From DistroWatch: The developers of Ark Linux have reached a new milestone with the release of Ark Linux 1.0-alpha8. The ISO images are available from various FTP mirrors, which are slowly being populated. No release notes or readme files have been published at the time of writing, but the ISO images (only the first image is required for installation) can be downloaded from the mirrors. Ark Linux is a free Linux distribution designed for non-technical users and ease-of-use is its primary objective.
Ark Linux 1.0 Alpha 8 Released
2003-07-05 Linux 39 Comments
Ark doesn’t seem to be a good distro.
Wow this distro has to be the best distro i ever used!! good job ark developers!
..I am not replacing mandrake with this distro — could use a few more config tools and stuff, which should be comming eventually since this is still an alpha…
keep up the good work
ps. you should all give this a try, very great…. it’s also got Bleeding edge versions of software and it’s pretty stable at that.
I accidently made a mistake in my last comment and said “not” instead of “now”
…Ark is so cool..
can it now connect to the internet via dial-up
Ok… first off, pulidzz.. you can use kppp i _think_, i use ISDN and not normal dialup. Let me know how it goes and if you have no luck, i will whine until you get a solution, please come hang around in #arklinux of irc.freenode.net and i will make sure everyone gets what they want — if it’s possible of course:)
..and now the release notes:)
Ark Linux 1.0 alpha 8 release notes
1. Ark Linux
1.1. Important changes since alpha 7
1.1.1. Important updates
– The ALSA sound system has been updated to version 0.9.4.
– The KDE desktop has been updated to the latest stable release 3.1.2.
– The printing system has undergone major updating. We support many more
printers, and many at a better quality.
– The kernel has been updated to 2.4.21 final.
– Mozilla has been updated to 1.4.
– Ark Mission Control improvements.
– Nethack upgraded to 3.4.1 and recompiled for Qt 3.2.
– Latest KOffice included, with i18n support
– MrProject updated to version 0.9.
– Improved language support in installer – Catalan, German, Dutch, Estonian,
Greek, Spanish, English, French, Italian, Polish. More to come.
– The mldonkey filesharing application and the platero GUI for configuring
it have been added.
– Drivers for i810 and matrox based graphics chipsets have been added to the
installer and tested.
– First alpha release of Video conference included to replace Gnomemeeting.
– Mozilla has been moved to the Ark Extra Software CD
– OpenOffice has been moved to the Ark Extra Software CD
– Gnomemeeting has been moved to contrib
1.1.4. Technical details
– Alpha 8 has been compiled with gcc 3.3 instead of 3.2. This should give a
slight performance enhancement
1.2. Known problems
– The partitioning and boot manager problems seen by some people in alpha 6
have not been addressed. The problem is unlikely to show up unless you
are using a very complex partition layout.
– Network cards are not configured on startup.
– Reports of installer hanging with some firewire cards.
– For other problems, see http://bugzilla.arklinux.org/bugzilla/
2. Ark Development Suite
2.1. Important changes since alpha 7
– gcc (the compilers for almost all programming languages) has been updated
to version 3.3, giving mostly slight performance improvements due to its
gcc 3.3 is very strict in enforcing ISO C++ 98 / ISO C 99 compliance, even
more so than the gcc 3.2.x series.
Some commonly found code that will no longer work with gcc 3.3:
puts(“Welcome to my app!
Press any key to continue!”);
const int x=y;
puts(“Welcome to my app!
Press any key to continue!”);
– The following packages have been added to the Ark Development Suite:
– The FOX toolkit (http://www.fox-toolkit.org/) has been added.
FOX is a widget set toolkit, released under the LGPL license.
– Recent KDevelop (Gideon) CVS snapshot included.
– Valgrind updated to version 1.9.6
2.2. Known problems
There are no known problems in Ark Development Suite
3. Ark Extra Software
3.1. Important changes since alpha 7
3.1.1 Important updates
– Blender updated to version 2.27
– Evolution updated to version 1.4
– QCad updated to 1.5.4
– dosemu and dosemu-freedos have been added to the Emulators section.
This allows you to run DOS applications in Ark Linux.
– a php package has been added with support for the databases shipped
with Ark Linux
– Mosfet’s Liquid theme added.
– Superkaramba included with some sample themes.
– rdesktop is added for RDP terminal server support
3.2. Known problems
There are no known problems in Ark Extra Software
– For more information on Ark Linux, how to contact us, mailing lists, etc,
– Please report all bugs/issues to our defect tracking system at:
Is ark still based off redhat 8.0? By the time Ark 1.0 comes out, RedHat will be on version 10 or 11…
I know Ark is based on Red Hat but I don’t see any reference to this on the Ark website. Shouldn’t the Ark developers acknowledge Ark’s ancestry somehow — sort of like how Knoppix clearly states it is based on Debian and how Vector clearly states it is based on Slackware?
