posted by Eugenia Loli on Thu 13th Mar 2003 23:37 UTC
IconOSNews reader Alien_II sent us in the news about the release of ArkLinux 1.0-Alpha_7.1. You can read the announcement. ArkLinux uses KDE 3.1.1 (from the CVS) and kernel 2.4.21-pre5. Read more for an interview with ArkLinux's Bernhard "Bero" Rosenkraenzer and two screenshots of the latest release.

1. What are the main strengths of ArkLinux towards its competition?

Bernhard "Bero" Rosenkraenzer: That depends on how you define competition. ;) The key idea behind Ark Linux is making an easy to use desktop operating system that is still technically sound, and fully Open Source/Free Software.

I believe we've succeeded at this - a new user will see a friendly operating system that can be installed with 4 mouse clicks.

An experienced user will see a state of the art Linux system working behind the scenes.

Click for a larger version

2. And speaking of competition, who are your competitors exactly? Every OS out there, the desktop Linux distros, or all Linux distros, or something else? In other words, who are your target audience?

Bernhard "Bero" Rosenkraenzer: Our primary target audience is home users.Linux has made great progress on the server and corporate workstation markets already, and we think the time to move to the home user desktop has arrived.

The selection of included packages clearly is - and will remain - focused on this. It's impossible to build an operating system that is a good home OS, a good corporate workstation and a good server, all at the same time - because the needs are different and mutually exclusive (for example, on a server and a corporate workstation, tightly locked up local security is a must -- on a home system, you will typically want other users to be able to install software and do other tasks usually requiring root privileges.

If we ever make an Ark Linux for servers, it will be a 'different' distribution.

We don't consider the other Linux distros (or similar OSes, like the various open source BSDs) competitiors (although in a way they are, of course). We wish to work with them, not against them - anything else is useless infighting that just hurts Linux adoption overall.

While we (of course) don't object to existing Linux users switching to Ark Linux, our main goal is to attract new users to Linux. The only things I'd call competition are Windows and Mac OS.

3. When is the final version of ArkLinux 1.0 is scheduled for release? Any new features included?

Bernhard "Bero" Rosenkraenzer: It will be released when it's ready. Predecided release dates hurt the quality of the product, because they prevent outstanding bugs from being fixed, and occasionally important updates from getting in.

We haven't set a particular timeline for 1.0 - instead we have defined a feature set 1.0 must have. When the feature set is implemented and all known important bugs are fixed, we'll call it 1.0.

Some important features missing for 1.0 are:
- Easy to use internet access config tool supporting all possible connection types (DSL, Modem, ISDN, ...)
- Possibility to resize an NTFS filesystem during installation
- Installer bugfixes (repartitioning existing installations does not always work)
- Documentation
- Graphical bootup
- Diskspace monitoring to prevent the situation of X not starting because it's out of diskspace
- Easier tool for switching between single user and multi user mode, integration of kapabilities in the user manager
- Graphical recovery tool if X fails to start up for some reason (e.g. user tried to switch to a resolution his equipment can't handle)
- Extend the partitioner to allow parallel installation with other Linuxes Help with those (and other features/bug fixes) is always welcome.

Table of contents
  1. "Part I of the Bero Interview"
  2. "Part II of the Bero Interview"
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