Welcome to issue 1 of the Frugalware Newsletter! This is a new fortnightly newsletter for Frugalware users to read to find out about what's going on in Frugalware development. It will include things of interest to users such as new features, details about bug fixes, and things that the community have done for Frugalware.
Table of Contents
- 1. What's new?
- 2. Upcoming features
- 3. Developer announcements
- 4. Bug fixes
- 5. Security announcements
We are less than 2 weeks away from Frugalware 0.6, so here's a little overview of what's changed since 0.5:
Glibc 2.5Glibc is the core C library which is needed to run almost all programs. In Frugalware 0.6, the Glibc version is 2.5, which brings lots of speed improvements. Some people may have heard of the new DT_GNU_HASH feature in this release. We have rebuilt a lot of packages with DT_GNU_HASH enabled, meaning that Frugalware 0.6 will be faster than ever!
GNOME 2.18.0GNOME is one of the desktop environments available in Frugalware. 0.6 will have the brand new 2.18 release, bringing lots of new features, visual improvements and speed-ups.
KDE 3.5.6KDE is another desktop environment available in Frugalware. 0.6 will ship with the 3.5.6 release, which fixes many bugs from the version included in Frugalware 0.5. Also, thanks to crazy, the default theme for KDE in Frugalware 0.6 is awesome!
XFCE 4.4Xfce is the other desktop environment that we provide. In 0.6 we have the latest 4.4 release, which provides hundreds of new features and fixes over the previous release.
Kernel 2.6.20Frugalware 0.6 has the latest version of the Linux kernel, 2.6.20. It brings many speed improvements over Frugalware 0.5's kernel, and also many new features, including KVM, a virtualization solution that takes advantage of virtualization features on new processors.
New documentationThe whole of the documentation has been completely rewritten from scratch. It is now twice as long as the 0.5 documentation, obsolete parts have been removed, new parts have been added. It is much easier to follow than before
XenAlthough Xen was provided in 0.5, 0.6 has much better support for it. It includes the latest versions of the Xen kernels, and the latest Xen version, 3.0.4. There is also a package for the great virt-manager GUI from Fedora, which allows for easy creation of Xen virtual machines.
BerylIf you're interested in eye-candy on Linux, you're bound to have heard of Beryl. Beryl is a fork of Compiz, which provides many more effects for your desktop. Beryl has been added in 0.6 and is supported on all 3 desktop environments.
Firefox 2.00.6 includes the latest and greatest release of the Firefox browser, with lots of new features, improvements and fixes.
Python 2.5For all the Python developers out there, we've included Python 2.5 in this release, which adds lots of new features and enhancements which make Python programming even easier!
If that wasn't enough, we've got a whole load of new features planned for Frugalware 0.7. Here's a short list of things we've been discussing recently:
InitramfsInitramfs is a replacement for the old initial ramdisk system that was used to provide a small system that runs from memory when the kernel starts which loads kernel modules that enable the rest of your system to boot. Frugalware didn't use initrd, which meant that some systems with hardware that has it's drivers compiled as a module may not be able to boot. Soon we'll be adding support for initramfs to Frugalware, which means Frugalware should run on a much wider range of computers, especially servers with the root file system on a SCSI drive. This will also allow users to have their root filesystem on an LVM volume or on an encrypted filesystem.
New init systemQuite a few of you may have heard our plans to replace SysV INIT, the program which boots the system in 0.7. Ubuntu have also done this, and we hope to use their work, Upstart. We already have a partly working implementation. For more information, look here.
FwLiveFwLive is a LiveCD version of Frugalware, which is currently in development. It runs completely from the CD, with GNOME, KDE and Server versions planned. You can also create your own custom CDs, too. We are also writing a new installation program which installs the content of the Live CD to your hard disk, in a similar fashion to the Ubuntu and Mandriva live installers.
GFpmGFpm is a new GTK+ frontend for pacman which allows you to use a GUI interface to browse the packages that you have installed and install new packages. We hope to have this available in 0.7
- The GNOME maintainers would like to point out that due to a silly bug introduced by the upstream maintainers of GConf, the version of GConf packaged in Frugalware 0.6rc2 is broken, and therefore the whole of GNOME is broken in 0.6rc2. If you would like to install GNOME on 0.6rc2, we suggest that you use a netinstall to install from frugalware-current rather than frugalware-testing, as the problem has been fixed in current (You can change where you install from when writing which mirror to use in the installer. Change the path from frugalware-testing to frugalware-current).
A list of bugs closed in the past 2 weeks is available here
Here are a list of security issues which have been discovered and fixed in the 0.5 release in the past week:
- FSA128 - thunderbird: Some vulnerabilities have been reported in Mozilla Thunderbird, which potentially can be exploited by malicious people to compromise a user's system. Please upgrade to thunderbird-220.127.116.11-1siwenna1
- FSA129 - dropbear: A weakness has been reported in Dropbear, which can be exploited by malicious people to bypass certain security restrictions. Please upgrade to dropbear-0.49-1siwenna1
- FSA130 - phpmyadmin: A PHP bug can be triggered by phpMyAdmin which uses a recursive function in its normal operation. Please upgrade to 2.9.2-2siwenna1.
- FSA131 - blender: Secunia Research has discovered a vulnerability in Blender, which can be exploited by malicious people to compromise a user's system. Please upgrade to 2.42a-3siwenna1.
- FSA132 - tcpdump: Moritz Jodeit has reported a vulnerability in tcpdump, which potentially can be exploited by malicious people to cause a DoS (Denial of Service). Please upgrade to 3.9.4-2siwenna1