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Linux Software

Storm Linux 150

Stormix, a Vancouver-based start-up, has announced the release of Stormix Linux v0.99 Alpha r1, their first public release. The new distro is based on Debian, and uses dpkg as its package management system. It seems they have some new ways of going about things, and even an interesting project called SAS. SAS allows developers to write a program once and have a text-based and a GUI interface. Thankfully, they have stated they will release all of their software under the GPL (or a "related" license).
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Storm Linux

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    > There's gotta be a reason they keep choosing KDE. Think about it.
    There is a reason: they want to make it look as much like Winblows as they can to suck in the idiots. It's so far from original you could paint an Apple with it.
  • You have some distributions that are geared towards making sure stuff is stable before making architectural changes, like Slackware.

    You have some distributions that are geared towards making small systems, like the Linux Router Project.

    You have some distributions that are based off of one another, like the 158 RedHat based distributions... but each one has its own merit. Each one is different. And since most / all of the software is open, new changes can be incorporated back into RedHat if they are good and they are what RedHat is interested in. RedHat might not be interested in having to support a MkLinux port -- but having MkLinux have a RedHat base allows the MkLinux people to get a great headstart on having a nice distribution.

    And are these distributions incompatable? If a distribution is libc5, then maybe they can't run libc6 binaries. (But then again, there are incompatabilities between glibc 2.07 and 2.1... but I digress)... But things tend to compile out-of-the-tarball on most distributions I have seen.

    If the Debian people love their package manager, then they will do everything to make it the best. Likewise, RedHat folks try to make the unbeatable RPM. Slackware folks just stick to a tarball with a script. Does this mean that if everyone used Slackware that tar would would have features like rpm or dpkg? Of course not. Different distributions foster growth and new ideas. Different distributions appeal to different groups of users with different tastes or hardware platforms.

    And having their own distribution probably helps Stormix keep tabs on the systems that they have to support. They can make sure that the packages they want to support are in their distribution and that packages they don't want to deal with aren't. This is an amazing feature of Linux, one that will make it (in my opinion) great for companies doing support. They don't lose anything (compatability with debian means most things work really easy) and they gain immensely (they control what they have to support). And after they've modified the distro how they want, why not offer it to everyone else? It costs them little. If three random users have it fill a need, great. And if no one uses it besides their customers, well that is fine, too.

  • Agree totally! The last thing Linux needs is any more choice. So, to solve this, I hearby suggest that we remove all references to copying and modifying from the GPL and related licenses. This is the core of what allows any yahoo out there to make something based off of some other set of apps. Obviously this does nothing but bad for the community. Further, without the requirement to release patches, et al under the GPL, real innovation will be able to occur as companies make their own proprietary versions.

    Next since SUSE is leading in sales, I say we make it the one true Linux. If anyone is not using it, then we should send them to New Zealand or something. And since SUSE has KDE, GNOME needs to go by the wayside as well. And since most new users will be confused by crazy command lines, we can do away with them as well. Besides, who makes utilities so archaic anyways? If there isn't a GUI to it, it must be inferior/antiquated.

    Only if we do away with the other 68.239 distributions, applications, etc will there be any future in Linux. Allowing people to just copy/modify anything without approval from one central person (I suggest me) is pure lunacy!

    I think I've grown up too...
  • by whoop ( 194 )
    Why, you ask? For the single most important reason, because you can. This is not the single-vendor proprietary world folks.
  • This is the good ol' US of A, where suing is a sport. It's too much trouble to sue for something so trivial clear across the great oceans. But here, it's a sin not to sue, even if the two products are not competing, not even mistakable for the same thing, etc.
  • by whoop ( 194 )
    Yes, how is this justified? And why wasn't the Linux board of directors consulted before using clauses in a license to distribute packages? More people should consult the grand poobahs before doing anything with free software. It's the natural way of things. Just because the license says you can isn't reason enough any more. We've got stockholders that want to know, dammit!

  • There's gotta be a reason they keep choosing KDE. Think about it.
  • It was a pain to install? Funny, I did it with one command. Gotta love APT. :)
  • Yes, whoever you are reading this right now. What is it that you have done to further the Linux community. Have you helped to add anything to the LSB? Have you provided any useful feedback or positive criticism for any product available for Linux?

    Perhaps some of you have. Possibly many of you. But to those of you who haven't (and I am one of them), stop complaining about everything that you see straying from the norm. This seems like Europe in the 15th century! Luther "recently" started the reformation with his ninety-five theses and suddenly people are beginning to wonder about what they had accepted up until that point. (not to say the repercussions have even close to the same significance here as they did for Luther and the world in general) We have the OS equivalent of the inquisition running here.

    "Do you believe in the one true distribution as the one true church has seen fit for you to believe?"

    "Yes... well mostly, except that I'd like this feature added"

    "Well, then you shall be flamed for your beliefs and audacity to feel differently than the church has ordained for you!"