Well the distro started out with a redhat 8 base but has changed quite a lot since then… I will check with the rest of the developers how far they think we have changed from redhat to see if we are even based on redhat anymore
Is ALSA standard in this distro or do we have to jump through hoops to get it to work?
I would change distro’s for this feature alone after my last week of ALSA hell.
Since it will be the new Linux sound system in 2.6, I hope a few distros start using it soon.
1. What is the overall goal of Ark? Who is it aimed at, and what are its strengths in comparison to other popular distros?
2. When is the targeted release date of 1.0 (if there is one)?
Thanks in advance!
As far as i know, bero is trying to set many sound cards up to use ALSA drivers by default instead of the OSS drivers (but of course.. some cards can only work on OSS drivers.. mostly older cards i think)…
My NVIDIA Soundstorm soundcard can work on i810_audio (OSS driver) but it can also work on the ALSA equivelant of it (and alsa has been made default for this card _at least_ )..
ALSA works out of the box for most cards, and if not — you can just come to #arklinux on irc.freenode.net and we will help you getting it up because we like to do that
…The only thing i have seen with ALSA is that it’s more sensitive to cpu usage and stuff and you can have sound stopping a lil when you’re doing heavy cpu usage (which doesn’t happen with OSS drivers), we will see how that goes (but AFAIK that’s not in our hands).
Ok.. i have just talked to saint about the redhat compatibility and he also agrees we should say we were originally based on redhat…. I have also gotten permission to quote him on this:
<saint> – originally based off RHL 7.3
<saint> – input from RHL 8, RHL 9, and assorted MDK releases
<saint> – try to retain some compatibility w/ RHL – however this cannot be guaranteed
<saint> – most Source RPMs can build with little significant modifications
Where possible, we see remaining compatible as advantageous, however it cannot be guaranteed, particularly as we move forward with our own improvements.
What are the specific things you don’t like?
One of the best things about Ark is that if you have constructive input and feedback on how Ark Linux can better suit your needs, the team will be happy to hear it.
Drop us an e-mail (arklinux-list at arklinux dot org) or visit us on IRC (#arklinux on irc.arklinux.org), and let us know what we can do better.
I just talked to saint about ALSA support and he said that FULL ALSA support is there, but in this release it’s secondary after OSS (bero has been trying to get certain cards to work with ALSA by default though as far as i know).
By next release he told me, ALSA should be primary and OSS secondary and we will be trying to keep ALSA support top-notch on as much hardware as we can.. the more users/testers we got, the better.. so you should all get your butt in #arklinux of irc.freenode.net
Ok… our intended audiences are desktop users… we want to be friendly to newbies but it doesn’t mean we are for newbies ONLY. Ark Linux works perfectly on the desktop and the only things it lacks right now are some extra and improved configuration tools (being done).
There is no release date set for the 1.0 final (when it’s done), however even the alpha releases are pretty stable – try them out
1. Our primary target group is people who are new to Linux (or even to computers in general). We wish to provide an alternative to Windows and MacOS on the desktop.
2. We do not have a release date for 1.0 planned. We don’t plan our releases in dates, we plan them in terms of features that must be added and/or bugs that must be fixed.
The things currently blocking an 1.0 release are mostly missing config tools and some installer improvements.
The “alpha” label does not mean it’s unstable (while it’s not intended as a server distribution, we’re even running it on the arklinux.org server these days), it just means we aren’t where we want to be yet.
Its GNOME desktop included?
Ark Linux started out being a fork of Red Hat Linux 7.3, and has developed into a very different direction from there.
Except for the filesystem layout, there is little left of the base; while we occasionally merge patches from Red Hat (and Mandrake and Debian and other distros and OSes, e.g. our byacc package is basically taken from FreeBSD CVS), we have no intent of following another distro just for the sake of it.
In the beginning, we stayed with Red Hat kernels, but by now, we’ve even redone the kernel package to get better optimizations for the desktop (at the cost of some high-end server scalability – different users have different needs).
So in short, we probably wouldn’t be where we are now if we didn’t have something to start from, but we are an independant entity (much like Mandrake used to be just Red Hat 5.x with a couple of minor patches when it started, and developed in a different direction from there), and “somewhat based on Red Hat 7.3” does not mean “inherently outdated”.
Saying we’re Red Hat based is akin to saying Mandrake is Red Hat based, or Windows XP is DOS based — there’s some truth in it, but it’s doesn’t really fit the (current) facts.
We don’t break compatibility without reasons, but it’s not our primary focus — if a change makes sense in our opinion, we make it.
The GNOME libraries are included, and so are some of its best applications (such as GNUcash).
We do not include the desktop itself, however – several desktops to choose from confuse new users, so we’re aiming at picking the best of breed application of every kind.
