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July 1999 Newsletter of the

Front Range Unix Users Group

Cndnsd Vrsn: 4 PM Thursday July 29 ACS Room 123 - Linux Distributions


Linux Distributions, Well-known through Unknown

The July meeting of the Front Range UNIX Users Group will be held at 4:00 P.M. on Thursday July 29.

The Linux operating system, spoken of so much recently, is composed of the Linux kernel, licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), and a great deal of additional software, licensed under a variety of "free/open source" licenses. Because it is freely available and redistributable, there is no one vendor from which the operating system is purchased. Instead, any person, organization or company can choose to develop and maintain a Linux "distribution", a specific set of software packages, bundled with the Linux kernel.

Some people are unaware of just how numerous and diverse Linux distributions are. Others fear that the availability of multiple varieties of Linux will fracture the Linux market and keep vendors from choosing to support it.

In this talk, we'll examine the breadth and diversity of Linux distributions, through well-known ones such as Red Hat, Slackware, Debian, etc., to over a hundred lesser-known ones. We'll look at the reasons numerous distributions have come into being and how to choose between them. Then we'll finish up with a look at the advantages and disadvantages that the diversity of Linux distributions brings and what the Linux community is doing to control the disadvantages while enjoying the advantages.

Elizabeth O. Coolbaugh is Managing Editor for the Linux Weekly News, an on-line magazine that has been reporting on the Linux Community since January, 1998. She is also Vice President of Eklektix, Inc., a Colorado-based engineering firm which provides "Linux for Professionals" training courses as well as open-source-based development, and one of the Managing Editors of the SANS Institute Monthly Security newsletters. Ms. Coolbaugh has worked in computer systems administrations since 1981, with Unix since 1985 and with Linux since 1997.

Meeting Location

This meeting will be in room 123 of the CU Academic Computing Center building at Arapahoe and Marine Streets in Boulder. Marine St intersects Arapahoe at 38th St; the Computing Center is on the southwest corner.

See <> for map

Our Last Meeting

At our June meeting, Evi Nemeth of the University of Colorado faculty discussed the measurement and characterization of Internet traffic.

FRUUG Library Notes

There's a growing number of overdue books that we'd like to see returned to the library... please check the overdue book list and be sure that your name is not on it!

We have several additions to the FRUUG library this month:

    Addison-Wesley has showered us with the latest Java books this month; the following titles are either under the "Sun Java Series... from the Source" or the Addison-Wesley label:
    • The Developer's Guide to the Java Web Server; Building Effective and Scalable Server-Side Applications
    • Inside Java 2 Platform Security; Architecture, API Design, and Implementation
    • Inside Servlets; Server-Side Programming for the Java Platform
    • The Java Class Libraries, Second Edition, Volume 1
    • Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines; User interface guidelines for designers of applications based on the Java Foundation Classes
    • The Java Native Interface Programmer's Guide and Specification
    • JavaSpaces Principles, Patterns, and Practice, from the Jini Technology Series
    • JDBC API Tutorial and Reference, Second Edition; Universal Data Access for the Java 2 Platform
    • The JFC Swing Tutuorial; A Guide to Constructing GUIs
    • Programming for the Java Virtual Machine
    • Server-Side JavaScript; Developing Integrated Web Applications

    The USENIX Association has provided us with the following proceedings from recent conferences:

    • Fifth USENIX Conference on Object-Oriented Technologies and Systems (COOTS '99), San Diego, May 3-7 1999
    • 3rd Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI '99) Proceedings, New Orleans, February 22-25 1999
    • USENIX Workshop on Smartcard Technology, Chicago, May 10-11 1999

You may check books out using your business card as your library card; you must be on the membership list to check books out. Books are due at the meeting following the one in which they are checked out. If you don't return your library books by the next meeting, you might find yourself on our overdue book list. We count on you returning books on time so that other members may have the chance to use them as well.

Remember that your FRUUG membership entitles you to 20% off books from O'Reilly & Associates when ordered through their toll-free number, (800) 998-9938. Mention discount code DSUG.

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Last Updated: 8 July 1999 Problems? Contact webmaster at

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February 15, 2009

February 2008: FRUUG Enters Quiescent Phase
After 27 years running, we're suspending operations.

Future Meetings:
None planned

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