Sunday, September 30, 2007

Test Release: SimplyMEPIS 7.0 Beta 3

Excerpts from the release announcement.

MEPIS has released Beta3 of SimplyMEPIS 7.0. The isos and beta2-beta3 iso deltas for 32 and 64 bit processors are available from the testing directory at the MEPIS subscriber site and the MEPIS public mirrors.

The kernel in Beta3 is version which contains minor patches from the Kernel Development Team. The ipw3945 driver was updated. The MEPIS System Assistant was repaired to fix a problem when formatting USB keys. Package updates include xine 1.1.7, kino 1.1.1, kmplayer 0.10.0, k3b 1.0.3, kipi-plugins 0.1.4, knetworkmanager 0.2, and dcraw 8.77.

Due to user requests for updated compiz and other important gtk related packages, gtk was updated to version 2.10.13 and in the MEPIS pool metacity was updated to gnome version 2.18.5 Mepis-looks was updated to be compatible with gtk 2.10. Other gtk app updates are planned for Beta4.

Read the full release announcement here.
Download here.

Test Release: MEPIS antiX 7.0 RC1

Excerpts from the release announcement.

Anti and Warren announce the 7.0 RC 1 release of antiX, a lightweight derivative of MEPIS. AntiX is built and maintained by MEPIS community member anticapitalista, as a free version of MEPIS for very old 32 bit PC hardware. The antiX web site is at and an antiX forum is hosted at

AntiX 7.0 RC 1 is like AntiX 7.0 Beta2 except that the look has been updated including the wallpaper and the packages have been updated to be in sync with MEPIS 7.0 Beta 4. Anti also reports that he has fixed the reported bugs that are unique to AntiX.

Read the full release announcement here.
Download here.

Test Release: Ubuntu 7.10 Beta

Excerpts from the release announcement.

New features

GNOME 2.20

Gutsy Gibbon Beta brings you the latest and greatest GNOME 2.20 with lots of new features and improvements.

Desktop 3D effects

Compiz Fusion is enabled by default and will bring 3D desktop visual effects that improve the usability and visual appeal of the system. Ubuntu 7.10 automatically detects whether the hardware is capable of running compiz; if not, it falls back to normal desktop. Additional effects can be enabled in "System/Preferences/Appearance" under the "Visual Effects" tab. There you can also disable the effects entirely.

Desktop search

The deskbar applet is now included in the default configuration. It allows quick access to your common actions, including opening web bookmarks and searches, sending messages to your contacts, and more.

The Tracker indexer has been added to the desktop, making it easier and faster to search for your documents, photos, music, videos, chat logs, and all other files. You can use Tracker in the search dialog, the file selector, nautilus, or the deskbar applet.

Fast user switching

It is now possible to easily switch between user sessions without the inconvenience of entering your username or password numerous times, a time-saver on computers shared by multiple users.

Firefox plugins in Ubuntu

Firefox now comes with an improved plugin finder wizard that allows users to search and install packaged plugins easily, bringing users a richer web-browsing experience with the integrated security support of the rest of the Ubuntu system:

In addition, users can now open the Ubuntu application installer with a list of packaged Firefox extensions available by clicking on a link in the Firefox Addons dialog:

Dynamic screen configuration

Several drivers, including ones for ATI, nVidia, and Intel graphics chips now support the X Resize and Rotate Extension (xrandr). This enables dynamic monitor detection, and resizing and rotating of video output, for no-fuss support for projectors and external monitors.

If you have this hardware and used MergedFB / Xinerama previously, you may need to update your X configuration to use this new feature.

Graphical configuration tool for X

You can now configure what driver you want to use for your graphic card, change the default resolution for all users or change your monitor's refresh rate without having to turn to the terminal. A new GUI has been added making it easy to adjust your video and monitor settings. This tool can also set up dual screen capabilities for cards that use the Xinerama mode.

Fully automatic printer installation

Printers are now automatically configured by merely plugging them in and turning them on. Printer setup cannot get any easier!

Handling of non-free device drivers

Restricted-manager can now handle drivers which are free in themselves, but which require non-free firmware or other packages to operate. Only three clicks are needed to fetch and install firmware for wireless cards with Broadcom chipsets, and for a number of Winmodems commonly found in laptops, provided that you have an alternative Internet connection.

When restricted-manager detects hardware for which a restricted driver is available, a notification window pops up:

NTFS writing

While previous Ubuntu releases only supported read access to Windows (NTFS) partitions, Gutsy Gibbon now fully supports reading and writing to them, by integrating the NTFS-3g project. This significantly eases file and document sharing with Windows.