We’ve decided that for our purpose, KDE is the best desktop – but that doesn’t prevent us from adding GNOME applications where they’re better.
¿The kernel included can mount NTFS partions?
¿It needs extra plugins for mp3 and dvd file formats like RH9?
Yes.. the kernel included can mount NTFS partitions, and no – you do not need extra plugins to play mp3s… I am not sure about dvds though.. i’ve never tried but that “DeCSS” thing isn’t included because of the legal stuff going on about it.
..for more questions and answers – i’d like to ask of everyone to hang out at #arklinux of irc.freenode.net
The kernel can mount NTFS partitions, but only in read-only mode for now.
This will change once we switch to kernel 2.6 (which will be done once it’s ready).
We can mp3s out of the box, and we can play DVDs if they aren’t encrypted. You can even record DVDs. We don’t dare to include DeCSS (for encrypted DVDs) by default though (for legal reasons — DeCSS is considered illegal even in most European countries).
Q: does the partitioning manager allows the partitioning of ntfs partitions (other than taking ALL of the ntfs partition free space)
We have a program called QTParted for partitioning in Ark Linux, IIRC it can do NTFS.. please drop by our irc channel for more info from the more experienced developers
The partition manager in the installer does not support NTFS at the moment (this will be addressed in a future release, hopefully and probably alpha 9).
However, we include the qtparted partition manager for post-install changes; it does support ntfs (and will be integrated into the installer).
How do the fonts compare with this latest release? Has any work been done on the fonts?
There have been quite a few related changes, most notably a freetype update (that fixed the fonts displaying very badly on some hardware), an XFree86 update and the addition of the Bitstream Vera fonts.
What does it include ?
But really, what does this distribution have over others? “Ease of use”? Well, looking at the screenshots and the feature page, they aren’t fundamentally better than guys like Xandros, Lycoris, Lindows.com…
The packages seem to be more up-to-date than the ones in lycoris and it’s free! unlike xandros and lindows.
Very good distro IMHO
Well, I’d like to try it out but it won’t install. I have 2 HD’s with various distros installed and use Acronis’s bootloader. I had an open partition but evidently the only choices you are given are to wipe the entire drive, install into unpartitioned space, or resize. I don’t want any of those — I want to be able to choose between partitions I’ve already made.
You gotta move fixing this installer right up to the very top of your to-do list. I have seen other posting about similar problems:
see comments posted at http://www.pclinuxonline.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid…
I agree that custom disk partioning should be the top priority and it sounds like it will be in their next release using qtparted (which looks similar to Mandrakes custom disk partioning)
that sounds pretty cool bero thx for that greatly appreciated
I. Question one seems to have been answered in a previous post, but I would like an answer straight from the horse’s mouth:
-> “Is it possible to repartition your hard drive using the Ark Linux installer without wiping out the entire content of the drive?”
2. The following question is a combo, a 2 for 1 special if you will:
-> “Does Ark come with configuration tools to set up a PPPoE connection? If so, does Ark have a built in firewall that was constructed with a 2.4 kernel in mind?”
3. And last but not least:
-> “Does Ark come with an Xft enabled version of Mozilla (A la Red Hat)?
– its debian-free, community driven.
– its easy for new developers to join.
– recent software (via apt)
– emphasis on KDE with Gnome compatibility
– new concepts not found in other linux distros.(improved boot init system…)
I’ve tried Ark before, and the thing that has really impressed me is the community. If you have a question, just ask it, and you’re bound to get an answer, and soon. As in, sometimes the same day (as you can probably see by the team’s posts here). It’s awesome what these guys are doing, although being a member of there mailing list does fill up my inbox at times because they talk so much. Just kidding, any way, keep up the good work. People just need to realize that Ark has a specific goal which they are sticking too, and they are not trying to make everyone happy. They are, however, making a very solid distro.
Doas Ark have a non-free repository for non strictly legal software like the non-free repository of Debian or PLF for Mandrake or freshrpms for Red Hat ?
I understand this can’t be included in main distrib, but how can I read DVD or DivX movie ? Is there a centralised repository ?
I forgot one more question…
For linux newbies, you decide to provide only one software of each type. KDE and not Gnome, Koffice or OpenOffice, GNUCash and not Grisbi…
For other users, do you have a repository (not in main CD distrib) where we can get all the up-to-date software ? This is one of the advantages of a community distrib (see Debian, FreeBSD…) Or do you decide to drop completely the support of some software ?
I am not sure about the non-free softeware repository. you are welcome to ask at #arklinux on irc.freenode.net.
I know that nvidia drivers are available though.
Arklinux tries to include the most usable version of each software, with an emphasis on KDE, in the core distribution. So Gimp is there as well as OpenOffice. But everyone is free to contribute packages though. It will not get rejected, just because it is a GTK or motif program. Gnome libs are available by default.