    Do we really need a force like Catholicism running our operating systems? If you see a true problem with the way that these distributions are dealing with things, then talk to one of the standards groups out there. Ask them what you can do to help develop standards for whatever it is that you feel needs standardization. At the vary least, read the Linux Advocacy How-To. But don't cry "Foul" every time something happens that you don't like.

  • Oh, grow up.

    BSD's are doing well. Just not as well as Linux. There's certainly plenty of room for both in the "marketplace".
  • Come on, there's nothing wrong with another Linux distro. BSD certainly won't leave it behind. They will remain (hopefully) keen competitors for many years to come.

    (heck, I love my FreeBSD, but I certainly don't want Linux to disappear!)
  • to suggest a usable interface . . .

    The interface, documentation, and particularly the on-line help are so bad in SAS that it tends to be easier to start from scratch and write in Fortran. That stupid program is still emulating a card reader in its handling of data sets. Once I figured this out, I coudl predict its eccentricities and limitations.
  • I think this is an important point. Not only do we have all this balkanization of Linux, but we even have distros like Stormix and Mandrake that are derivatives of other distributions, for reasons ranging from political disagrements (Mandrake and RH's refusal to include KDE) to no apparent reason (Stormix). Frankly, this is quite counter-productive and is, and will continue to hurt Linux.

    PS: For the record, yes, I am a FreeBSD user, but I am also a former Linux user, and had this concern beforehand.
    You seem to be forgetting is that distributions merge sometimes, too. To use one of your examples, Mandrake and Bero merged recently.

    Regarding there being lots of distros, anyway, I perceive this as a strength. For instance, I believe Mandrake kept Redhat on its toes by offering Redhat + KDE back when Redhat refused to ship KDE - citing licensing objections as the reason. Now, Redhat includes a version of KDE shipping with pre-2.0 qt, which has the same licensing terms as it did when they refused to ship it. Also, Mandrake is becoming Pentium-optimized (may be already, I don't follow it too closely, so I'm not sure).. This puts additional pressure on Redhat and co to do something similar. Simply put - competition. Which means, even when merging doesn't take place, the "dominant" distros will tend to copy the successful ideas, in effect using the upstarts as testbeds.

    Aside from competition, "custom-tailoring" can be nice as well. For instance, Debian encourages others to base distributions on Debian, and has recently partnered with Corel. This sort of thing is mutually beneficial, because the end-user may want the technical qualities of Debian, but think it's too hard to use, or want it to be stronger in some other area - like Linux for hams, or an office-specific distro with only DFSG-free office apps already nicely laid out to make it easy to set up a workstation for a secretary, for instance. I don't see how any of these would cause real problems. Users will care about how easily they can get j random app to run on their system, and those who don't provide support with what's out there probably won't stay around long. If the users want compatability, it's obvious where to get it. :)

    For the record, I use Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD and Solaris daily. Although Solaris gets on my nerves at times, all of them have their endearing qualities. :)
  • by Per Abrahamsen ( 1397 ) on Friday July 09, 1999 @12:02AM (#1811959) Homepage
    > SAS allows developers to write a program once
    > and have a text-based and a GUI interface.

    ...not to mention its strong build-in support for statistical analysis.

  • Good luck to Storm! Its good to see a Debian
    based commercial distribution. I don't see any
    reason why new distributions cannot be useful and
    successful if they can differentiate their
    product. But if the ability to differentiate
    is eroded we'll start seeing more mergers, I
  • Regarding yet another GNU/Linux distribution, I think too many people fail to appreciate evolutionary behavior and competitive benefits.

    This GNU/Linux vs. *BSD thing is so silly. How many of us like one or the other? Quite a few, huh? Well, what's the problem, then? Here is an idea for any doubters: work on fun projects that benefit both, such as KDE, GNUStep, or GNOME. I hope this settles this pathetically petty bickering.

  • No, the canonical form is GNU/kernel, where kernel is Linux, Hurd, etc.
  • As soon as the FSF makes their own Linux distribution

    I think you are confused, AC. You don't mean distribution, you mean kernel, right? Don't worry about it, the Hurd still lives and GNU/Hurd will eventually be released by Debian. When? I am not sure, the FSF is a non-prophet organization. :)

  • Ahem...


    What am I forgetting?

    To say BSD isn't fragmented is... Well, it's rather obvious what it is.
  • I was refer to licensing issues, as they apply to Linux. I Linux is Unix depends on how you define Unix. If you use POSIX then Linux is as much Unix as the rest. It lacks the branding, and the Bell Lab code base. At best Linux is a reimplimentation of Unix.

  • Okay, folks lets do a little research here.

    A minute of research []


    They are swiping Debian. They have stated that "We will be using the GPL or a related license for all of our products." So if Debian want's their install then nothing is stopping them. The Debian developers as a whole need to figure out if they wish to be a main stream distro, or a custom distro for Debian developers and power users. There isn't a right or wrong choice in this.

