Jean Francois Martinez, the project leader for Independence Linux, announced last week the release of the first snapshot for the distribution that calls itself Linux for the masses.According to Martinez, this pre-release snapshot accomplished the following goals:
- Robustness - "We cannot assume a user who does not make mistakes. The
introduction of XFS makes Indy resilient to untimely powerdowns or resets. There is also a last chance editor (lpe), an editor for really tough situations that will allow easier repairs than with VI."
Bloat removal - "Most users use only one tool for a given task so it makes little sense to include dozens for the same task. It is good for sales of commercial distributions but it is not in user's best interest because they will only serve to confuse them. In addition, if a user stumbles upon several mediocre or user hostile programs he will get a bad impression of Linux. That is why programs like Twm or exmh have been withdrawn from Indy."
Easier administration - "Postfix replaces sendmail, Cups replaces LPRng
as printer spooler, Cheops, ethereal and etherape help with getting information about the network. There is also kups for configuring printers."
Coolness - "I want Linux being used for doing cool things instead of just serving data while the real action occurs on Windows boxes. That is why Indy comes with a gimp on steroids, its PDF manual for user getting more out of it, Blender and povray for creating ray traced images, the very latest drivers, and xpp for changing printing parameters on the fly (a la Windows). Also there is SoundStudio in the multimedia area, and Gtksee because it is a great viewer."
Games - "What better use for computers? I have added FlightGear, a flight simulator look-alike but with greater emphasis on realism. There is also chromium, an arcade game."
Practicality - "As long as Linux will be seen as something basically useless for normal people it will not reach them. That is why Indy includes gnucash for personal accounting, gnome-pm for portfolio management, and gtktalog for CD management."
Integration in Windows networks - "Samba 2.2 is included, which is far easier to administer than Samba 2.0. There's also LinPopUp, where the user will get messages from other windows like the ones sent by print servers; Linnneighborhood: the only explorer of Windows networks that really works, and it also allows mounting of shares on the fly."
Security - "Usage of acls allowed by XFS provides better security than the primitive Unix permissions."
Networking - "There is pptp for people using that protocol over ADSL; also included are gnome-icu (a clone of ICQ) and curl (an improved wget)."
Independence Linux is based on Red Hat, and "designed by users for the users." If you'd like to volunteer to help out with the project, visit the Independence Linux Web site for more information. To download Independence Linux, visit this page.