Kate OS, the Linux distribution designed for just about everyone ranging from programmers to home-users, have released their 2.2 version. Contained in this release is the 2.6.13 kernel with Reiser 4 file-system support along with the GTK+ v2.8.3 library and support for GNOME 2.12, however, XFCE continues to be the default desktop environment of choice. As always, Kate OS developers have done a magnificent job on the default theme.
Designed primarily for desktop deployment throughout South Africa, OpenLab GNU/Linux is designed to be an easy-to-use Slackware-based LiveCD distribution with a variety of exclusive innovations. OpenLab's latest release, 4.0 - Perdita, features a greatly improved OpenLab Administration tool, HyperDrive Suite, and the award winning Nuvola icon set. Although this was our first encounter with OpenLab, we were quite pleased by our initial findings.
After a preview release and multiple colony development builds, Ubuntu Linux has finally released v5.10 (Breezy Badger). Looking at this release first hand, it continues to look incredibly promising for the GNU/Linux movement and we hope that Mark Shuttleworth continues to invest in this valuable commodity. Some of the major improvements to Ubuntu 5.10 include thin client integration, OEM installer support, and Launchpad integration. Other advancements include GNOME 2.12.1, OpenOffice.org 2.0 BETA 2, GCC 4.0.1, and a wealth of other improvements to the hardware support and usability.
SME Server, formerly known as e-Smith, has released its fifth BETA for the upcoming v7.0 release. Among many improvements to the language translations and enhanced server controls, there is numerous installer changes and DNS improvements. SME Server/e-Smith has been at work since 1999 on creating a reliable distribution for handling small to medium enterprise server needs and SME Server v7.0 Beta 5 is very evident of their hard work at hand, and today we have some new snapshots from their web-interface.
Ark Linux, a distribution aiming to hit the systems of desktop users, has released its 2005.2-rc3 candidate that now encompasses a predecease of KDE 3.5 and a GNU compiler for the D programming language. From our initial encounter with Ark 2005.2 we've been impressed by its optimizations for use as a desktop system as well as various other improvements. This distribution is attempting to make it so easy to install and operate, a game of Tetrix is even playable while installing the data to your hard drive.
Last week Puppy Linux v1.0.5 was released, which contained a wealth of changes while continuing to be minimal in size. Today another minimalist distribution came out with a new release and it's the Slackware-based pocketlinux v1.3, which finally incorporates KDE v3.4.2, among many other improvements. This bantam release also appends French language support as well as improvements to fbpanel and the standard development packages.
Quite often we enjoy trying out new and unique Linux distributions not only to express our eternal love for open-source software but more importantly to see how various distributions compare to our personal favorites, and to see the progress Linux is making for desktop usage. The latest of these distributions to hit our systems is Puppy Linux; which recently experienced its v1.0.5 release. In addition to the DotPup Downloader there is the new Wireless Access Gadget, puppyPDF, and a wealth of other Puppy advancements. Today we're sharing our first looks at this lightweight distribution weighing in at a measly 53.4MB.
Hours ago, a new version of Berry Linux was released, and for those un-familiar with this LiveCD distribution, it's based upon Red Hat Linux (Fedora) as well as the Debian-based Knoppix. Some of these updates in the latest v0.62 release include Mozilla Firefox 1.0.6, GCC 4.0.1, KDE 3.4.2, and the 220.127.116.11 kernel. Coming out from our initial encounter with Berry Linux, we have some new screenshots from this latest v0.62 release.
Commemorating the fifth anniversary of the SmoothWall firewall comes the long over-due Express 3.0 (Grizzly) Alpha 1 release. Among other vast improvements, SmoothWall Express 3 now utilizes the Linux 2.6.12 kernel and features a new open architecture so developers can easily add additional security components to SmoothWall. For your viewing pleasure, we've posted some screenshots of the administrative web-interface from SmoothWall Express 3.
When a Linux LiveCD distribution is needed for a thumb drive, we generally turn to SLAX due to its exceptional reliability and variety of packages while keeping to a diminutive size. Earlier this morning SLAX 5.0.6 has finally been released. Continue on to visually see all of the improvements made in this version of SLAX. Some of the updates include KDE 3.4.1 and the Linux 18.104.22.168 kernel.
The second developer snapshot, Colony 2, for the upcoming Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger) has now been released. In our initial testing, we found it to be plagued with relatively major bugs, however it included GCC 4.0.0, GNOME 2.11.1, Linux 22.214.171.124 kernel, and ALSA 1.0.9. Breezy Badger still appears to be a promising Ubuntu milestone for Linux users; if the developers can manage to work out all of flaws in time for the October 2005 release. Here are some screenshots to see the status of Breezy Badger.
RedHat Fedora users around the world can finally celebrate that FedoraCore4 has finally been released; after a few unexpected delays. The reason for this last one-week delay was reportedly due to some "legal reasons" with the new FC4 codename (Stentz). Some of the major updates in FC4 include GNOME 2.10, KDE 3.4, GCC 4.0, and even Xen. If you simply can't withstand the wait for your download to finish, or you happen to be a screenshot junky, feel free to look at our FC4 final screenshots.
Every day a number of different Linux distributions premiere or are simply updated. With many of these releases being relatively similar to each other and not offering any major advancements, a portion of them go un-heard. MEPIS has recently released SimplyMEPIS 3.3.1 which is the focus of these screenshots today. Updates include Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0, improved USB support, and a Debian pool package update.
Ever since Microsoft had released information regarding Avalon with its 3D support, the graphics subsystem that is going to be used by the Longhorn, more enthusiasts have been after 3D desktops. Project Looking Glass (LG3D), a 3D windowing and visualization project devised by the developers at Sun Microsystems and community supporters, was what had caught our attention (due to the Linux support) regarding the future of computer desktops. As stated by the LG3D project page, its intention is to break the boundaries of the "2D-ness" for current generation desktop environments and the way desktops evolve. On May 13, 2005, Big Linux, a relatively un-heard of Portuguese based Linux distribution, released its new version, 2.1. This is the FIRST Linux distribution to offer out-of-the-box 3D Desktop capabilities in both GNOME and KDE. At Phoronix, we have pictures to display our findings, keep in mind, we found this release to be INCREDIBLY slow and extremely buggy (even limiting the potential of these screenshots).
Of all the active Linux distributions, one of our favorite LiveCD distributions for general usage has been Knoppix. This Debian based distribution has been around for quite a while and has proved to be a success for not only system recovery but also all sorts of other operations. Here at Phoronix we have documented our findings in screenshots for the newly released Knoppix 3.8.2. Some of the new key features in this update includes the revival of MadWifi (802.11 drivers for Atheros cards), 2.6.11 kernel update, and a new knoppix-installer.
At Phoronix, we are constantly asked "What Linux distro do you prefer, and why?" As any frequent visitor probably realizes, most of our testbeds are loaded with Red Hat's Fedora as that what we had settled for after several months of testing different distributions such as Slackware, SuSE, Mandrake, MEPIS, Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, and the list goes on. Surprisingly enough, one of the distributions we never tried was Linspire, formerly known as Lindows, which is said to be "The Worlds Easiest Desktop Linux." Today, we will be trying Linspire's latest release, Linspire Five-0.
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