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 September 2000 Linux Journal

The September issue of Linux Journal is on newsstands now. This issue focuses on embedded systems. Click here to view the table of contents, or here to subscribe.

All articles through December 1999 are available for public reading at http://www.linuxjournal.com/lg-issues/mags.html. Recent articles are available on-line for subscribers only at http://interactive.linuxjournal.com/.

 Embedded Linux Journal

We're excited to introduce a Linux Journal supplemental issue which will hit the streets October 10, 2000: Embedded Linux Journal. In this upcoming special issue you can look forward to conversations about:

Current Linux Journal subscribers who live within North America will receive this special supplement at no additional charge. This issue will also be heavily distributed at upcoming trade shows, other industry events, and to targeted mailing lists.

We hope you enjoy this special issue. We welcome feedback.

Distro News


OREM, UT--July 25, 2000--Caldera Systems, Inc. today announced the availability of the Linux 2.4 Technology Developer Release Preview. This developer's preview enables early software development with a beta version of the new Linux 2.4 kernel, Sun Microsystems' Java HotSpot technology and glibc 2.1.91, KDE 2.0 Development Snapshot with the Konqueror web browser. Anchordesk UK's Evan Leibovitch did a review of the product.

Caldera acquires SCO -- OREM, UT--August 2, 2000--Caldera Systems, Inc. and The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc., (SCO), today announced that Caldera Systems has entered into an agreement to acquire the SCO Server Software Division and the Professional Services Division. The Professional Services Division will operate as a separate business unit of Caldera, to provide services to meet the Internet and eBusiness infrastructure needs of customers. The new company will offer the industry's first comprehensive Open Internet Platform (OIP) combining Linux and UNIX server solutions and services globally. The OIP provides commercial customers and developers with a single platform that can scale from the thinnest of clients to the clustering needs of the largest data center.

OREM, UT and SANTA CRUZ, CA-July 18, 2000-Caldera Systems, Inc. , and Tarantella, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc., today announced the first bundling of Tarantella Web-enabling software in the Linux space. This solution, Caldera OpenLinux Application Server with Tarantella, provides centralized management and deployment of applications on a fast, stable and low-cost platform simplifying IT responsibilities while reducing business costs. OpenLinux Application Server enables authorized users with a Java technology-enabled browser to run existing Windows, Linux and UNIX applications through the company's local area network or remotely through the Internet - even on a dial-up connection. In addition, companies can instantly deliver new Web-based and existing legacy applications to their users without code rewrites.

OREM, UT-July 18, 2000-Caldera Systems, Inc. today began shipping its first computer-based training (CBT) product - Quick Start to Linux. Quick Start is self-paced with hands-on, guided demonstrations including the preparation of a Windows-based machine for a Linux installation, the install itself and the navigation of Linux desktops. In addition, Caldera's Quick Start CBT identifies business solutions using Linux while providing historical Linux information.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (July 25, 2000) - InterLan Technologies, a managed server provider (MSP), announced today it has formed a strategic alliance with Caldera Systems. InterLan selected Caldera to provide the Linux operating systems in its state-of-the-art Internet Utility Center, as well as for its QuickStart(tm) program, an industry-first program that gets premium managed servers up and running the same day an order is placed.


Debian GNU/Linux 2.2, the "Joel 'Espy' Klecker" release.

The Debian Project is pleased to announce the latest release of the Debian GNU/Linux Operating System. This release has been in development for approximately 18 months, and has been extensively tested by several thousand developers and end-users.

With the addition of the PowerPC and ARM architectures, Debian GNU/Linux now supports a total of six architectures -- more than any other distribution. Packages for all architectures are built from the same source packages. Debian GNU/Linux now runs on iMacs and Netwinders, and of course Intel PC's, Sun SPARCs, Alphas, and older Macintosh and Amiga hardware are still supported.

Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 features a more streamlined and polished installation, including automatic network setup via DHCP, a simplified software selection process (just indicate the tasks your Debian GNU/Linux system will be used for), and a simplified configurator for the X Window System. Debian GNU/Linux can be installed via CD, or from the network and a few floppies:

For detailed documentation about installing and upgrading Debian GNU/Linux, please see http://www.debian.org/releases/2.2/.

Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 is dedicated to the memory of Joel "Espy" Klecker, a Debian developer who, unbeknownst to most of the Debian Project, was bedridden and fighting a disease known as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy during most of his involvement with Debian. Only now is the Debian Project realizing the extent of his dedication, and the friendship he bestowed upon us. So as a show of appreciation, and in memory of his inspirational life, this release of Debian GNU/Linux is dedicated to him.


