2002 06 06

                    LINUX NEWS
        Resources & Links From CramSession.com
             Thursday, June 6, 2002


1) Sean’s Notes

2) Linux News

Alert: Linux.Simile
United Linux FAQ
SuSE Denies Per Seat Licencing
Did MS Pay For Open Source Scare?

3) Linux Resources

IP Tables Tutorial
Hard Drive Tuning
Clustering Cornucopia
Linux Tutorial
The Book of VMWare

4) App o’ the Week

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1) Sean's Notes

In case you haven't been reading the news, United Linux was
announced.  Caldera, Connectiva, SuSE, and turbolinux have
joined forces to take on Red Hat, or to make the world a
better place, depending on who you ask.

>From what I can gather, their idea is to pool resources to
make a base distribution, and then each can add on their own
features.  They'll be able to mark it "Powered by United
Linux" while still maintaining their own brand.  The idea is
that people targeting Linux can hit four distributions with
the same effort.  If they can muster up enough market share
to take on Red Hat, then that would be a bonus.

Should Red Hat be scared?  Probably not:


In terms of market, United Linux is going for the "business
market", specifically servers.  The desktop portion is to be
taken care of by each individual distro.  I don't know about
you, but desktops are where I see most of the problems that
could be dealt with by having standards.  I'd far prefer to
see them develop a common desktop that developers can target...
Oh, wait a minute, that sounds a lot like Ximian GNOME.

Other things that scare me:

Source code, of course, will be freely available.  Binaries
are not (though see the news item about SuSE for an exception)

Per seat licencing (again, the SuSE exception).  Nothing
wrong with trying to make a buck, but one of the big draws of
Linux vs Microsoft is no threat of expensive software audits.

What's going to happen to SuSE?  I have a great deal of
respect for the work that SuSE has done, I'd hate to see them
being dragged down to the lowest common denominator.

The whole foundation of their plan doesn't make sense to me,
either.  Red Hat and Mandrake started off in a similar
situation, Mandrake being an optimised version of Red Hat.
Several years later, packages for one don't necessarily
install properly on the other.  What if one partner decides
that a certain library shouldn't be upgraded?  Is having
this product on my servers really worth the cost?  Aren't
most vendors going to target the dominant Red Hat anyway?

After all, making it easy to install software across
distributions is exactly what the Linux Standard Base was
designed to do:

   "The goal of the Linux Standard Base (LSB) is to develop and
   promote a set of standards that will increase compatibility
   among Linux distributions and enable software applications
   to run on any compliant Linux system. In addition, the LSB
   will help coordinate efforts to recruit software vendors to
   port and write products for Linux"


I'd far rather see the four vendors pool their money and
announce that they're going to help out with the LSB.  Then,
let each of the vendors compete on their own merits.  As it
stands, UL looks to be a competitor to the LSB. (Ironically,
three of the four participants in UL appear on the LSB page
as contributers.)

Despite what is said by the people involved, I see this as
the Linux equivalent of "Jumping the Shark"
(http://www.jumptheshark.com/).  Other than SuSE, I have to
struggle to think of one thing that makes the other three
stand out from other distributions.  Three wrongs don't make
a right, after all.

Sorry, United Linux, but there are too many unanswered
questions and doubts for me to think that this is a good idea.
This smells too much like "publicity stunt".  I hope I'm wrong,
but I have the feeling that "I told you so" isn't too far away.

Long live the Penguin,


2) Linux News

Alert: Linux.Simile
"{Win32,Linux}/Simile.D is a very complex virus that uses
entry-point obscuring, metamorphism, and polymorphic
decryption. It is the first known polymorphic metamorphic
virus to infect under both Windows and Linux." Quite the feat.
Luckily, it hasn't been spotted in the wild.


United Linux FAQ
United Linux posted a FAQ about their new company. It answers
a few nagging questions, like when they expect to release,
and their stance on including new vendors. Take it with a
grain of salt, though.


SuSE Denies Per Seat Licencing
Amid speculation of a per seat licence, SuSE denied the
claims, and announced that not only is their version free,
but they'll be offering a developer's version.

http://linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn 02-06-03-015-26-NW-BZ-SS

Did MS Pay For Open Source Scare?
There have been a few articles coming out about how
supposedly unbiased reviews are simply paid endorsements.
This one is actually quite funny, saying that if the
government uses Open Source, it is inviting terrorism. (Oh,
and according to NewsForge, they ran Apache on their web
site until quite recently.)


3) Linux Resources

IP Tables Tutorial
This is one of the more complete descriptions of IP Tables
that I have seen in a while. Most of the available options
are described, along with common pitfalls. If you're familiar
with the software, a lot of the information will be old hat,
but those trying it out for the first time will have all the
information they need.


Hard Drive Tuning
An easy way to boost your performance is to make sure that
the kernel is taking full advantage of your hard drive's
features. The commands to do so are pretty obscure, but this
article makes it look easy.


Clustering Cornucopia
Linux can be clustered in many ways depending on what you
need. High Availability? Load sharing? This is a look at
many projects that provide some form of clustering, and
what their advantages (and limitations) are.


Linux Tutorial
While I think the banner is a bit optimistic (Absolute
beginner to Linux Expert in 10 Lessons), there is a great
deal of good material here for those wanting to learn Linux.


The Book of VMWare
No Starch Press puts out some killer books, and "The Book of
VMWare" is no exception, according to QCumber. "Up until
reading this book I had never suspected just how flexible
and configurable VMWare really is."


4) App o' the Week
"GNU ext2resize is a package which allows resizing ext2
filesystems (both shrinking and growing). The ext2resize
tool is for resizing unmounted filesystems, and ext2online
is for growing a mounted filesystem (it needs a kernel patch
to work, however)."

Resizing a *mounted* filesystem? Way too cool!


(C) 2002 BrainBuzz.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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