    This is a KDE distro? It includes both GNOME, and KDE. Is there something wrong with choice? There are no rational people who content that GNOME is currently more stable than KDE. Given the relative ages of the 2 projects this isn't an attempt to slander GNOME. Stabity is relative to what you use the desktop for, however.

    As far as KDE looking like windows. This is a good thing. (IMHO) I want people using linux, and KDE gets former windows users up and productive quickly. Once they are using linux they may find GNOME more to their liking. Personally I prefer E without gnome, but I really only use a WM for holding up xterms/Eterms/kvts, and netscape.

    Another sign of Linux fragmentation. Ok folks repeat after me "Linux is not Unix". There is this little thing called the GPL. This means that anything produced under it can be used or adapted by anyone. This means that we can take the best of any distro and use it in another distro. In addition many of the so called distro are simply value added version of another distro. Mandrake Linux is a good example of this.

    It's not in Stormix's best interest to get too far away from Debian. Once Stromix breaks with Debian they need to start doing all the heavy lifting themselves. By same token it's in their best interest to see Debian impliment many of their changes so they don't need to reimpliment everything every new release.

    Note: My views should not be take to reflect the views of VALinux. They have been known to incite internal flame wars. This of course is sometimes part of the fun;-)
    Don't look at me I'm just a mushroom.
  • It looks like the developers of this distribution are not aware of SAS [].

    There even is an effort to get SAS ported to Linux [].

    -- Jochen
  • The commercial vehndors were not trying to 'add value' purely for the good of their health, you know. I would say that greed (or commerce, however you want to call it) played a significant part. Any added value was only available to the purchasers of that particular product and in the end resulted in a lack of choice for the consumer.

    The Linux distros 'add value' too - both in the form of choice & flexibility and also by bundling extra software which is useful for the tasks the distro is intended to solve. (e.g. Caldera OpenLinux has a shedload of NetWare utils)

    The big benefit with Open Source software is that this added value is available to a much wider auidience.

  • by stu ( 3749 ) on Friday July 09, 1999 @01:13AM (#1811972)
    It may look as though Linux is going through the same fragmentation as UNIX went through, but this is not really true.

    When UNIX fragmented, it was due to the competing vendors adding proprietary extras, closing up the code and introducing deliberate incompatibilities in order to lock in customers.

    The various Linux distros, on the other hand, are all rooted in the same code base, are largely compatible with each other (bar a few different directory placings & choice of package management, etc) and by & large are not trying to lock out their competition.

    Also,of the vast number of distros, a large number are specialist installs or micro distributions for narrow purposes (such as rescue disks, routers, simple IP masquerading for windows networks, etc) and do not need to be 100% code compatible with their mainstream counterparts.

    Just chill out, there is room for everybody, it is going to be ok.

  • This saddens an old crufty bastard like myself. It seems that the Linux community has learned NOTHING from the tragedy of the UNIX fragmentation failures.

    Sad to see that you are so saddened by this. The only reason UN*X was fragmented was because of companies making PROPRIETARY builds against PROPRIETARY hardware for PROPRIETARY applications.

    As far as learning lessons, I don't think this is even the same school. Linux distro's are built from mostly publicly available code for commodity hardware to run whatever application you care to write for them. The old UN*Xen imploded because they were exactly the opposite of this.

    crufty indeed. :/

  • Bah. Why does this exact (almost word-for-word) paragraph about BSD and WC's impending death seem to pop up with such monotonous regularity? Are the trolls so bereft of new material that they've been reduced to form-letter trolls? :-)

    Needless to say, Walnut Creek CDROM is still very much in business and probably selling more FreeBSD than ever before. FreeBSD has been doing so well that we're even putting on our first conference this year, and I can tell you that such exercises ain't cheap. See for more information on that, and I guess I should thank this troll for giving me an excellent opportunity for a plug as well! :-)

    Walnut Creek CDROM also isn't technically for sale unless you have a really big pile of money, of course, in which case by all means let's talk. Like all high-tech companies, the idea of merger or sale for the kind of $$$ which would enable them to get to the next size threshold isn't exactly a new or manifestly unwelcome one.

    Welcome to the real world, your trollness, and I'm sorry that you're so clearly unable to deal with it. :)
  • Urk, I hate to reply to myself, but whoops - looks like hasn't cleared the NIC yet so please use instead for now. They'll both point to the same place shortly. :)
  • I happen to like BSD, I just don't like the snobbery of (some of) their users (like you). Linux people never flame BSDers, it always starts the other way 'round. And of course, no, not all of them are like that.
  • Linux is losing what? What is it losing?

    I'm starting to think MS is hiring all these AC's to come over here pretending to be BSD users flaming linux. Now that's a good tactic!
  • There has always been discussions in the past of Linux fragmenting like Unix... how may distro's now:

    Debian (aka Stormix)
    RedHat (aka Linux Mandrake)

    I know I am missing some help me out...
  • Why does BSD look appealing just because another distro has appeared? I agree it's probably a bad thing, but why does it affect your current system?
  • Thank god for FreeBSD. One distribution, released 4 times a year. How very very SANE.

