An up-to-date look at free software and its makers


Article from Issue 55/2005

Free software covers such a diverse range of utilities, applications, and other assorted projects, that it is hard to find the perfect tool. We pick the best of the bunch. This month, we’ll examine DRBD, Fink, and the Debian project leader election.

If there is one thing that the Chemnitz Linux Days 2005 made very clear, it is that Linux is ready for schools, universities, and other educational institutes. Projects on the Move has discussed the Skolelinux [1] distribution in the past, but now the Skolelinux team is busy preparing a new major release that will be based on Debian Version 3.1, also known as Sarge, which will hopefully be the stable release by the time Skolelinux appears. The developers’ aim is to introduce a mass of new features, such as more granular Internet access for groups. Mac OS X and Fink Mac OS X and the underlying Darwin [2] system are products that split the FOSS community. On the one hand, many Linux users also run Mac OS X, because this system is pre-installed on Macintosh computers out of the box and the GUI has such a good reputation for being intuitive and user-friendly. On the other hand, many users take a different view and reject Apple’s operating system categorically. The fact that Apple used a BSD kernel and is now distributing this as part of its system riles many people, even though the BSD license allows it. And the fact that Apple has refused to support efforts to develop drivers for its standard WLAN solution, Airport Extreme, for free operating systems, is not exactly in the spirit of the give back principle.

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