Ubuntu Will Use Base-10 File Units in Future Releases

There’s an interesting development from the Ubuntu camp that I recently noticed:

Ubuntu’s future 10.10 operating system is going to make a small, but contentious change to how file sizes are represented. Like most other operating systems using binary prefixes, Ubuntu currently represents 1 kB (kilobyte) as 1024 bytes (base-2). But starting with 10.10, a switch to SI prefixes (base-10) will denote 1 kB as 1000 bytes, 1 MB as 1000 kB, 1 GB as 1000 MB, and so on.”


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Novell and Linux Wins

Hopefully, this SCO nightmare is all but over. Novell and Linux can now walk away and focus in making Linux a premier OS.

“It’s over. The jury has found that the copyrights did not go to SCO under the APA or anything else. The verdict is in. Novell has the news up on their website already, but I heard it from Chris Brown also. Here’s the brief Novell statement:

“Today, the jury in the District Court of Utah trial between SCO Group and Novell issued a verdict.

“Novell is very pleased with the jury’s decision confirming Novell’s ownership of the Unix copyrights, which SCO had asserted to own in its attack on Linux. Novell remains committed to promoting Linux, including by defending Linux on the intellectual property front.

“This decision is good news for Novell, for Linux, and for the open source community.

More from Groklaw.

How Linux Boots

How does Linux boot? Linux Boot Camp covers the basics of the boot up process in Part 1 of multi-part series. The Linux boot sequence is broken down into 3 main areas: Grub, Init and RunLevels.

Booting. Sometimes it seems like it takes forever. What’s the computer doing all that time? How do you find out?

The Linux boot sequence is surprisingly simple, and the best part is that almost all of it is controlled by shell scripts you can read — and even edit yourself.

Today’s tutorial will take you through boot camp, focusing on the classic “SysV init” methods Linux has always used. Part II will discoss some of the changes on systems like Ubuntu as they gradually migrate to a new “Upstart” model.

First, Grub loads the kernel

When you power your machine on, a program called grub takes control. It reads the first sector of your disk, figures out where to look for the operating system, and starts the kernel running. Then it gets out of the way and the kernel takes over: usually you’ll see a brief message like “OK, loading the kernel”.

Do those messages fly by too fast on the graphical boot screen? If you want more information while you’re booting, you can disable graphical booting by editing the kernel line in grub and removing quiet.

The kernel takes anywhere from a few seconds to nearly a minute to load, depending on your hardware and how many modules it has to load. Recent distros have improved this a lot, so look for faster kernel load times in the future.

init takes over

Once the kernel is finished loading, it passes control to a process called init. init is the master process from this point until you finally shut the machine down. It’s running on your system right now: run ps aux and you’ll see that it’s process 1, at the top of the list.

There are two types of inits. The classic “SysV” model dates back to the days of AT&T System V Unix, long before Linux even existed — but it’s still used in every Linux distro today. The newer “Upstart” model is being gradually phased in by Ubuntu and a few others — but even after years of migration, there’s still a lot of SysV in the boot process.


A SysV-init Linux system has several possible runlevels. Generally you’ll boot into runlevel 2 (Debian/Ubuntu), 3 or 5 (most others). Some distros (Redhat/Fedora) use runlevel 3 to boot into a text console and 5 for a full graphical desktop. You can find your current runlevel by typing runlevel at the command line.

There are a few special runlevels. 0 means halt, while 1 and S both mean to boot single-user, with only a root shell, no window system and fewer daemon processes — useful for debugging if things go wrong.

In theory, you can boot into other runlevels by adding the runlevel number to the end of the kernel line in grub. In practice, that doesn’t always work, but adding “single” should always get you into single-user mode.

The default runlevel is traditionally set in a file called /etc/inittab. Some distros change that; for instance, Ubuntu sets it in two places, /etc/init/rc-sysinit.conf and /etc/event.d/rc-default.

Debian Based Linux Distributions

I am somewhat surprised with the number of Linux distributions with Debian roots. A total of 129. This list doesn’t even include all the Ubuntu variations like Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, etc. I am using Linux Mint and it’s not even on the list. So here’s the list of 129 distributions courtesy of Distro Watch:

AbulÉduAdamantixAGNULA GNU/Linux Audio DistributionAmber LinuxANTEMIUM LinuxArabbixARMA aka Omoikane GNU/LinuxASLinuxAuditor Security LinuxAugustuxB2D LinuxBeatrIX LinuxBEERnixBiadixBIG LINUXBioknoppixBlackRhinoBluewall GNU/LinuxBonzai LinuxBrlSpeakCàtixCensorNetClusterixClusterKNOPPIXCondoruxDamn Small LinuxDanixDeadCDDebXPdeDizinha LinuxeduKnoppixERPOSSESwareEvinuxEuronodeFAMELIXFeather LinuxFlonixVital Data Forensic or Rescue Kit (FoRK)Freeduc-cdFreeduc-SupGEOLivre LinuxGibraltar FirewallGNIX-VivoGnoppix LinuxgnuLinExGNU/Linux KinneretGNUstep Live CDgrmlGuadalinexHelixHikarunixHiweed LinuxImpi LinuxIndLinuxJulexK-DEMarKaella • Knoppix Linux AzurKalango LinuxKANOTIXKlusTriXknopILSKnoppelKnoppixKnoppix 64Knoppix STDKnoppiXMAMEKnoppMythKnoSciencesKurumin LinuxLAMPPIXLibranet GNU/LinuxLIIS LinuxLinEspaLinspireLinux Live Game ProjectLinux LocoLinuxDefender Live! CDLinuxinLiVuxLocal Area Security Linux (L.A.S.)LuinuxLuit LinuxMAX: Madrid_LinuxMediainlinuxMEPIS LinuxMetadistro-PequelinMIKO GNYO/LinuxMoLinuxMorphixMunjoy LinuxNature’s LinuxNordisKnoppixOGo KnoppixOraluxOverclockixQuantianPaiPixParallelKnoppixParsix GNU/LinuxPenguin SleuthPHLAKPilotLinuxProgeny DebianRays LinuxROSLIMS Live CDSalvareSanta Fe LinuxSkolelinuxSlavixSlixSlo-Tech LinuxSoyombo Mongolian LinuxSphinxOSTablix on MorphixTilix LinuxTupiServer LinuxUbuntu LinuxUserLinuxWHoppiXX-evianXfldXandros Desktop OSXarnoppixZen LinuxZoneCDZopix

I just peeked at Ubuntu.com, 10.04 beta 1 looks really good!