    Change the record. The linux kernel is released on a regular basis. The distibutions of Linux are a completely different thing. And bashing on Linux users because they have a new kernel to play with is sheer stupidity. Has it occurred to any of you that some people actually like being able to use brand new hardware almost straight away, rather than having to wait up to 3 months for it? Above all, its fun. Stop fucking complaining about it. You don't use it, so whats the problem?
  • This is the third or fourth time I have seen *this specific paragraph* posted on /. Me thinks that someone just blindly posts it whenever they see "FreeBSD" on slashdot.
  • Because vi is superior and we all see what happened to the c++ bandwagon...


    Openstep/NeXTSTEP/Solaris/FreeBSD/Linux/ultrix/OSF /...
  • There are 2 kinds of distributions:
    • those with a particular target audience, area of application etc., like Trinux
    • the "generic" distributions, which differ mostly in their licensing and other political considerations and try to cater for all users
    While the first kind of distributions is extremely useful and I'd like to see more of them (e.g. Linux specifically for laptops, with a mostly ramdisk-based installation and very few disk accesses), the generic kind results in too much duplication of efforts and too little diversity to have a good reason to exist in such large numbers. Newcomers to the market like Stormix will have to realize that they need to offer more than just yet another distro for Joe User in order to take market share away from the established distributors like RH, SuSE (and to some extent, Debian and Corel).
  • The website states: SAS Storm Administration System for local and secured remote administration. So their SAS seems to be neither a developer tool nor some sort of statistics tool.
  • I checked out their FTP, it's REALLY slow, any mirrors? Is there even an ISO on the FTP?


    (currently using Debain Potato)
  • I've been using Potato for a few weeks now, and it's GREAT! At least as stable as RedHat/Mandrake 6.0 or SuSE 6.1 (yes, I tried 'em all)

    Potato is wonderful, but was a MAJOR pain to install (but I got through it.)

    I really hope that Corel's Debian based distro picks the unstable branch, and not slink.

    That's all from me!

  • >The various Linux distros, on the other hand, are >all rooted in the same code base, are largely >compatible with each other (bar a few different >directory placings & choice of package >management, etc)

    The biggest argument these days seems to be in the use of /opt and /usr/local, and sometimes /usr/opt. Otherwise as a Slackware user myself I've had great success installing *everything*, unlike occasions in the past of failures with Solaris and AIX, not to mention NT and 95/98.
  • Look at I think they'll need to change their name. SAS is pretty good at protecting their name...
  • I got the "real" 1.1.1 off Red Hat's update site.
  • NetBSD, OpenBSD, BSDi, FreeBSD... That's four. And each with a different kernel.

    You know, Linux is just succesful and you are just jealous. Would FreeBSD be as succesful as Linux, you know there would be MyBSD, YourBSD, PepeBSD, JohnBSD, UltraBSD, BSDragon, SBSD, BSDPower, Calavera BSD, BSDLight, YKZBSS, TheBSD, White Cup BSD, BSDebian, RealBSD and more.

    All those companies are just making distributions of a succesful OS.

    And all those BSD would be really worse than all the GNU/Linux, since all GNU/Linux distributions at least use the same kernel.

  • Yes, it means BSDs are far less succesful. Would they be as succesful as GNU/Linux, you know there would be around 50 different BSDs.

    And that is measuring success in number of users.

  • I bet you that 99% of them, if not more, use either libc5 or glibc, and they all use the same kernel. It means I can use anything standard (fork, sockets, pthreads on glibc-based, flock, fcntl...) on any of them and my programs will compile out of the tar on any of them. I doubt, for example, that the Apache guys had any difficulty getting Apache to work on GNU/Linux because of so-called 'fragmentation'.

    This whole fragmentation deal is to me just FUD against GNU/Linux from both the WinNT and the BSD people.

    And, in the latter case, I find it ironic since I believe that would BSD be as succesful as GNU/Linux is, we would have 50 BSD distributions. At least all GNU/Linux distributions share the kernel and the C library.


  • Debian (aka Stormix)
    RedHat (aka Linux Mandrake)

    I think this is an important point. Not only do we have all this balkanization of Linux, but we even have distros like Stormix and Mandrake that are derivatives of other distributions, for reasons ranging from political disagrements (Mandrake and RH's refusal to include KDE) to no apparent reason (Stormix). Frankly, this is quite counter-productive and is, and will continue to hurt Linux.

    PS: For the record, yes, I am a FreeBSD user, but I am also a former Linux user, and had this concern beforehand.
  • (To reply en masse... :)

    1. I was mistaken, evidently RH did put KDE into the distribution later on. That aside doesn't really weaken my argument: RH made a distribution decision to adavance a corporate interest (the money and manpower poured into Gnome) and it caused a schism.

    2. Yes, sometimes distributions combine, and this is a good thing, but alas, it's rare. Also, remember, (as mentioned in a previous article's comments section) LinuxToday (I believe) puts the number of Linux distributions at over 100..

