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Linux News

I’ve been meaning to start a thread where people post good news links for progress in the Open Source movement. I thought this might be a good place for it.

To start then

Microsoft Loses to Linux in Thailand Struggle
By Jan Krikke
November 12, 2003

In the second quarter of 2003, just 40 percent of all desktop PCs shipped in Thailand had a licensed copy of Windows installed, an all-time low that likely will dip even further. Moreover, PC manufacturer Laser Computer has replaced HP as Thailand’s top PC seller. Laser Computer sells only Linux PCs.

To prevent Linux from running away with Thailand’s subsidised "people’s PC project," Microsoft has dropped the price of its Windows and Office packages from nearly US$600 to $37. Other Asian countries are lining up to duplicate the Thai program. As a result of the events in Thailand, analysts have begun to predict the end of Microsoft’s long-standing "one-price-fits-all-markets policy."

Significantly, first-time PC users in Thailand are finding the Linux Thai Language Edition easier to master than Windows.

Read more

11 Responses to Linux News

  1. Anonymous November 25, 2003 at 11:31 pm #

    SUSE frees Linux 9.0 for download

    [PC Pro] 15:17

    SUSE is to make SUSE Linux 9.0 available for free via its FTP server.

    Following hard on the heels of Red Hat announcing that it was dropping support for its basic version of its Linux operating system distribution, SUSE has decided it will now pick up the reigns.

    SUSE says it is not possible to make installation CDs from the download, however you can mirror the FTP directory on a local server to allow multiple installations on a network via NFS.

    SUSE does not offer support as part of the free download, including installation support, but the company does offer support packages for a fee. The FTP version also lacks a ‘few’ program packages that are included in the retail version.

  2. darren December 1, 2003 at 10:48 am #

    Having a read on the openbsd site and saw this article, it realy irritates me that manufactures are not offering a choice of os.


  3. sean December 1, 2003 at 4:57 pm #

    On eve of new 2.6 kernel release, leading Linux advocacy consortium aims to educate customers on how the kernel is made

    With the highly-anticipated release of the final Linux 2.6 production kernel due shortly, OSDL is taking a series of steps to increase customer confidence in using Linux. The new Linux kernel will be used by tens of millions of people in new ways, not only on servers and in telecommunications networks, but also on desktops and in consumer electronic devices. Among the Lab?s first steps in this new initiative is the creation of a simplified graphical model that illustrates how software code is contributed to the Linux kernel. A copy is available on the Web at

  4. sean December 9, 2003 at 6:51 pm #

    heh! A contribution to the Distro wars!

    The Future of Linux

    Linux news is getting more and more exciting, and somehow, managing to get less and less interesting. Why? Because the speed of development is getting so rapid that it’s hard to get excited for each upcoming release, keep your system completely up to date, and even remember what the current version of your favorite distributions are. This breakneck pace of development means good and bad things, but I have a few ideas about how I expect it to turn out.

    The opinions in this piece are those of the author and not necessarily those of

    There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of distributions out there. In fact, with Knoppix, almost anyone can make his own. Each season, it seems we watch some distributions fold and others form. It’s getting harder and harder to tell them apart. Think you’re an expert? Answer these questions quickly:

    # 1) Which distro uses Pacman as a package manager?
    # 2) Which distro was created by former Red Hat KDE’er Bernhard "Bero" Rosenkraenzer?
    # 3) Which distro is Vector Linux based on?
    # 4) Name any three Debian-based distros.
    # 5) Name three source-based distros.

    According to a recent post on, "It is time to face the facts: the number of Linux distributions is growing at an alarming rate. On average, around 3 – 4 new distributions are submitted to this site every week, a fact that makes maintaining the individual pages and monitoring new releases increasingly time consuming. The DistroWatch database now lists a total of 205 Linux distributions (of which 24 have been officially discontinued) with 75 more on the waiting list. It is no longer easy to keep up." Distributions change often, as does the popularity of each. Keeping
    up is almost impossible. Many Linux users install new distributions every few days, weeks, or months. Sadly, many of these folks keep a Windows installation – not because they prefer Windows, but because it’s a "safe haven" for their data which can’t find a permanent home on any given Linux distribution. Can this pace continue? I say no.

    read more –

  5. sean December 10, 2003 at 3:37 pm #

    UK government trials desktop Linux,39020390,39118437,00.htm

    UK NHS trials Sun Linux, threatens 800k user defection from MS

  6. sean February 25, 2004 at 9:56 am #

    We definitely need to make some progress on offering LPI (1)

    Novell Launches New Certifications to Push Linux

    Novell announced today two programs for its customers and partners, extending its support for Linux-based solutions.

    The two programs are called the Certified Linux Engineer (CLE) program, and the SuSE certified Linux professional certification.

    Both programs are designed to increase the base of technical knowledge on Linux and Linux-based solutions in the market today.

    The Novell CLE requires a core understanding of Linux, and Novell strongly recommended that candidates obtain the level of knowledge required for the widely recognized Linux Professional Institute Certification Level I (LPIC-1). Competency in the objectives included in the LPIC-1 certification is required in Novell’s Practicum exam for the CLE.

