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  Linux Letter 22

The Linux Letter for May 28, 2001

Welcome, Linux fans!  I’m back after a long hiatus, with news and tips on your favorite operating system.

The dot-com inferno that has taking the tech industry by storm hasn’t left Linux-oriented companies alone, but fortunately, the most popular Linux distributions are published by some of the most stable companies.  Fortunately, outfits like RedHat, SuSE and Debian actually have products that they can deliver, so, unlike so many Internet companies, they actually offer something that gives them at least a little bit of an economic base.

With that said, let’s take a look at the changing face of the Linux world.

The operating system isn’t making huge inroads onto the desktop, but in the server world, Linux is definitely holding onto, and in many cases increasing, its market share.  Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Dell are making Linux a solid part of their server offerings and even Silicon Graphics has a version of RedHat Linux for their newest Itanium-based system.

And speaking of Itanium, Linux is ready to run on the 64-bit processor from Intel.  RedHat has ported the OS to the processor, based on the 2.4.x kernel, making them the first vendor to officially ship an operating system for the chip.

RedHat has also shipped version 7.1 of its distribution of Linux.  It’s an incremental improvement over the previous version, but does contain important fixes to a few services that recently gained notoriety for their vulnerability to attacks from the Internet.  We’ve upgraded our servers and recommend that you do the same.

The current version of Debian is up to 2.2r3.  For the GNU purist, Debian is a must-have, since, unlike other Linux distributions, it is totally compliant with the GNU license.

Mandrake Linux, originally a derivative of RedHat, is now at version 8.0.  Although plagued by rumors of financial difficulties, the company claims that they are the number one Linux retail seller and have plans to financially break even within the next few months.

On the Internet beat, Opera for Linux is now available for download.  This web browser was designed to be lean, small and fast.  It’s focused strictly on browsing…no email or news reader is included.  There is no built in Java support either, although the programmers are working on it for a future release.

Also, the Mozilla project isn’t resting on its laurels.  They claim to be hard at work on the release of version 1.0, although they recently pushed the release date back a few months.  Mozilla 0.9 is available for testing on Linux.

On the “how about that” side of things, J.S. Wurzler Underwriting Managers, an insurance company offering “hacker” insurance, is now charging its clients 5 to 15 percent higher premiums if they use Microsoft’s Windows NT software as part of their Internet operation.  Apparently after studying 400 security assessments over the past three years, the company found that system administrators using open source software were better trained and tended to stay with one company for longer than their Microsoft-administering counterparts.  Incidentally, according to ZDNet, if you’re interested in purchasing a policy, get your wallet out…for each million dollars in lost revenue coverage, you’ll pay about $4,000!

Hot Tip of the Week

I’ve been too busy finishing up with the last semester at school and starting my new job as an engineer at Micron Technology to come up with a Tip o’the Week for this installment, but stay tuned for next time and I’ll make up for it!

Happy computing!

Drew Dunn

 



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