KONDARA MNU/LINUX 2000 claims to be the first and only multilingual distribution on a single binary. While other major Linux distributions have multilingual support, you have to completely reinstall Linux to switch to a new language. Kondara, on the other hand, lets you read, write, edit and print in Japanese, English, Chinese, Spanish or over 40 other languages all on the same desktop. "One World, One Version."

Kondara also offers multi-platform support on a single source code. Now users can make a single change to the source code and have it affect both the Alpha and Intel platforms.

The kernel is 2.2.16


 Linux for Windows

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana-July 18, 2000-Macmillan announces the update to their popular Linux® for Windows® product is currently available in stores. With this software, first-time Linux users can try the Linux environment without losing the Windows® functionality that they are familiar with. Linux for Windows 7.1 includes the Linux-Mandrake 7.1 operating system, most noted for its ease of use and user-friendly tools.

The technology included with Linux for Windows 7.1 removes the need for disk partitioning or reformatting, thus making an excellent gateway for new users interested in Linux. Free 24-hour technical support is also provided via Internet and fax for installation issues.


Argent Resources Ltd. has signed an agreement dated July 12, 2000, with Lute Linux.com Corp. that will result in Argent acquiring 100% control of Lute. Completion of the transaction is subject to shareholder approval on a majority of the minority basis, CDNX acceptance and the resulting company meeting minimum listing requirements as a Tier 2, Category 3 Technology Issuer. http://www.argentresources.com/news/071200.asp

LuteLinux.com has been voted site of the month by InternetBrothers.com in the Helpware and Community category. According ro InternetBrothers.com, the main crieteria for this honour is a "sound functional interface". InternetBrothers.com strongly believes that "A primary key to any successful web site is the user interface."

Features that make LuteLinux exceptional are their commitment to the Linux community, and their fostering of interactive information exchange with that community. They also provide useful tips and information for the non-Linux user, helping to open Linux up to a wider audience. LuteLinux.com is committed to bringing Linux knowledge to the businessman, hobbiest, and newbie alike.


San Jose, August 14, 2000 - MandrakeSoft, announced that Linux-Mandrake, has been ported to Sun Microsystems' SPARC(tm) and UltraSPARC(tm) platforms. Based on the Linux-Mandrake 7.1, the Corporate Server 1.0 provides all the tools needed to rapidly and easily set up the main server functions. WizDrake assistants will additionally guide the user in setting up a full range of services and applications like e-mail, Web servers, firewalls and routers.


Progeny Linux Systems is a new company headed by Ian Murdock (Debian founder) and Bruce Perens (former Debian head guy).

Progeny is doing two things:

a.) Progeny Debian - a stripped down version of Debian with some improvements like the installer, based on extensive testing of the latest version. Progeny Debian will have limited circulation in pre-loads, downloads, and (probably) with third party companies. Progeny won't be selling it directly in the stores, although the third parties might be. Basically, Progeny Debian's main use will be as a basis for Linux NOW.

b.) Linux NOW (Network of Workstations) - an Open Source product.

More information can be found at http://www.progenylinux.com/news, and in the /debian and /now pages.

Debian Founder Launches Commercial Company (Linux Magazine article)

 Red Hat

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.--July 10, 2000--Red Hat, Inc. today announced the Red Hat High Availability Server 1.0, a specialized version of Red Hat Linux 6.2.

Red Hat High Availability Server is an out-of-the-box clustering solution that delivers dynamic load balancing, improved fault tolerance and scalability of TCP/IP based applications. It lets users combine individual servers into a cluster, resulting in highly available access to critical network resources such as data, applications, network services, and more. If one server in the cluster fails, another will automatically take over its workload.

The Red Hat High Availability Server has built-in security features designed to withstand common attacks. Systems Administrators can setup sand traps, providing for redirection of IP traffic from a potential attacker to a secure address. Out of the box, finger, talk, wall, and other daemons are disabled or not installed. In addition, multiple traffic routing and scheduling techniques along with virtual IP addresses allow you to create a security barrier for your network.


Rock Linux is a distribution that's "harder to install" than the others.

There, did that get your attention? If so, Rock Linux may be for you. It aims to be "sysadmin friendly" rather than "user friendly", to get out of the way as much as possible from between you and your applications. This means you configure the system using Unix's traditional command-line interface and shell scripts. Oh yes, X-windows is included.

Serious geeks will love the fact that you get to compile your own distribution (optionally putting it on a CD) before installing it.