    3. The balkanization of Linux wouldn't be as much of a problem if something like the LSB had worked out. Here again, arguments ensued and the LSB collapsed. I believe I heard of attempts to restart it but they seem to not have had much success or support.

    4. The idea that I am "jelious"(sp) of Linux's success is idiotic. I have used Linux for years, and still believe it to be a good operating system. I am making comments of what I think could make Linux even better and more sucessful. Also, Linux's success even bring benefits to the BSD user: more focus on the free software movement and Linux binaries run on all the BSDs through emulation.

  • Why do we even need another distribution? I know stormix probably wants to make money off of services/support (didn't look too closely at the site though) - but why do they need their own (derivitive) distribution? Why not just support debian? They could then add any improvements, ie, their text/graphical installation utility (I don't see what the big push is recently torwards having an X based install program - why bother?) to the base system if it complies with debian guidelines...

    Instead, they just blindely rip off all the hard work debian users have done (yes, I know they legally can, but that doesn't mean I like it any more) and slap a few utilities into it and call it storm linux.

    Like we need any more derivitive distributions...
    Hey, let's mirror debian, run a text search and replace and replace all occurances of the word 'debian' with 'slashdot' and distribute our own slashdot linux!

    "Better close the windows, the storm's coming in" - a quote or something like that from the stormix site.

  • Well, there's a fine line to be tread, that's for sure.

    I have no problem with someone who lifts some gpl code to use as part of their project or as part of a bigger program, like say, using code from hmm, eject or something to use as a part of a removable disk management program. But if they just took the eject code, renamed the binary to ejector and re-released it, what's the point? That's basically what I'm seeing going on here. The only thing that I see them writing is a utility that lets applications be either Xwindowed or ncurses based. Then they are just taking all the packages and code that debian developers worked real hard to crank out - and there's a lot of packages.

    I don't know, if there were more major differences, I would have a different opinion if stormix had more differences from debian...
    But as it is, it's just a plain lift... Oh, I'm sure they'll have to write a script to go through all the packages to replace debian with storm...

    There's a difference between using and extending (egad, do I sound like microsoft there?) and just using...

    I don't even know why this peeves me so much. Usually I'm more than happy to share the fruits of my work (graphics and code stuff) . . .
  • I think that this is good. I hope that the nice GUI installation makes its way back to debian. The one thing that I found difficult about debian 2.0 was the install.

    If debian gets easier to install, I may consider switching distros, or atleast running it too :-)

    Someone asked why another distro? Why not? If the LSB does a good job, then we can have many thriving distros, and companies will not have to do anything to port from 1 distro to another. The program should work out of the box.

    The only problems is the packageing deb, tgz and rpm for Slack, debian, and RH.

    I think that this is good! IMHO and I am entitled to it!

  • There is only one better license, the "Here's the code, do what you want with it, I don't care and don't want any rights to the code"
    Free Software, Free Willy, Free Windows
  • They USED to refuse.... and still set up GNOME by default (not like they paid for it or anything.. :-) Mandrake sets up KDE by default, and came with the "real" 1.1.1 instead of the 1.1.1pre

    I like mandrake. x11amp actually worked right out of the box.

  • The *BSD ppl are having a linux bashing fit, but really, with LSB on the way, i don't see any problems with having a lot of distros.

    Right now, i don't see any of these so called damages done by fragmentation, and when I see some concrete problems, which i seriously doubt i ever will thanks to the above mentioned LSB, we will deal with that then. Probably with adjustments to LSB.

    Hence, the fix is already on the way. So give it a rest.

    (since everyone else is doing it =) I'm a Linux and OpenBSD user. I like both, even freebsd. I don't get it why the bsd ppl attack linux so much.)
  • common guys - that is not a troll!

    its got an aggressive title but the body text is perfectly well reasoned - disagreeing with somebody is not a good enough reason to moderate them down.

    If you don't like what somebody says then disagree - post a response but just screaming troll does nobody any good.

    What this gus is saying is no different to some +2/3 posts - basically that there is a danger of linux distros fragmenting and producing proprietry incompatabilities.

    It could happen - particually with some of the software which is now being bundled (ie ViaVoice with RH 6.0).

    I'm very temped to move to that distro purely to try voice rec under linux and thus far haven't taken the time to figure out how to make it work with another distro. Is that fragmentation?

    We now have SuSE still running on the libc but most others are now on glibc - afaik this normally only needs a recompile to fix but it can be a problem.

    But more to the point what will the LSB actually do? as I understand it, it will descibe a core of libraries/utilities which should be present. This should allow developers to code well behaved linux apps - but it doesn't force them to. Besides novice coders may not be fully aware of which libraries thier software links against - they may just link to everything and let the compiler sort out the mess.

    We are already seeing software which is only certified for a particular distro (Oracle and RH5.2), mostly this software can be persuaded to run on other distros (we have Oracle running under SuSE 5.1 here at work) but the end user needs to spend some time chasing down the FAQ's and deciding if they are happy to change their set of libraries just to support one new package.

