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Gobolinux 013 - Release Notes

Introduction

We are pleased to introduce GoboLinux 013, the new major release of GoboLinux, the alternative Linux distribution. This release is the result of over an year of work on the build infrastructure used by the distribution. The new Live CD build environment is highly customizable and package building was overhauled by using a dynamically-generated sandboxed environment which insulates the source code and its dependencies during compilation.

These under-the-hood improvements resulted in cleaner builds when bringing the package set up-to-date: major upgrades include Xorg 7.1, KDE 3.5.3, Glibc 2.4 and GCC 4.1.1. This release also features a number of improvements in the management tools, particularly new versions of Manager, the graphical management console, and Compile, the GoboLinux package building tool.

Availability

GoboLinux is available as an ISO download, in a number of mirrors.

Overview of this release

Live CD

The GoboLinux CD serves both as an installation disc and a Live CD, with a complete graphical desktop featuring KDE 3.5.3, OpenOffice.org 2.0.3 and a host of applications. In fact, due to the modular nature of the GoboLinux filesystem, every program available in the CD can be used directly from the "live" environment -- the work of the installer is to simply copy the user's selection to the destination partition (respecting dependency chains).

Graphical installer

Since version 010, GoboLinux features an installer that works on both text and graphical mode. The feature set of both modes is identical, thanks to the innovative AbsTK (Abstract Toolkit), created by the GoboLinux team especially for this installer: a unified widget toolkit for Python which detects and adapts itself for different environments. It currently supports two backends: ncurses/console and Qt/X11.

Hardware detection

GoboLinux features a Udev-based hardware detection system. A large number of devices are detected, loading the appropriate kernel modules.

Video detection is performed separately, by Xorg's own autodetection mechanism. If for any reason video card detection fails while booting the Live CD, you can skip to the default, "vesa", which works for most cards (unaccelerated).

Changes since GoboLinux 012

UnionFS-based Live CD

The entire Live CD environment is now writable, by layering a RAM-disk on top of the root directory. This way, not only settings can be edited, but even packages can be downloaded from the net and installed directly on the Live CD environment.

Modular SquashFS

The GoboLinux LiveCD is now built as a series of SquashFS images which are merged using UnionFS. This brings greater flexibility when customizing the CD, as packages from the base system can be easily separated from desktop applications, and additional SquashFS can be added or replaced with ease.

Enhancements in management scripts

The new versions of the GoboLinux management scripts include a large number of new features, including support for package signatures, automated management of configuration upgrades, and a new dependencies format.

Built using ChrootCompile

Virtually all packages (with the notable exceptions of OpenOffice.org, Firefox and Thunderbird, which are packed from their official binary builds) were built from source using ChrootCompile, a new tool developed by the GoboLinux team that provides a dynamically-generated sandboxed environment, insulating the source code and its dependencies during compilation.

Listener

GoboLinux now includes a tool for listening on filesystem events and assigning actions to be performed automatically, aptly named Listener. With it, you can, for example, clean up the links tree automatically as packages are removed from /Programs.

Hardware requirements

Processor

GoboLinux is compiled to run on i686-class systems: Intel Pentium II/III/4, Intel Celeron, AMD Duron, AMD Athlon/XP/MP.

Memory

To load the Live CD environment, 32 MB of RAM is the recommended minimum for a text-mode install, 64 MB is the recommended minimum to load the graphic KDE desktop; 128 MB is recommended for a comfortable Live CD experience.

Once the system is installed in the hard disk, memory requirements vary greatly depending on the kind of applications executed, but the values stated above related to the Live CD experience serve as a good guideline.

Video and peripherals

Video cards are supported through the Xorg X11 server, with the fallback "vesa" driver covering the vast majority of current cards. A large number of sound cards are supported through ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) and OSS (Open Sound System). Other peripherals are supported through additional packages (CUPS, SANE, GPhoto, etc.) available in the GoboLinux repository and recipe store.

Package-specific notes

This section contains some general comments about the package set included in GoboLinux. The complete list of packages included in the CD follows in the next section.

Absence of proprietary packages

This release does not include any proprietary packages. It is worth to point out that programs such as Sun JDK and Macromedia Flash do work under GoboLinux with no limitations -- they are not included for legal reasons only. As alternatives to Acrobat Reader, we recommend Kpdf and Xpdf.

Internationalization

GoboLinux ships whenever possible all packages distributed in their original state, as intended by the authors of the various free software projects that compose the distribution. This also applies to the distribution of the locale files. Therefore, support for internationalization varies according to the translation status of each project for each language. External locale packages are not usually included in the CD, but due to user demand, Brazilian Portuguese and German i18n packages for KDE are shipped.

List of packages

All packages that had new releases were updated since GoboLinux 012. Here is the complete list of programs you will find included in the GoboLinux 013 CD:

ALSA-Lib 1.0.11          Htop 0.6.4               Nasm 0.98.39
ALSA-Utils 1.0.11        HwData 0.148-1           Ncurses 5.5
ATK 1.11.2               ID3Lib 3.8.3             Net-Tools 1.60
AbsTK 0.3                IMLib 1.9.15             Netkit-Base 0.17
Aspell 0.60.4            ImageMagick 6.2.8-0      OpenOffice 2.0.3
Atool 0.32.0             Imake 1.0.2              OpenSSH 4.3p2
Audacious 1.1.2          Indent 2.2.9             OpenSSL 0.9.8b
Audiofile 0.2.6          InetUtils 1.4.2          PCIUtils 2.2.1
Aumix 2.8                Installer 1.0.2          PCRE 6.6
Autoconf 2.59            JACK 0.100.0             PPP 2.4.3
Automake 1.9.6           JPEG 6b                  Pango 1.13.2
BC 1.06                  K3B 0.12.16              Parted 1.7.1
Bash 3.1                 KBD 1.12                 Patch 2.5.4
Bin86 0.16.17            KDE-Base 3.5.3           Perl 5.8.8
BinUtils 2.16.1          KDE-Graphics 3.5.3       Perl-XML-Parser 2.34
Bison 2.3                KDE-I18n-de 3.5.3        Pinfo 0.6.9
BootScripts 2.1.0        KDE-I18n-pt_BR 3.5.3     Pkgconfig 0.20
Bzip2 1.0.3              KDE-Libs 3.5.3           Popt 1.10
CDRDAO 1.2.1             KDE-Multimedia 3.5.3     Procinfo 18
CDRTools 2.01.01a11      KDE-Network 3.5.3        Procps 3.2.6
CUPS 1.2.1               KDE-PIM 3.5.3            ProgsReiserFS 0.3.0
CVS 1.12.13              KDE-Utils 3.5.3          Psmisc 22.2
Cairo 1.1.10             LCMS 1.15                PyQt 3.16
Cdparanoia-III alpha9.8  LILO 22.7.3              Python 2.4.3
Compile 1.7.1            Lame 3.96.1              Qt 3.3.6
ConfigTools 1.1.2        Lazy 0.24e               QtParted 0.4.4
CoreUtils 5.97           Less 394                 RP-PPPoE 3.8
Cpio 2.6                 Lesstif 0.95.0           Readline 5.1
DB 4.4.20                LibART_LGPL 2.3.17       ReiserFSProgs 3.6.19
DHCPCD 2.0.0             LibExif 0.6.13           Rsync 2.6.8
DVD+RW-Tools 6.1         LibGlade 2.6.0           Ruby 1.8.4
Device-Mapper 1.00.21    LibID3Tag 0.15.1b        SIP 4.4.5
Dialog 1.0-20060221      LibIDN 0.6.3             Sash 3.7
DiffUtils 2.8.1          LibMNG 1.0.9             Scripts 2.5.5
DosFSTools 2.11          LibMad 0.15.1b           Sed 4.1.5
E2FSProgs 1.39           LibOGG 1.1.3             Shadow 4.0.17
Ed 0.2                   LibPNG 1.2.10            SquashFS-Tools 3.0
Eject 2.1.5              LibRSVG 2.14.4           Strace 4.5.14
EnhancedSkel 013         LibSamplerate 0.1.2      Subversion 1.3.2
Expat 2.0.0              LibSndfile 1.0.16        Sudo 1.6.8p12-r3
File 4.17                LibStdC++ 3.3.1          SysFSUtils 1.2.0
FindUtils 4.2.27         LibTool 1.5.22           Sysklogd 1.4.1
Firefox 1.5.0.7          LibUSB 0.1.12            Sysvinit 2.86
Flac 1.1.2               LibUngif 4.1.4           T1Lib 5.1.0
Flex 2.5.31              LibVorbis 1.1.2          TIFF 3.8.2
Fontconfig 2.3.95        LibXML2 2.6.24           TagLib 1.4
FreeType 2.1.10          LibXSLT 1.1.15           Tar 1.15.91
GCC 4.1.1                Links 2.1pre22           TeTeX 3.0
GDB 6.4                  Linux-Headers 2.6.16.20  Texinfo 4.8
GLib 2.10.3              Listener 1.2             Thunderbird 1.5.0.4
GPM 1.20.1               LiveCD 1.0.1             TraceRoute 1.4a12
GTK+ 2.8.19              Lsof 4.77                Udev 095
Gawk 3.1.5               M4 1.4.4                 Unsermake SVN-20060729
Gettext 0.14.4           MC 4.6.1                 Unzip 5.52
GhostScript 8.54         MPlayer 1.0pre8          Util-Linux 2.12r
Gimp 2.2.12              Make 3.81                Vim 7.0
Gimp-Print 4.3.25        Man 1.6d                 Wget 1.10.2
Glibc 2.4                Man-Pages 2.33           WindowMaker 0.92.0
Gnupg 1.4.3              Manager 1.1.2            Wireless-Tools 28
Gnuplot 4.0.0            Mdadm 2.5.4              XTerm 213
GoboHide 0.11            Mesa 6.5                 Xorg 7.1
Grep 2.5.1a              MkTemp 1.5               Xpdf 3.01pl2
Groff 1.19.2             Module-Init-Tools 3.2.2  YAFC 1.1.1
Grub 0.97                Mtail 1.1.1              ZLib 1.2.3
Gzip 1.3.5               NTFSProgs 1.9.4          ZSH 4.2.6
Hdparm 6.6               Nano 1.3.11

About GoboLinux

GoboLinux is a Linux distribution created in 2002 which implements an innovative approach in terms of system administration. It defines a new directory hierarchy which allows the coherent management of the installed base of programs from a system. This is done exclusively through the filesystem layout, without relying on databases or package managers.

In GoboLinux, each program resides in its own directory, such as /Programs/Xorg/7.1 and /Programs/KDE/3.5.3. Each file category (executables, libraries, headers) can also be accessed through unified symlink views, such as /System/Links/Libraries and /System/Links/Headers. These views match the legacy directories (/bin, /usr/include, /usr/local/share, and so on), achieving total Unix compatibility while keeping program directories completely self-contained.

http://www.gobolinux.org