[I'd really like to see an article or some Mailbag items about people's experience with this. Has anybody tried it? -Ed.]


Slackware 7.1 is out at www.slackware.com and mirrors.


VANCOUVER, British Columbia--Stormix Technologies Inc., announces the launch of Storm Linux 2000 Starter Edition. The Storm Linux 2000 Starter Edition provides Windows® users who want to try Linux with a full featured, easy-to-install distribution at a low cost. This new product is intended for people who want to easily access the power of Linux without an abundance of third party software. The Storm Linux 2000 Starter Edition is the first member of the Storm Linux 2000 family based on Debian/GNU Linux 2.2 ("Potato").

The Duke of URL has a review of Storm Linux 2000.

August 10 -- Vancouver, British Columbia -- Stormix Technologies Inc., today announced the launch of Storm FirewallTM, a flexible, scalable network security solution targeted at small office and home office (SOHO) users.

Storm Firewall is the first in a line of dedicated network products from StormixTM. Capitalizing on the natural protective features of Linux, it is one of the most powerful tools available for network protection. Storm Firewall uses a graphical user interface to simplify the once complex process of installing a Linux firewall. The choice of simple options or advanced setup gives users ultimate control over network traffic. In addition, users will benefit from IP masquerading which allows for multiple computers to share a single Internet connection.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - User Friendly Media Inc. and Stormix Technologies Inc. today announced an agreement for the sponsorship of the inaugural three month's publication of an online interactive newsletter for fans of the popular UserFriendly.org IT Web site. The e-mail newsletter, known as The Static Cling, offers subscribers access to several exclusive features, including unique cartoons and artwork, a trivia contest with prizes and links to a threaded comment section. UserFriendly.org is the leading online entertainment and community destination for the global IT community.



The German version of SuSE Linux 7.0 is out. The English version will ship in September.

English version: http://www.suse.com

German version: http://www.suse.de/ http://www.suse.de/de/produkte/susesoft/linux/index.html


We are proud to announce the release of Trustix Secure Linux 1.1. You can download it at: http://www.trustix.net/download/ or directly from http://www.trustix.net/mirrors.php3.

This is primarily a maintainence release, but some new features like database support and improved mail filtering have been added. In addition we've added Lynx with SSL support and various other utilities to simplify the every day maintainance of your server.

Trustix Secure Linux is a Linux distribution aimed towards the server market.

For a more complete list of features, please see http://www.trustix.net/products/trustix-1.1/

Unix phoenix. On Unix openness, Unix history, and Linux. Another Anchordesk UK article by Evan Leibovitch.

News in General

 Upcoming conferences & events

O'Reilly's conference next year on emerging enterprise-class Java applications has a call for papers. Submission deadline is September 15, 2000.

Linux Business Expo
(co-located with Networld + Interop event)
September 26-28, 2000
Atlanta, GA

Atlanta Linux Showcase
October 10-14, 2000
Atlanta, GA

November 8-10, 2000
San Jose, CA

Linux Business Expo
(co-located with COMDEX event)
November 13-17, 2000
Las Vegas, NV

USENIX Winter - LISA 2000
December 3-8, 2000
New Orleans, LA

LinuxWorld Conference & Expo
January 30 - February 2, 2001
New York, NY

 $399 Linux computer with monitor

July 17, 2000- Introducing the PortalPC, our new solution to the computing and networking market. After thorough development and extensive testing, we are proud to bring to the consumer this revolutionary new product. The unique design of the PortalPC gives the users numerous options and versatility with their computing needs without the expense. With a starting price of $149.99, this computer is a perfect base for all of the functions a traditional PC can provide. Complete packages that include CD-ROM, Floppy, 4.3GB HD, 15 Monitor, 32 Mb PC100 Ram, Keyboard, Mouse and free copy of Red Hat 6.2 start at $399.99. The on-board technology includes, 10/100 network card, Dual USB, PS/2 port, Parallel port, Com port, VGA display, Disk On Chip Socket 8 to 144Mb and PC/104 16BIT Expansion Connector. This unique configuration enables the PortalPC to be uniquely small (approximately 12x5x9). Using the PortalPC to build your private network, you can have 6 workstations at the cost of a traditional tower computer.


 Linux Square

ITsquare.com is pleased to announce the launch of Linux Square, a supplement to the existing b2b marketplace for IT services at http://www.ITsquare.com/. Linux Square provides access to scores of established Linux development firms. Through use of a web-based framework, clients are able to securely and efficiently procure the development of Linux applications.