    All of this said I am in favor of different distros - Open source development seems to be based entirely upon evolution. Without a set of distributions how can we be sure that the eventual dominant vendor is best of breed in any sense of the phrase.

    just some thoughts - moderate as you will

  • There is a major difference here though. AIX, BSD's, Solaris, HP-UX etc all use their own proprietory kernels, file systems, and programs. The very core of these OS's are different and in alot of cases closed off so that competitors cannot duplicate them.

    On the other hand the "difference" between Debbian, RedHat, Suse, Caldera etc generally relate to approx 3 minor things.

    1. Install routine - and thats basically just what type of menu or graphical interface they present with the user and to check of their files in either /mnt/cdrom/COL or /mnt/cdrom/Redhat etc.

    2. File locations - some distro's put config files in /etc and others /usr/etc or /bin vs /usr/local/bin

    3. System configuration - does the distro use Lisa, COAS, LinuxConf being user level programs this simply means what does the distro install as it's default. I've used Linuxconf with Caldera and COAS with Mandrake without any problems.

    4. Package managment do they use RPM or Debian Package tool again user level and the inclusion of alien with most distro's lets you use files packaged with the non compatible package tool. Also note that all distro's are capable of compiling the original source code

    Other than that the core of the system is the same kernel, filesystem, etc and the differences only show the versatility of Linux to manipulated the way the user wants it. You can take a Debian distro and make it look, act, and feel exactly like RedHat if you chose too. Doing so doesn't make a different Linux, it just makes Linux work the way you want it to. On the other hand you will never install IBM AIX's journaling filesystem onto Solaris as the two are completely different systems.
  • "Instead, they just blindely rip off all the hard work debian users have done (yes, I know they legally can, but that doesn't mean I like it any more)"

    Isn't that the point of free software? So that other people can use it? If the developers desire other people to use their source code, then they'll release it as open source. If they didn't want people to modify anything without their explicit permission, they wouldn't have done so.

    If you are a developer, and you get upset that other people can copy, distribute and modify your source code, then why would you do such a fscking stupid thing as releasing it under a free software license?

    And if you aren't a developer, what business is it of yours if a developer allows other people to use his or her work?
  • In the past few news items, I've noticed and increasing number of posts complaining about Linux. Note the large number of posts complaining about fragmentation (a good thing) in this item. There's also a large number of posts in the Amiga item complaining about the fact that they're going to use Linux. Am I just paranoid? Does anyone know what's happening? Are people turning away from Linux or is this some organized operation?
  • (Mandrake and RH's refusal to include KDE) This is not true. Both mandrake and RedHat includes KDE.
  • disagrements (Mandrake and RH's refusal to include KDE)

    Are RH refusing? I installed RH6 yesterday, and I'm sure I had the option to install KDE?

  • Don't forget Corel Either... YADC (yet another Debian Clone) God, dangit, couldn't they have put their own distro together, instead of repackaging Debian? They just wanna look like a cool Linux company, but they don't want to put in the effort.

    Multiple distro's isn't a bad thing, but two and three of the same distro is a Bad Thing. The LSB, can make the different distro's compatible, but some people don't want to do any work

    Oh, and also, can't we all agree on a package manager already? I vote for RPM.
  • Count on it.

    MS understands marketing. Competing against a few well-known "brands" or distributions of Linux is one thing. Competing against thousands of ISP "branded" distributions is quite another thing.

    This is no more fragmented than an MSN or CNET or ISP branded copy of Internet Explorer 5. This is not just another Linux distribution. When the bugs get worked out, ISPs will start giving out Linux intallation CDs. How does MS compete?
  • VisualTCL allows the same program to run in text or GUI modes. SCO used it for all their admin tools. VisualTCL creates unattractive text interfaces, imho, but maybe that was how SCO used it.
  • Redhat includes KDE now. They didn't when originally.

    After trying out Mandrake I liked it enough to switch. My old boxes are still Redhat 5.2..
  • Too many people here make generalizations about users of this, users of that , and users of t'other.

    It's boring me.

    I'm thinking of trying out FreeBSD on my computer I try out OSes on (I'm downloading Storm as I write, though I wish they allowed NFS install in this release, so I could avoid those oh-so-slow CDROMs). I thought about doing it before but some vocal people turned me off. I decided to try out Solaris, which I borrowed from school, only to find out there was no support for my hardware (and my Millenium G200 and 10GB disk were not supported).

    When I first got into Linux (1993) that kind of stuff was almost non-existant. That's no longer the case, but I've invested so much time and am completely dependant on it.

    There are certain personality types that are everywhere. It has nothing to do with the fact that they are a Debian user, a GNOME user, a BSD user, a win user, a Mac user, a Ford driver, a VW driver. It's their personality, which isn't shaped by what OS they use, what car they drive or what country they're from (at least I hope not!).