  7. sean February 29, 2004 at 2:15 pm #

    MPs call for to switch to open source (maybe)
    By Drew Cullen
    Posted: 26/02/2004 at 16:07 GMT

    Central government should replace Microsoft software with open source equivalents – if trials show the switch is practical, the Public Accounts Committee said yesterday.

    In a report on government spending on software licences, the Select Committee of MPs conclude:

    Open Source software, already in widespread use for server applications, may in future provide departments with a viable alternative to existing software suppliers for a broader range of functions including desktop applications, opening up the marketplace to wider competition and potential improvements in value for money.

    The MPs note that the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) is running open source trials with IBM and Sun. The Sun deal offers a "useful second front to explore the viability of this potential new source of software."

    Here comes the killer punch:

    If the results show that open source software is practical, particularly in respect of integration with existing systems, departments should be ready to apply the lessons learnt to their future purchasing decisions.

    The Public Accounts Committe is the Parliamentary watchdog to monitor government spending. Typically, it is described as ‘influential’, but its reports are advisory.

    Individual government departments are currently responsible for their own spending on software. Collectively they spent £610m on software in 2001-02, of which £100m went on more than one million software licences.

    Since then the OGC has secured better deals with Microsoft, Sun, Lotus / IBM, Corel and Oracle. The public sector should save £100m over the three years from March 2002, through a "combination of direct
    price reductions, productivity improvements and efficiency gains", the MPs report. Now the OGC is in new negotiations with Microsoft to see if it can get better prices, they say.

    The OGC was able to "negotiate a succession of discounts from dominant software suppliers because it secured close and sustained co-operation across the public sector." But some departments have been slow to take up the terms of the memoranda of understandings with the software suppliers. The committee says that departments should benchmark prices against those available through the OGC memoranda. ®

  8. rich March 17, 2004 at 3:14 pm #

    he UK government has announced funding for a ‘third force’ open source migration project. A group of local authorities led by Rossendale has won £502,500 of matched funding (i.e. the project is worth double that) for an examination of "the issues associated with migration to Open Source," involving a justification of and implementation of open source in three English local authorities, and the production of a report.

    Read more

  9. sean_ March 31, 2004 at 8:36 am #

    This is great one, the sort of article the Sun would write if it was an open-source supporter!

    By Kuber Sharma
    Want to run a professional PC without splashing out on Microsoft’s astronomically-priced software? Then check out our low-down on its best competitor, Linux.

    With the cost of commercial software now reaching up to a quarter of the total price of an off-the-shelf PC, significant savings can be made by buying “empty” and installing open source alternatives.

    However, many are at best hesitant about leaving Microsoft’s Windows to take the plunge, and at worst terrified!

    So here is what to expect and what not to expect from your Linux personal computer.

    Is it really free?

    It is cheap. But not exactly free.

    Though it can be downloaded for free from the internet ( is a good starting point), it would not necessarily come with the proper support to run on your machine.

    Non-technical users should first go for “complete” versions from vendors like Mandrake, Lindows, SuSE or Red Hat.

    These companies offer highly-developed versions of Linux at comparatively cheaper prices to Windows XP.

    Not only that, Linux also helps in paring down costs due to low system requirements as opposed to Windows’ system-hogging demands.

    However, if you go for sophisticated versions like Red Hat 9 or Mandrake 9, you do require at least a basic Pentium processor, 32MB memory and 650MB hard disk – not a problem for most users, but notable for those thinking of changing the OS on a low-spec machine used as a mailing list system or server.

    If you are not totally convinced with Linux single-handedly overseeing your whole machine, you can partition your hard drive and load a Linux version that can co-exist perfectly ha
    ppily with your existing Windows system.

    As most files are compatible with both Linux and Windows, you can use your operating systems accordingly.


    The biggest distributors of Linux are: Red Hat, Lindows Mandrake, SuSE and the SCO Group.

    While Lindows OS is optimised for consumers focusing on value and ease-of-use and is best-known for its “click and run” operation, SuSE is generally considered to be easier to use.

    But these two products are the most expensive of the Linux options.

    Red Hat is a pioneer in Linux distribution and is very popular among server users.

    Its Bluecurve desktop environment is one of the best versions of Linux around.

    Mandrake is also based on Red Hat Linux with a suite of highly-refined applications to accompany. It was the first desktop-specific version of the open source OS.

    If you are afraid of buying Linux and then not getting on with it, you can have a free trial by visiting Knoppix.

    Knoppix offers visitors a bootable CD including over 300 open source programs, from OpenOffice (an open source MS Office XP alternative) to Mozilla, an effective open source internet browser.


    One of the biggest beneficiaries of Linux is the systems’ assembler and vendor.

    Hundreds of thousands of local assemblers load their systems up with illegal versions of MS Windows to save cash, thus accentuating the problem of software piracy.

    Low-cost Linux means legal and affordable software for all, and most versions of the OS can be used a number of times having being bought once from the distributor.

