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First Look: UnitedLinux Open Beta is Here - page 3

Behind the Scenes at UnitedLinux

  • September 27, 2002
  • By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

UnitedLinux became available on multiple sites on September 25th, two days later than promised. But even now, getting a copy isn't easy. It is only available in the form of ISO-9660 CD images, and the binary download of the first disc alone is more than 600MBs. Only users with access to 500Kbps or higher broadband connections should even bother to try to download it.

With an initial expectation of only about 1500 downloads in the first day, the main download site (http://www.unitedlinux.com/en/release_plans/open_beta.htm) was quickly overwhelmed by what one UnitedLinux worker said was ten-fold higher than expected demand.

The code wasnt available directly from any of the companies sites until the next day. By September 27th, however, the UnitedLinux open beta was only available from SCO (http://www.caldera.com/products/beta/). SuSE's site points downloaders back to the main site, Conectiva doesnt have a link and Turbolinux's English language site simply states that the download still isn't available.

While UnitedLinux promises that the more sites will become available and bandwidth increased, most would-be UnitedLinux testers would be well advised to wait to download. The sites are still experiencing "overwhelming demand." In my own experiences, I was never able to successfully start an ftp session with the main site. I was, however, able to quickly download all three CD ISO images from SCO. That said, you can now expect that site to be buried in traffic now too. By the middle of next week, it should be easier, albeit it will never be fast unless you have a T3 to call your own, to download the images.

Once in hand, you'll need an Intel 486DX to Pentium 4 or compatible chip, with 64MBs of RAM and 500 MBs of disk space to give it a try. For the uses that its creators see for it though, UnitedLinux would most likely be rolled out on a minimum of a Xeon with 512MBs of RAM and 40GBs of hard disk and up.

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