    Because of these people, generalizations are made about the products they use. STOP IT! Ignore them if you wish or do what I do: see what all of the fuss is about so that if you reply, you might actually have something insightful to say rather than making assumptions. You might even like what they blarbling about. I installed SuSE just to see what GNOME was all about (I used Slackware from '93 to a few months ago). I didn't like GNOME (gmc was severely disappoining, I'm a long time mc/nc user) but I ended up liking SuSE. Now I have SuSE on two machines (my notebook is still 100% Slack though, and it'll probably stay that way) and I have another box to try stuff out on.

    So I have the FreeBSD page open in another window and I'm going to download those 2 floppies. Twice as many as SuSE :-)* and still much less than Debian's annoying 7 disks (I hate floppies). Then I'll put that Storm disc in and try that, too. It'll be a learning experience, I haven't turned the damn thing on since I tried out OpenLinux on it a couple of weeks ago (everything about it seems unfinished, the manual, the install, the amount of software, the tutorial it dumps you in at first startup).

    So I'll just shut up and continue downloading now :-)*
  • Actually, with Debian, you can bootstrap the entire installation from a directory on a FAT
    partition or CDROM.

    This is true. However, I rarely have a FAT partition and If I bought a CD for every OS I try, I could get very poor, quickly.

    Congratulations, BSDers, I installed it, and I like it. The install reminds me of Slackware (that's a good thing). I was quite surprised at the number of available packages. OTOH, I'm really used to Linux /dev naming conventions and directory structure. The boot disk refused to work with my keyboard and kept going into serial console until I replaced it with my only other keyboard which has some broken keys.

    Meanwhile I'll have to try Storm tomorrow and probably throw FreeBSD back on to do some more exploring.
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the business model for a company in the OSS environment?

    As money cannot be made off the GPL's software itself, the most common means of revenue generation that I seem to see people pointing to here is support, or other value-added services.

    This is the same thing that Red Hat, et al. do to raise funds, so why is there a great upcry about it here? If the distro sells, then there is more added to the community. Is SAS takes off, then eventually others will adopt it. If it is weak, then it will fail, as is supposed to happen in a competitive environment, where only what is good & useful is kept by the community.

    I'm just at a loss as to why there is so much gnashing of teeth regarding the release of another distro. This is supposed to be a good thing, people.

  • I think the SAS institute MIGHT have a problem with that name! For those of you who don't know, they are a big time vendor of Multi platform statistical Analysis software
  • While interviewing for jobs and such, I've seen more companies using FreeBSD for their work than linux. FreeBSD is especially popular with corporations because any in-house improvements they make can be sold without any of the restrictions of the GPL.. And I know at least around me I've seen growth of the FreeBSD userbase around me. Though among normal computer enthusiasts around me I see more linux than FreeBSD, both are growing in the community I know. I personally run linux still, but I've gone back and forth on which I run.
  • That's not perfectly right. Extreme Linux is a very specialized distribution for clustering, so most of the market would ignore that product. And of course you included the linux floppy distributions,and anyone in their right minds would not use a floppy distribution for everyday stuff. I am slightly bothered by the fragmentation, but they all have to remain compatible with one of the major distros (Debian, Redhat, Suse) SO I don't see it as that big of a problem so far...
  • As a FreeBSD user I'd ask you to think a little harder. Why do you want Linux to fragment? Why wish their efforts, which cross-pollinate with
    the *BSD all the time and which have benefited us

    The difference between Linux and FreeBSD is one of philosophy and style, not or religion or technical merit. Stop acting as if it's a children's gang or a football team.

    Mind you, the Linux heads who bash FreeBSD are just as silly. No need to fall to their level.
  • I have this vision of Microsoft running training camps in the desert for Open Source Infiltration where they teach hand-to-hand fighting, demolition and how to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt.

  • Don't you folks get tired of the same old trolls?

    BSD is used in hundreds of commercial applications, from companies with special purpose video processing or security technology to consumer-ended companies such as Apple with their MacOS X. In fact, BSD more easily lends itself to this kind of thing in a non-trivial number of commercial environments than does Linux. You may not like this, but that's the way it is.

    Repeating an untruth has no effect on its veracity.

  • That's what you get with an OS that has no central design and no vision.
    This reminds me of a passage I once read by Waldo with regard to C++:
    What seems to have been lost over the years [...] is the common understanding of what the design center of the language is. While it is clear that the original design center as enunciated by [its creator] is no longer sufficient to guide the development of the language, there has been no discussion of a replacement for that design center. Indeed, it is not at all clear that the current community of users is even in agreement about what the language ought to be capable of doing and, perhaps more important, what it should not attempt to do.

    The lack of a clearly articulated, generally accepted design center for the language has resulted in a lack of a set of principles that can be used to judge the direction of language change. The danger is that the language will attempt to become something that does everything, with the result that it will do nothing well.

    In his book Wonderful Life, Stephen Gould argues that one should not confuse biological evolution with progress. The forces that shape the survival of one species over another, Gould points out, are far more random than what is required to allow one to claim that species for recently evolved are in any way more advanced or superior to those from which they evolved.

