2001 01 11

                    LINUX NEWS
            Thursday, January 11, 2001


1) Sean’s Notes

2) Linux News

2.4.0 is Here!
So What Does Linus Think?
What's New?
Linux Gaming - Looking Back, Looking Forward

3) Linux Resources

A Window Manager With a Windows Look and Feel
comp.os.linux.security FAQ
Can you Grok the GIMP?
Tricks for PPPoE and 2.4
Git 'Yer 3COM NIC Drivers Here!

4) App o’ the week

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1) Sean's Notes

I got some interesting response to last week's newsletter.
It seems to be obvious that Linux is too complex for the
average user (or Mom), so a two-pronged approach is
necessary - Make it easier to use, and make it more
desirable to use (applications, features).  It was also
mentioned that some people will stay with the first OS that
they encounter, so it would be nice to get Linux into
schools and the like.  With the cost of keeping Windows
networks up to date, maybe this will come sooner than we

Something that was brought up at the local Unix users' group
on Tuesday was "Why do you have to log in?".  Should the
concept of users be hidden from people?  I'm not necessarily
saying everything should run as root, but to be prompted for
the "special" password when root access is needed, otherwise
start the default X session as a generic user.  It was
mentioned that Mandrake has this option (with strong
warnings accompanying it, and rightfully so), but in our
"Linux for the masses" distribution this could be the norm.
Now, this once again forces us to ask "do we want this?"  I
personally don't think so, since I'm fine with logging on to
my Linux box, or to my NT Workstation at work.  That being
said, it's apparently a concern of people because the topic
was discussed at great length.

On the applications side of the fence, I read a lot of
comments on Slashdot (not a good demographic of "Linux for
the Masses", I know) about "that last app" that people need
to completely migrate to Linux.  Usually it's a good
financial manager that has the features of Quicken or MS
Money, but sometimes it's programs like Visio or Rational
Rose, specialized drawing tools.  For many users, it's
games. If we can't get the die-hard techies to use it, what
business do we have getting Mom to use it?  I'm trying not
to be a pessimist about this, but we do want to target
Linux to the masses.

In case you haven't read, kernel 2.4 is out.  As a result,
most of the news section of this week's newsletter is about
this very topic.  Congrats to the hard working kernel
developers!  Expect to see your favorite distribution
coming out with support in the near future.  Also expect to
see some future articles on features like iptables, the
replacement for ipchains and ipfwadm.

I've also used a feature of the Brainbuzz Discussion Boards
to create a poll.  I'd like to know what you prefer in this
section of the newsletter.  Enter once, void where


You'll also start seeing some book reviews in this
newsletter. As we speak, a couple of titles arrived in
the mail.

And, as always, the discussion boards are there for you to
sound off in:


Finally, feel free to email me with your thoughts and

Long live the Penguin,


2) Linux News

2.4.0 is Here!
After eight months of pre-release, test, and other 2.4
versions, 2.4.0 has officially been released. It's out on
the mirrors, so if you've been waiting for this, go out and
get it! You'll need to upgrade your modutils--check your
distribution's web site or install them yourself from the
URL in the documentation directory.

http://linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn 01-01-05-001-04-NW-LF-KN

So What Does Linus Think?
ZDNet sent Linus some questions via email. His answers
are a bit surprising to say the least...


What's New?
A lot has changed in 2.4...ipchains has been replaced by a
more robust system, USB support is supposed to be there, SMP
support has been improved. Disks, RAID, and devices have all
been reworked. This page gives a rundown of what's new and
changed. Support for 10 IDE controllers!?!

http://linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn 01-01-05-007-04-NW-LF-KN

Linux Gaming - Looking Back, Looking Forward
One of the obstacles Linux faces is the lack of games.
After all, computers aren't just for word processing and
drawing, you've got to be able to have some fun with them!
Gamespy.com takes a look at what's happening in the Linux
gaming scene, and where they think things are going.


3) Linux Resources

A Window Manager With a Windows Look and Feel
Brainbuzz user Guitarlynn wrote in with a link to this WM.
It looks a lot like Windows, right down to the start menu
and desktop. It still has virtual desktops (who can live
without those?), but for those who want a comfortable intro
to the Linux world, this may be the solution for you.


comp.os.linux.security FAQ
Linuxsecurity.com interviews Daniel Swan, the author of the
comp.os.linux.security FAQ. It's a great document, but
before you head to it you should get an idea of who is
behind it, and who it is for.


Can you Grok the GIMP?
Grokking the GIMP is a very complete book on how to use the
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Tool), a free Photoshop quality
imaging package. Not only is the book good, it's free and
online. Check out this review of the book, which has a link
to the book itself.


Tricks for PPPoE and 2.4
People using PPPoE or other tunneling software are likely
familiar with the MSS (Mean Segment Size) problems. The
mssclampfw module was a good way to get around it, but now
that 2.4 is out, there is a cleaner solution that uses


Git 'Yer 3COM NIC Drivers Here!
A thread on comp.os.linux.networking was started because
some 3COM drivers were left out of the 2.4 kernel. If you
are in this situation, 3COM's site has what you're looking


4) App o' the week
Need a secure and robust FTP server?  WU-FTPD is good, but
Proftpd is better. It's got an Apache-like configuration
syntax, loads of features, and is easy to use.  It really
shines if you need virtual hosting, which is a breeze with
this server.


(C) 2001 BrainBuzz.com. All Rights Reserved.


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