Power consumption

Ubuntu includes the latest Linux kernel, featuring dynticks. It allows the processor to use less power and produce less heat. For laptops this means more battery life and burn-free laps and for desktops and media center PCs, a quieter, cooler environment.

AppArmor security framework

This easy-to-deploy kernel technology limits the resources an application is allowed to access and can be used to provide an added layer of protection against undiscovered security vulnerabilities in applications. Head to the AppArmor user guide to learn about this new security feature.

Additional installation profiles for Ubuntu Server

New pre-configured installation options have been added to the Ubuntu Server CD. Mail Server, File Server, Print Server, and Database Server options join existing LAMP and DNS options for pre-configured installations, easing the deployment of common server configurations.

Profile-based Authentication Configuration

Deploying authentication configuration has become a lot easier with the addition of auth-client-config. Files may be added to the profiles database, allowing for an administrator to set up a single profile for site-wide network authentication roll-outs. Find out more about AuthClientConfig.

Improved thin-client support

The speed of LTSP thin clients has been greatly improved through the use of compressed images, and LDM, the thin-client login manager included in Edubuntu, also now has support for autologin, multiple servers, and unencrypted graphics transport as an additional speed boost.


Get it while it's hot. ISOs and torrents are available at:

Read the full release announcement here.

Test Release: SimplyMEPIS 7.0 Beta 5

Excerpts from the release announcement.

Warren Woodford has decided to release a 5th Beta of SimplyMEPIS 7.0. The isos and beta4-beta5 iso deltas for 32 and 64 bit processors are available from the testing directory at the MEPIS subscriber site and public mirrors.

The big change that resulted in another Beta release is the availability of OpenOffice 2.3. In addition, ksynaptics and spamd were added to the iso images; and Firefox, 915resolution, and the ALSA Utilities were updated. And the latest version of Audacity was added to the MEPIS pool.

Good news for MEPIS users! The MEPIS documentation team has released a new MEPIS User's manual under a Creative Commons License. With over 60 pages, the manual covers many questions from installation, to network configuration, to using applications. Upon reviewing the manual, Warren said "I am very grateful to the documentation team. I've wished for a long time, that MEPIS would have a manual like this. One that will help new and old users alike to get the most out of MEPIS Linux."

Read the full release announcement here.
Download here.

Final Release: Sabayon Linux 3.4 "miniEdition"

Excerpts from the release announcement.

SabayonLinux x86/x86-64 miniEdition, commonly called the "mini", is the CD release of the latest SabayonLinux x86/x86-64 DVD. The creation of this special version, has been made with an automatic script that shrinks down the whole chroot jail by removing every duplicated, useless or server-oriented package. The multimedia features of these special editions are kept intact. So, enjoy that beautiful piece of software on a single CD!

Distribution updates 3.4:
* Improved OpenGL configuration reliability
* NVIDIA Drivers updated to 100.14.19
* Compiz Fusion stability fixes (will be soon enabled by default on the supported hardware)
* Boot time 15% faster
Read the full release announcement here.
Download here.

Test Release: Mandriva Linux 2008 RC2

Excerpts from the release announcement.

Mandriva Linux 2008 RC2 ‘Kepler’ was released today. New features since the release of RC1 include the final release of GNOME 2.20, the inclusion of the new 8.41.7 version of ATI’s proprietary driver in the non-free repository to support Radeon HD cards, significant kernel updates that improve support for certain ATA controllers and many audio chipsets, some new features in the urpmi and rpmdrake package management tools, and over 500 bug fixes since RC1. Download information and more is available on the full release information page here, the overall Mandriva Linux 2008 release notes are here, and a guide to the new features of Mandriva Linux 2008 is here.
Read the full release announcement here.
Download here.

Test Release: openSUSE 10.3 RC1

Excerpts from the release announcement.

After quite a few rebuilds and testing, the openSUSE team is happy to announce that RC1 looks brilliant and is now available for download. We consider this release to be feature complete, stable, and suitable for testing from any user. For more information on the release schedule, take a look at the Roadmap.

Technical Changes

  • libzypp 3.24
  • Virtualbox 1.5
  • 2.3
  • Countless bug fixes in every component: 535 bugs RESOLVED/FIXED
  • 485 packages submitted

A more detailed list of changes is available via

Read the full release announcement here.

Download here.