    Without a clear design center than can be used to determine a notion of progress in the evolution of a language, the changes that have been made [...] take on many of the aspects of biological evolution. The language has been used able to adapt itself to the changing environment of the increasing number of users. But with no goal for the language, the evolution of the language can only be seen as change, not progress towards that goal.

    It seems applicable to what your querulous remark was speaking of.
  • by Tom Christiansen ( 54829 ) <> on Friday July 09, 1999 @07:51AM (#1812023) Homepage
    Here's one: me.

    Here are some others: Chris Torek, Larry Wall, Eric Allman, Keith Bostic, Rob Kolstad, Margo Seltzer, Kirk McKusick.

    Happy now? We are. :-)

  • well, i tend to look at it this way: if the kids can't work together and share their toys then maybe they'll at least try to show each other up. let's hope that this will be the effect of all this fragmentation - a competition of improvement not who can make the slickest boxed distro.

    a positive note - at least we're not dealing with the "one OS or else" that mac and windows folks have to deal with.
  • Well, they said that they will be using dkpg from Debian and that all of their software will be open. If this is the case then, perhaps I'm going out on a limb but, they are supporting Debian. This may seem like a rip off but with Corel and now this "Storm" group selling Debian for Dumbies Distros gives Debian a larger presence outside of the Linux community. This could be very helpful, for both money and 3rd party support.

    We have all read people in the past say things like, if Red Hat stumbles or gets bought out Debian will be there to pick up the pieces. Well, Debian isn't going to market their product, but Corel and Storm will.

    Think of Linux like a tree. There is the kernel, which is the base of the tree. From there there are several branches, ie the main set of distros like Debian, Red Hat, Caldara ... . Eventually a branch gets big enough, and strong enough to branch into several other branches, like Corel Debian, and Storm, and Mandrake. The idea of having other Distros pop up based off of Debian is only showing the strenght of Debian.
  • by styopa ( 58097 )
    I wonder if they got the idea of calling it Storm while drinking a can of Storm from Pepsi?
  • I have several guesses on why they are choosing KDE. It's older, and more stable. I personally think Gnome has a better user interface, but I have had problems with some of the Gnome apps and understand that it needs more time to be ready for main stream.

    Personally I don't think it really matters to most of us whether a distro has KDE of Gnome as the primary install because we can always not install it and go out and get the other. It only matters to those who either don't want to download, or aren't very computer literate. And for the computer illiterate, KDE is probably a better choice right now due to stability and its connection with CDE.
  • There is a big difference between stormix and Debian. Stormix is being produced by a company looking for money, Debian is not.
  • I have been slowly upgrading from Slink to Potato over the past 2 months.
    Of course I have been downloading the OS piece at a time since March due to the fact that I used the 7 disk install and apt on a 33.6 modem. The only thing that I have found painful is the speed of my modem.
    TCI HURRY UP AND GET CABLE MODEMS IN BOULDER! September to October isn't fast enough!
  • Isn't this the beauty of OSS, rather than a downfall?
    What is wrong with the ability to customize to suit taste? It just creates a broader range. I wouldn't worry about fragmentation, because nearly all distributions are based on the model of one of the major few. If a distribution can't keep up, it dies. It's that simple.
  • Just hope the British Special Air Service doesn't take offence!
  • The British SAS does NOT sue.....they double-tap. That means they put two 9mm rounds in your head. They also don't care where you are. Ask the IRA (and NO, that doesn't stand for Idaho Racoon Association).
  • Isn't lots of competition a sign of a healthy, growing marketplace? The linux distribution business is relatively new and still developing. If there are too many distributions, then some of them will die or merge with others, it's natural for a new market. Besides, the more companies that spend dollars advertising linux, the more users will be attracted to the platform.

    The only downside may be the appearance of a fragmented OS, but as long as the vendors don't start slagging each other's distributions, that won't be so bad either.

    Mind you, I may be biased because they're a Canadian company and it's nice to see a Canuck distribution :)
  • According to the installation procedure on their website, you can choose either GNOME or KDE as your desktop during installation (although they seem to encourage users to pick GNOME)
  • I have to agree. I don't believe that "fragmentation" is the right word for what is happening in Linux, at least not in the same context as what happened to Unix. The more distros there are, simply mean more groups putting things together in different ways. As long as MOST of the software remains GPL (and it pretty much has to) then that allows for other groups to expand on, and learn from what is being done elsewhere in the community. No, my freinds, fragmentation isn't the enemy, proprietary licensing of distribution software would be much more threatening.
  • I have a problem with a distribution (prerelease or final) that is available for download *only* as an ISO image. Looking at the screenshots it says that installation from anything other than CD is currently unavailable. I'm not that anxious to burn a CD just to take it for a spin, and having to hack on the installer myself defeats half the reason for getting a distribution instead of rolling my own. Since the other options are there in the screenshot, I'm guessing that they will be around in the final release, but will they actually work the first time?

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.