Helsinki, Finland and Carlisle, Massachusetts, USA--August 9, 2000--MySQL AB and Sleepycat Software, Inc. today announced the release of MaxSQL, a new Open Source, high performance, and fully transactional SQL server. MaxSQL, developed jointly by the two companies, combines the industry-standard interface of MySQL's data access language with the high-performance transaction services of Sleepycat’s Berkeley DB. MaxSQL is available immediately via download at no charge from www.maxsql.com.

MaxSQL is the first Open Source relational database engine to offer the reliability, scalability, and performance that commercial users demand. The software provides the ability to perform transactions with full recoverability for committed changes. It manages databases up to 256 terabytes in size, accommodates many concurrent users, and survives power failure or system crashes without losing data. Those features, combined with MySQL's enormous popularity make MaxSQL a potent threat in the SQL marketplace.

The full source code for MaxSQL is available for download at www.maxsql.com. The software is distributed under the GNU Public License (GPL).

 The Napster battle has implications for free-software developers

Salon article: "As the long arm of the law reaches Napster and its lookalikes, programmers could be held responsible for what others do with their code."

"Free speech, copyright, piracy and the fundamental nature of source code -- ever since the Internet began its surge to cultural and economic prominence, these concepts have swirled around each other in a confusing and contradictory morass. Now, in courtrooms from coast to coast, judges are attempting to bring order to the burgeoning online chaos. And from the first indications, programmer freedom may end up coming under the most sustained assault yet seen."

"We are on the verge of defining software and determining the responsibility of software developers to control the uses of their work."


 Linux Brains Sought for New Tech Support Site

August 15, 2000, Vancouver, BC -- IQLinux.com has launched a new technical support website for the global pool of independent Linux experts to meet the support need of Linux users.

"IQLinux.com is a combination of Ebay and Onvia.com for the Linux community. The site's potential is like a rocket and I encourage Linux enthusiasts to take a ride", said Mark Kuharich, publisher and editor of Softwareview.com.

IQLinux.com membership is free. The site's seamless negotiation process fully manages the negotiation of open source products and their supporting services.

IQLinux.com's combined features make it a unique opportunity for the Linux community to interact. It allows members to easily form business relationships, manage virtual consulting teams, negotiate agreements and contracts, set prices, define deliverables and carry out technical support transactions, while being assured of payment.

 Overseas internships for Canadian nationals

Hello from Ottawa. I am the recruiting officer for NetCorps Canada with Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO Canada). Currently I have 2 6-month internships open to Canadian citizens or landed immigrants between the ages of 19-30 to go overseas in September. On is for a linux administrator to go to Jamaica for 6 months, the other is for someone with e-commerce skills to go to Guyana for 6 months.

Interested applicants should forward their CV and brief cover letter to Wendy Street, NetCorps Program Officer, VSO Canada. Applicants who are accepted need to be prepared to leave no later than September 20th, 2000. wendys@vsocan.com, fax: +1 (613) 234-1444, http://www.vsocan.com

 "Dilbert Killer" on-line games

User Friendly Media Inc., and SuSE Linux announced the launch of the first in a series of challenging and diverse on-line games currently under development for the new game section on UserFriendly.org.

"This first game focuses on geek trivia and allows our very intellectual audience to compete head on in a variety of challenging information categories. The combatants move up the pyramid until there is only one... there can be only one", said Wildcard, lead coder for User Friendly Media Inc. and creator of "Pyramid of Trivia".

The site also has an animated cartoon series now. This caused technicians to scramble for 300 GB of additional bandwidth for the debut. (Requires Flash player; episode 1 is 2.5 MB / 7 minutes.)

 Linux Links

The age of cyborgs is coming closer. "Scientists are attempting to create molecular electronic circuits using DNA. They say that they could potentially create circuits 10,000 times smaller than with current technology." Yahoo via Slashdot.

www.linuxlookup.com is "Your Source For Reviews, HOWTOs, Guides & Gear".

A searchable distribution database.

SiliconPenguin.com is an index of information on embedded Linux. The information is not gathered by web spiders, but by humans who evaluate each link.

LinuxLinks.com now has a web-based calendar.

The Duke of URL articles:

Linux laptop info. Another laptop page. (Turn off Java for the second one to avoid Geocities popups.)

Sony plans a notebook computer with Transmeta's Crusoe chip and a digital camera by year's end. http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-2523739.html

Linux Means Business is a collection of articles on how businesses can make use of Linux.

Hardware-Unlimited has lots of reviews about video cards and other hardware. Includes a price comparision guide of graphics cards and dealers. Here's a review of the D-Link MP3 player.

