Linux Top 3: Puppy, Backbox and Linux 3.10
Linux continues to grow not just because of any one vendor or particular use case, but because Linux is applicable to so many different use cases.
Two such very different use-cases were on display this past week, with new releases of Pupply Linux and Backbox Linux
1) Puppy 5.6
Puppy Linux has built a loyal fan base over the years as a stable, reliable and 'small' distribution. the new Precise Puppy 5.6 release is so small that the entire distro fits on a 169.6M ISO image. That's right, this is a distro that you can (and likely will if you've got new hardware) run in memory.
The Puppy 5.x branch is built using the distro's own 'Woof' build system which can pull packages from other distro (like Debian and Ubuntu for example).
Distro founder Barry Kauler blogged that:
"Relative to Precise Puppy 5.5, this latest pup brings some exciting new features, including a new Xorg Video Wizard (with forced-reboot recovery mechanism), new non-PAE 3.2.44 kernel with lots of analog modem drivers (making this an excellent pup for those still on dialup Internet), many more applications internationalized, many applications upgraded, lots of bug fixes, and so on! Plus, a huge number of fixes and improvements at the infrastructure/system level."
Grab the release here: http://puppylinux.com/download/
2) Backbox Linux
While Puppy is intended for smaller deployments on older or resource constrained hardware, Backbox is all about security.
BackTrack, now know as Kali Linux is often cited as a top Linux distro for penetration testers, but Backbox is right up there too.
"The BackBox Team is pleased to announce the updated release of BackBox Linux, the version 3.05. This release include features such as Linux Kernel 3.2, compat-wireless 3.8 (with Aircrack-NG patch) and Xfce 4.8."
Grab the release here: http://www.backbox.org/downloads
3) Linux 3.10
It's of course the kernel and its myriad drivers and supported technologies that enable Linux distros to scale up or down to meet whatever the need is.
The upcoming Linux 3.10 kernel which is currently at its rc3 stage is shaping up to be one of biggest kernel releases (by size) ever.
"I'm not thrilled about it, and -rc3 is much bigger than -rc2 was, although there isn't anything particularly scary that stands out," Torvalds wrote. "Just a lot of small details. A number of people apparently missed rc2, and then made rc3. Oh, well."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Linux Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.