Slackware 13.0

Slackware Linux Project just released version 13.0 which promises to be a major bump up from version 12.0. The biggest addition to Slackware is the support of the 64-bit version. There are many updates and enhancements to version 13.0: Xfce 4.6.1, KDE 4.2.4, HAL or Hardware Abstraction Layer which allows support for USB flash sticks, USB cameras that appear like USB storage, portable hard drives, CD and DVD media, MP3 players without sudo requirement. Slackware uses Linux kernel 2.6.29.6. Download Slackware 13.0.

SmoothWall 3.0 SP1

Four years ago, I wrote about my experience using SmoothWall 2.0. It’s time to revisit this old and trusty firewall. There is a new version that is out this year, SmoothWall 3.0 SP1. SmoothWall is a free GNU/Linux-based security-hardened firewall with an easy-to-use web interface. There are essentially two products: SmoothWall Limited and SmoothWall Express. Limited is the commercial version, while Express is designed for home and small businesses use. There are lots of new features with version 3.0. First of all, there are 4 different editions: User edition 32bit, Developer edition 32bit, User edition 64bit, Developer edition 64bit. According to Smoothwall’s website:

The developer editions includes the complete SmoothWall Express functionality, but also contains the needed tools for working on Express itself, including complete builds, check outs and commits. It is therefore possible for interested coders to work on Express from their very own firewall. This marks a turning point for SmoothWall: it is now easier then ever for people to work on the project, make custom modifications and get involved with the SmoothWall team.

Features since 2.0

  • Supports a 4th NIC for Wireless Access Points.
  • 64bit support – additional builds for 64bit Intel and AMD chips.
  • Based upon linux 2.6 kernel.
  • New realtime traffic graph shows traffic bandwidth usage over time (AJAX).
  • Per-IP address traffic statistics collection in all traffic stats pages – you can now view weekly, monthly, etc totals for specific internal IPs, or see which local IP is using the most bandwidth, in real-time.
  • IM proxy with logging and filtering abilities (MSN/AIM/ICQ/Yahoo).
  • SATA/SCSI support.
  • Support for many new gigabit NICs.
  • Streamlined installer/setup.
  • Quality-of-Service (QoS) support for traffic-shaping and management – nice and easy to use but powerful, can traffic shape Peer-to-Peer traffic.
  • SIP proxy support using siproxd, with transparent mode.
  • Protection-level profile selector at install time can be used to pre-configure default settings.
  • Timed-access feature for allowing or blocking access to a list of IPs or subnets based on time of day and day of the week.
  • Outbound filtering.
  • Portforward and other networking pages now use the new service list controls.
  • New update mechanism which can download and install all pending updates with a single click.
  • Brand new even prettier theme. The polar bear is back!
  • Devel editions for people interested in hacking on smoothie.

SmoothWall is a great product. It definitely worth’s a try.

The Perfect Server CentOS 4.8

It’s the perfect server? Ok, I had a problem with the title. However, it’s an excellent article if you want to create a web server with all the services you want similar to what hosting companies run on their servers. CentOS certainly is not my first choice since I prefer running Red Hat or Ubuntu Server. CentOS is definitely worth a look.

The perfect server runs on the following services: Web Server: Apache 2.0.x with PHP 4.3.9, mod_ruby, mod_python, Database Server: MySQL 4.1, Mail Server: Postfix, DNS Server: BIND9 (chrooted!), FTP Server: proftpd, POP3/IMAP server: dovecot, and Webalizer for web site statistics.

If you want to learn how to install these services, read the article.

Build RPM Packages

Here’s a nice article to get you started if you are interested in learning how to build a RPM package. If you are running a RPM-based distribution such as Redhat, Fedora, Mandriva, Caldera, Turbo Linux, and many others, this article is for you. The instructions will walk you through a step-by-step process on how to build a RPM package. Read more.

Lin-X 1.1

If you want a Linux desktop that looks and feels like a Mac, you should take a look at Lin-X 1.1, a Linux distro based on rock-solid Ubuntu, but made to look like a Mac. When you login to Lin-X, you’ll be greeted with a Mac look-alike wallpaper. Navigation is done using a Doc like-panel at the bottom of the screen. The distro comes with most standard Ubuntu applications , but with a couple of non-standard applications thrown in the mix. The only gripe I have with this distro; there seems to be little activity with development. I can’t imagine trying to get support. If you are still curious about this distro, you can download it from Softpedia.

Linutop 3

If you’re looking for a tiny Linux-powered desktop, look no further. Introducing the Linutop 3. The nettop is powered by a Via C7 processor clocked at 1.0 Ghz. The unit is only 9.25×9.29×2.16 inches and weighs only 3.9 lbs. The nettop comes standard with 1GB RAM which can be upgraded to 2GB. Also included is a 2GB RAM Internal Flash Memory, a gigabit LAN interface, 6x USB 2.0 ports and 1 COM Port RS232. The video output is VGA + DVI. There are two microphone inputs and two outputs for audio. The unit uses very little power at only 19V DC only. Finally, the nettop uses Thin Client PXE Boot. The nettop sells for $485. Read more.