February 19, 2019

Bigger, Faster, Smarter, Friendlier - page 2

The Heart of Linux

  • September 9, 1999
  • By Mike MacCana

Andrew Tridgell [of Samba fame] has developed RSync, a technology set to influence not only Squid and Apache but, with any luck, the HTTP protocol itself. RSync solves the problem of updating an old copy of a file with changes made in a new copy...on different machines. Obviously, you say...just send the bits that have changed. But what if you don't know what's changed? Then you use RSync. This obviously has major potential for caching...but more than that, for pretty much any file transfer operation where an older copy of the file already exists on the target machine. RSync is a brilliant and creative technology which could start freeing up serious bandwidth everywhere--and it's available right now.

On to the topic of handy utilities...so far I've been unaware of a decent disk-partitioning tool for Linux with the ability to move and resize partitions. Distributions like Redhat and Caldera are still relying on people to boot to Windows and resize their existing partitions before installation can occur. This bites like a piranha. Both the commercial and open-source world are coming to our aid. Powerquest's Partition Magic has always been a great utility for anyone with more than one operating system installed. Rumor says version 5 will have a Linux native port. Meanwhile, Mandrakesoft is developing Diskdrake, a new open-source solution to the same problem.

Install procedures are getting better too. Caldera recently released their graphic installer, Lizard, under an open-source license. Corel's new Debian-based distribution also has an X-based installer, and installs with about 4 mouse clicks. Nice!�

Completely unsubstantiated rumors from a Linux dignitary at a recent conference suggest that databases may form a big part of the future of Linux. A number of different databases already exist� [e.g., RPM, and according to some, ext2] on most Linux systems. More are planned as applications look to store their configuration files [GNOME rumored, KDE thinking about it]� in databases rather than text files, according to a Linux dignitary speaking in Australia recently. A uniform standard for a master SQL database housing all these settings might become a reality.


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