    It’s not just the little guy who stands to benefit either. Big household PC manufacturer names are beginning to harness its strengths too.

    HP recently launched a low-end Compaq Presario bundled with Linux OS.

    IBM says that it is actively working to launch Linux desktops in India soon.

    According to Javed Tapia, CEO of Red Hat India: “Large numbers of hardware and software firms
    will come to use Linux as its user base steadily increases.”


    Linux is not the only part of the open source revolution.

    There is now an open source equivalent to almost all popular commercial software (including: personal finance managers, .PDF readers, CD burning applications, download managers, address books, graphic editing applications and image viewers).

    Other “free” software includes office suites like OpenOffice (which can be used to open MS Office files).

    And apart from being cheaper (or free in most cases), they are also easily customisable.

    Most of these programs are bundled with the operating system itself by Linux distributors.

    For internet use, you can use browsers such as Mozilla which allows a user to shut off those irritating pop-ups.

    Then there is the “Gaim” multi-protocol instant messenger that allows users to log in to two or more Yahoo or MSN accounts at the same time.

    “Xine” is another very popular open source application. It is an all-in-one media player that can handle nearly every media file type.

    At the same time, it is also possible to use Windows applications such as Microsoft Office in your Linux system, and this applies to almost all software.

    Similarly, users can run open source applications like OpenOffice in a Windows machine.

    That’s one way of partially converting to the open source platform and saving money on software at the same time.

    Linux is also being used in PDAs and other electronic gizmos across the world as an affordable, stable operating system.

    Sony Ericsson is already working on Linux-based operating system for its next generation mobile phones.

    Culture club

    Yet another benefit of using Linux is the availability of the operating system in most popular languages.

    In India, different groups like IndLinux and the National Institute of Software Technology are working to develop Linux and Linux applications in all local languages.

    According to a source at IndLinux: “Since culture is embedded in language to a significant degree, the ability to compute in one’s native language can mean a significant boost to culture in non-English speaking countries”.

    Linux’s openness allows local linguistic groups to customise user interfaces in far more culturally sensitive ways than in centrally-controlled approaches utilised by Microsoft.

    Linguistic groups that may be considered too small a market by big vendors can also customise the Linux interface to suit their customers’ needs.

    ’Stable and secure’

    Linux has been personally adopted by users and IT communities around the world, partly, at least, because of its supreme stability and security.

    According to Michael Robertson, founder and CEO of “Lindows (and other Linux versions) follow open standards. You don’t get locked into a proprietary, monopolistic system where the software vendor has more control over your computer than you do”.

    There are also very few Linux viruses and even if your system has a virus, it cannot spread it to other machines.

    Then there is the question of straight-out toughness.

    “I’ve had my system running for the past 104 days without a single reboot and I’ve heard of people running Linux for three years without rebooting,” one proud user says.

    “It’s small things like the fact that you don’t have to restart your machine every time you install or upgrade your software or even change your major system configuration,” he added.


    Some problems do exist with using Linux though. Mainly that users have to learn a new operating system from scratch.

    Also, some rough edges remain due to the system’s relatively young age.

    Certain hardware is not supported and certain commercial software programs are not supported.

    There are also some problems in networking Linux with Windows systems.

  10. sean May 7, 2004 at 1:37 pm #,39020384,39153936,00.htm

    The Scottish Executive has signalled a possible move away from Microsoft Office with the signing on Thursday of a deal that will enable it to manage licences for Sun’s StarOffice7 suite of office applications.

    As a result of the deal, any school, college, university or local authority in Scotland will be able to ask the Executive to manage its licences.

    The Executive has not actually bought any licences — which are provided at no cost to educational establishments under Sun’s StarOffice 7 Education Licensing programme. But the deal will allow it to provide licensing support for 2,833 Scottish schools – which would mean 738,597 students and 50,048 teachers using StarOffice if every school decided to take advantage of the offer.

    "The Executive is taking on a reseller role," said a Sun spokeswoman. "An institution can still go to Sun to get the software, but now the Executive will be able to take a lot of the hassle of managing licences off their hands." Sun says that it charges a "a small fee" to cover duplication costs of the software.

    Each StarOffice licence allows the software to be installed on five different PCs, letting people run it at work and at home, for example.

    Information about how to obtain copies of the licence will be distributed through Learning and Teaching Scotland and other agencies in the near future, said Sun.

  11. edmittance July 14, 2004 at 6:54 pm #

    "In recent months, IBM and Hewlett-Packard Co. have made installed Linux desktop machines available for sale in the Far East, but not in the States. We couldn’t find any first-tier computer manufacturers offering Linux-loaded desktop computers in the U.S. Thus, the only options U.S. buyers currently have are small, unknown manufacturers (i.e. Microtel) that have little or no market history with the buying public.

    Certainly, one can obtain a Linux distribution and install it on virtually any computer. But that’s not what we’re discussing here.

    There was a small but important breakthrough on the consumer desktop front Monday. OK, it happened in Italy, but at least it happened — and it involves a major international retailer…"