[conspire] Distros at tomorrow's CABAL meeting

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Jun 23 23:02:32 PDT 2006

I've burned a bunch more CDs in preparation for tomorrow's CABAL
meeting.  Most of these are OK to duplicate and redistribute, so bring

o  Ubuntu (GNOME), Ubuntu Server, Kubuntu (KDE), and Xubuntu (Xfce):  v. 6.06 
   LTS "Dapper Drake", each edition in "Desktop" (GUI-installable live CD) and
   "Alternate" (ncurse-based install/update disk) variants, and each
   available for i386, AMD64, and PowerPC.  Also, there's a brand-new
   officially-released Ubuntu Server disk for SPARC(!).  All told, that's
   a lot of CDs, let me tell you -- and I now have all of them burned.
   (I'm not bothering to download Edubuntu images, for now -- that being
   the edition with "educational" packages.)

   Dapper took a big PR hit after release, because some people had 
   problems with the "Desktop" disk's new GUI installer (though 
   there's nothing wrong with the other disk's ncurses-based one),
   Some ATI-video users had video-artifacts and other problems, and
   a few people had GNOME printing problems.  This is all pretty 
   trivial stuff to fix, I'm guessing, but it's a mark of Ubuntu's 
   prestige that unwary novice users are being drawn to it, and have
   both high expectations and vanishingly small frustration tolerances.

   It's worth noting, for any who haven't yet heard this, that
   Ubuntu/Ubuntu Server/Kubuntu/Xubuntu/Edubuntu all share the exact
   same distribution core, each coming by default with a superstructure
   of "desktop" packages that gives it its name.  Those superstructures
   can also be installed a la carte.

o  SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.1 release candidate 2.5 for i386.
   This is brand-new, and was probably what wowed the crowd at BALUG,
   earlier this week.  Novell has been doing a _great_ deal of work
   on its desktop software.

   _Some_ of the latest SUSE 10.x releases and betas have likewise 
   gotten bad PR because of nasty problems such as the YAST2 
   administrative utility being painfully slow on account of a new
   and insufficiently well debugged package database back-end.  I'm
   guessing that RC (release candidate) 2.5 was rushed out the door
   on June 8 largely to address those problems in RC1.  They're 
   obviously aiming for a public release within a month.

o  SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 Service Pack 3.  I have this for 
   i386 and x86_64 ("AMD64").  

o  KANOTIX 2006 "Easter Edition" RC4.  This is one of the two leading 
   non-Kubuntu KDE-based live CDs, based on Debian-unstable aka "sid", 
   so I've downloaded its latest prerelease.  i586.

o  SimplyMEPIS 6.0 RC2 (i586).  This is the other one, and again I've
   snagged its latest prerelease.  Both Kanotix and MEPIS are usually
   excellent bets for (in particular) cranky laptops that other distros
   stumble over, even Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu [etc.].

   Note that "SimplyMEPIS" and "MEPIS" are effectively the same thing,
   though the former name's official:  In 2006, author Warren Woodford
   tried to separate "MEPIS" into "SimplyMEPIS" and "ProMEPIS" variants,
   but the latter died after a couple of betas.

o  Damn Small Linux 3.0.1.  Admirably compact Debian-based desktop
   distro furnished as a live CD, installable, excellent on antique, 
   slow, low-RAM machines.  i386.

o  RHEL3 Update 7 and RHEL4 Update 3 for i386 and x86_64.  I have 
   all these burned to disk even though RHEL3 U8 and RHEL4 U4 will
   replace them in mid-July.

I realise the above is (mostly) the CABAL Usual Suspects, and it's not
like I'm opposed to using anything else.  For one thing, we shouldn't 
forget Fedora Core.  I have DVD ISOs of FC5 for i386 and x86_64, but
never seem to have those in the same location as a DVD burner.  (Same
story for the DVD edition of Knoppix 5.0.1.)  That seems to be about to
happen again, so if someone else has media, please bring them.

I also have nothing against Mandriva (version "2007 Alpha" just out,
"Mandrive One 2006" currently downloadable -- but don't happen to have
media for anything beyond Mandriva One 2005.

I'm completely confused about what editions of SUSE do and don't exist,
any more.  SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop came out of nowhere.  Does that
replace Novell Linux Desktop; if not, how do they differ?  Are there
stil distinct "Eval", "OSS", and "Retail" editions?  (I think there are.)

For the sake of variety, I'd love to promote some of the less-popular 
but still excellent distributions, such as Slackware, CentOS,
PCLinuxOS, SLAX, Ark Linux, Gentoo, GeeXboX, MoviX, and dyne:bolic, but
nobody seems to ask for them, and my burned media get wasted.  (If
you've never heard of the latter three, they're multimedia distros.)

Anyhow, I'll see everyone tomorrow afternoon.

Rick Moen                      "vi is my shepherd; I shall not font."
rick at linuxmafia.com                               -- Psalm 0.1 beta

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