How Linux's falling stock prices are only temporary. (Anchordesk UK article by Charles Babcock)

Complete Reference Guide to Creating a Remote Log Server. LinuxSecurity article. Note that this is "log" in the sense of "logging error messages to a file", not "logging in remotely".

The Right to Read by RMS is a short science-fiction story about the implications of widespread anti-piracy measures on electronic books.

www.wininformant.com is a source of information on Microsoft's activities. The site has a pro-MS bent, but is honest about MS's shortcomings. One article the persistent rumor that MS is porting Office applications to Linux, which the company denies it is doing. Meanwhile, CNET news.com attempts to sort out the rumors.

Software Announcements


I am pleased to announce the first public release of FIASCO.

FIASCO is an image and video compression system for low bit-rates based on fractal coding which outperforms the well known JPEG and MPEG standards. License GPL.

FIASCO consists of command line applications (like cjpeg/djpeg) to encode images and videos and to decode and display generated FIASCO streams. Moreover, library functions are available for reading and writing FIASCO files.


 Other software

Linux for Astronomy is precompiled astronomical software.

SMSLink 0.48b-2 implements a client / server gateway to the SMS protocol (the short messages sent to mobile phones). This version is mostly a bugfix release. License GPL.

Corel PHOTO-PAINT is a photo-editing, image composition and painting application, now available for free download.

Metrolink has released Open Motif with Metro Link's enhancements and bug fixes, available for FTP download.

Sun's StarOffice 5.2 office suite is available for download in eleven languages.

Proven CHOICE Accounting is a complete business accounting system for Linux. New is the time billing module.

CRYPTOAdmin 5.0 protects Apache, iPlanet and Microsoft IIS Web servers from unauthorized access - right down to the page level. The new feature, WEBGuard, ensures access to protected pages is only permitted with the correct one-time challenge/response generated from a CRYPTOCard hardware or software token. Web severs communicate directly with CRYPTOAdmin, enabling ASP (Active Server Page) or JSP (Java Server Page) security. CRYPTOAdmin is included with industry leading products such as Cisco Secure ACS and Red Hat Linux at no charge. Established in 1989, CRYPTOCard is a Canadian company based in Kanata, Ontario.

Servtec's iServer is now available for Dallas Semiconductor's TINI board, an embedded Internet computer. iServer TINI Edition is a full featured Application/Web Server written entirely in Java running on TINI. 90-day free preview.

Perl Builder 2.0 is a major upgrade to Solutionsoft's Perl IDE. Includes a CGI Wizard, debugger, and the ability to test CGI scripts on the desktop. 14-day evaluation copy available for download. (Note: "no route to host" error during final proofreading.)

Helios PDF Handshake 2.0 is in beta. It allows PDF documents to be created remotely via a "Create PDF" print queue. A print preview queue is also available.

The Linux Arabization project announces Aedit, an Arabic editor that supports bidirectional text and features specific to the Arabic language. Aedit is meant to be an international editor with support to other languages. Aedit is based on the internationalization support available in Gtk+-1.3. License GPL.

Mainsoft has a porting application that turns Windows Code into native Unix.

Loki news: Loki will maintain and support the Linux version of Unreal Tournament by Epic Games, Inc. Loki has also teamed up with BSDI to ensure Loki's games run on FreeBSD using its Linux-compatibility features. Certified games will be fully supported by Loki.

Intel's Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) Software Development Kit (SDK) 1.0 is available through an open-source license.

Magic Software news: Magic announced support for mobile e-business (mBusiness) in its web applications eService and eMerchant, allowing them to support remote transactions via the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). Magic also announced an intention to acquire CoreTech Consulting Group, Inc., a provider of e-business professional services. This will enhance Magic's ability to offer consulting and professional services in North America. PerlMX embeds Perl in Sendmail as a mail filter engine. This allows you to use Perl code for spam control, keyword scanning, custom routing, etc. By ActiveState.

CURSEL is a freeware FMLI (Forms and Menu Language Interpreter) implementation for Linux and UNIX. CURSEL interprets Menu description files, which are simple text files, describing a character GUI (Menus, forms, text files) for character terminals (xterm, vt100, etc.). Pipes, shell escapes, backquoted expressions, and file redirection are supported, and when compiled with ncurses 5, CURSEL supports color. CURSEL also supports coroutines, and descriptors to create, send data, or receive data, from an another process via named pipes. License GPL.

This page written and maintained by the Editors of the Linux Gazette. Copyright © 2000, gazette@linuxgazette.net
Published in Issue 57 of Linux Gazette, September 2000
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