Welcome to the 80th issue of Softpedia Linux Weekly!
The following Linux-based operating systems were announced last week: BackTrack 4, SimplyMEPIS 8.0.15, PelicanHPC 2.0, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Alpha 2 and Pardus Linux 2009.1. In other news: Amarok 2.2.2 brings new and highly anticipated features, as well as plenty of bug fixes. The weekly ends with the video clip of the week, the latest Linux distributions released/updated and the development releases.
On January 11th, Offensive Security, leaders in Online information security training, proudly announced the final release of their extremely popular security oriented operating system, BackTrack 4. After quite a long development period, the team tried to make BackTrack 4 one of the perfect Linux distributions for security-related tasks. It is now powered by a new Linux kernel, includes an expanded and larger toolset repository and custom utilities that can only be found in BackTrack 4.
Powered by Linux kernel 220.127.116.11, the new BackTrack 4 operating system contains many patched wireless drivers to improve wireless injection attacks. The following list of "external" wireless drivers was added: r8187 (IEEE802.11 drivers), madwifi-ng (IEEE802.11 Atheros drivers), rt73 k2wrlz (IEEE802.11 rt73 drivers), rt3070 (STA drivers (no injection)), broadcom hybrid (STA drivers (no injection)), rt2860 (STA Drivers (no injection)), rt2870 (STA Drivers (no injection)), rt3070 (STA Drivers (no injection)). However, there are some wireless drivers that are known not to work, for example the Broadcom wireless drivers.
On January 12th, MEPIS LLC, through Warren Woodford, announced the immediate availability for download of the SimplyMEPIS 8.0.15 operating system, for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures.
This is a maintenance update to the stable branch of SimplyMEPIS and it includes Linux kernel 18.104.22.168, KDE 3.5.10, OpenOffice.org 3.1.1, Mozilla Firefox 3.5.6 and many other updated components. SimplyMEPIS 8.0.15 is based on the stable release of Debian Lenny and it includes all the security updates to date.
Highlights of SimplyMEPIS 8.0.15:
· Based on Debian Lenny Stable;
· Linux kernel 22.214.171.124;
· KDE 3.5.10;
· OpenOffice.org 3.1.1-12;
· Mozilla Firefox 3.5.6-1;
· Adobe Flash Player 2.8;
· BIND9 9.6.1P2-1;
· Skype 126.96.36.199;
· Mono 188.8.131.52;
· Nvidia video driver 185.18.36-2 and 96.43.13;
· wl-modules 184.108.40.206.3;
· acpi-support 0.132;
· initramfs-tools 0.93.4;
· hwinfo 16.0-2;
· hwdata 0.225-1;
· klibc 220.127.116.11.
Download SimplyMEPIS 8.0.15 right now from Softpedia.
Also on January 12th, Michael Creel announced PelicanHPC 2.0, which is now based on the Debian Squeeze testing branch. The new version updates a few core packages, and introduces some improvements and various bug fixes. PelicanHPC is a Live CD Linux distribution based on the Debian mammoth, which aims to simplify the setup of a high-performance computing cluster.
Highlights of PelicanHPC 2.0:
· Based on Debian Squeeze Linux;
· Created using Debian Live;
· XFCE4 desktop environment;
· Konqueror web browser and file manager;
· KSysguard and Ganglia cluster monitoring tools;
· Kate graphical text editor;
· nano command-line text editor;
· Includes the Open MPI and LAM-MPI implementations of MPI (32-bit and 64-bit);
· Includes extensive example applications using MPITB and GNU Octave;
· Includes the Linpack HPL benchmark;
· Any Class C network can be used (default cluster is on 10.11.12.*).
On January 15th, Canonical unleashed the second alpha version of the upcoming Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) operating system, due for release in late April this year. The most important feature of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Alpha 2 is probably the inclusion of the Plymouth graphical boot manager utility from Red Hat, which replaces the old Usplash.
Highlights of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Alpha 2:
· Linux kernel 2.6.32-10.14;
· GNOME 2.29.4;
· Extra Pane in Nautilus;
· Nvidia video driver 190.53;
· Likewise Open 5.4;
· Indicator Applet Session was split in two;
· PiTiVi video editor;
· gbrainy, a brain teaser game;
· Quadrapassel tetris clone;
· and many more!
Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Alpha 2
Download Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Alpha 2 right now from Softpedia. Remember that this is an unstable release and it should NOT be installed on production machines. It is intended to be used for testing purposes only.
Also on January 15th, Onur Küçük proudly announced the immediate availability of the Pardus 2009.1 Linux-based operating system. Powered by a brand-new Linux kernel 18.104.22.168, built on top of the amazing KDE Software Compilation 4.3.4 environment and with bleeding-edge applications, such as the Mozilla Firefox 3.5.7 web browser or The GIMP 2.6.8, the new Pardus Linux 2009.1 release is definitely worth installing on your computers. The best part is that Pardus Linux 2009 users can automatically upgrade to this new version by simply updating their system!
Highlights of Pardus 2009.1:
· Linux kernel 22.214.171.124;
· Xorg Server 1.6.5;
· KDE SC 4.3.4;
· OpenOffice.Org 126.96.36.199;
· Mozilla Firefox 3.5.7;
· The GIMP 2.6.8;
· Python 2.6.4;
· Better hardware support;
· Larger software archive;
· Beautiful artwork for boot prompt, boot splash and desktop environment;
· ...and lots of bugfixes!
· Announced on January 11th, Amarok 2.2.2 brings some interesting improvements and lots of bug fixes since previous releases. But there are also some new features in Amarok 2.2.2, such as the return of the highly anticipated "Custom Labels," which allows users to add a personal touch to their music collection. Furthermore, the moodbar was added to make their music experience more colorful by allowing users to change the progress bar according to their current mood (angry, frozen, normal, or happy). Read more about it here.
Video Clip of the Week: Up and Running with BackTrack 4
· For this week, we've posted a video clip that shows you how to get started with the BackTrack 4 Linux operating system, and familiarize yourself with its new features. The video has 5 minutes and it was posted by offensivesecurity. Enjoy!