguins and other GNU/Linux enthusiasts. Yesterday was the inaugural test release of Fedora Core 6, which is targeted at die-hard Fedorians, and any other users wishing to get a glimpse at what Fedora Core 6 will hold in store. Of course, Fedora Core 6 Test 1 is not a stable release for use with production machines, so proceed at your own risk. We have been experimenting with Fedora Core 6 Test 1 for about 24 hours now, and have a few thoughts to share. Fedora Core 4 Stentz shaped up to be a competitive release, and Fedora Core 5 Bordeaux continues to be one of the best Linux distributions to date, so how will Fedora Core 6 fare in this competitive open-source world?
SimplyMEPIS v6.0 Beta 5 has been released, after the availability of Ubuntu v6.06 Dapper Drake LTS, for which MEPIS is now based upon rather than the Debian pool. A few other changes can be found in SimplyMEPIS 6 Beta 5, which we have visually covered today.
Knoppix, one of the most popular GNU/Linux LiveCD distributions, has officially released version 5.0. Knoppix v5.0.1 for both the CD and DVD variants bring fourth a host of new improvements -- including the Linux 2.6.17 kernel, X.Org v7.0.0, KDE 3.5.2, and GNOME 2.12.0. At Phoronix we have taken a quick look at the LiveCD of Knoppix 5.0.1.
Ubuntu, one of the most widely known desktop Linux distributions -- thanks in part to it being Mark Shuttleworth's creation -- is quickly approaching the version 6.06 Dapper Drake release. After a delay and other headaches, the release candidate for Ubuntu Dapper Drake had shipped last night. This Ubuntu 6.06 release scheduled for a final version coming out on June 1, is gearing up to be one of the best desktop Linux distributions for personal and enterprise use to date. The Ubuntu Desktop LiveCD has also matured quite nicely into one of the best for live general usage.
After being dormant for several months, it seems that Symphony OS 2006-05 Beta has been released -- which signifies the first release in nearly six months. Contained in this release are several improvements from the previous 2005 release. If you will recall from our initial Symphony Beta investigation, it features its own desktop environment -- Mezzo -- and the focus of this operating system is at beginning PC users. Certainly its appearance makes it attractive to the new users.
With JavaOne taking place this week at the Moscone Center, there has been lots of Java-related announcements from Sun announcing the open-sourcing of the language, to the launch of LG3D LiveCD v2.5 Looking Glass. For those that haven't tampered with Project Looking Glass, it is a Java-written 3D environment that is currently running upon the Slackware-derivative-derivative SLAX. In this v2.5 release is LG3D version 0.8.0 RC1, Java 6, Java3D 1.5.0, and a lot of other changes. Today we have taken an interesting look at this attempt for 3D desktop nirvana.
While Fedora Core 5 had only come out almost two months ago, we are already geared up for Fedora Core 6. However, with Fedora Core 6 Test 1 not being released until June 14, being the Red Hat fanatics that we are, we have built Fedora Rawhide on May 16, 2006 to show the changes made thus far. While many packages still need to be worked on, we are certainly excited for what is to come of the next Fedora release -- which is tentatively scheduled for September 20, 2006. Continue on with our Fedora Core Rawhide 2006-05-16 adventure with both KDE and GNOME.
CentOS, the popular Linux distribution designed for servers that is largely based off of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, has this morning delivered CentOS v4.3 LiveCD. Yes, this is the first time the CentOS team has created a LiveCD product for the masses. This newly spun open-source LiveCD derivative is based off of the CentOSPlus kernel and the CentOS 4.3 distribution, The primary goals for this LiveCD attempt are for workstation use. At Phoronix we have given this new release a try, and we were quite pleased with what the CentOS development team had presented.
Ubuntu, one of the Linux distributions leading the desktop movement by Mark Shuttleworth, has come out this morning with Flight 7 for Ubuntu v6.06 Dapper Drake. Contained in this release are LiveCD installer improvements, updated multimedia framework, additional look and feel polish, latest version of popular applications, and other minor improvements. While it is relatively stable and almost the final version, it is still not recommended to install Flight 7 on production machines. We at Phoronix have coverage from Ubuntu Dapper Drake Flight 7.
A new stable version of SLAX, the Slackware-based mini distribution using KDE, had been released. In all editions of the new SLAX v5.1.4 is KDE v3.5.2, KOffice v1.5.0, added support for two new file systems, and a great deal of other improvements. For those SLAX lovers, this new release weighing in under 200MB is certainly worth the bandwidth.
The group behind Ark Linux have come out with a LiveCD derivative of the Ark Linux distribution. While still considered in Alpha stages, Ark Linux LiveCD certainly was interesting especially with its design of being used for system recovery and demonstration purposes. The LiveCD variant is also designed to replicate the software inside of the traditional install CD.
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 22.214.171.124 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 126.96.36.199 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.
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