Linux News #9

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Denise Tree

Jan 1, 1993, 8:48:14 AM1/1/93

L i n u x N e w s

A summary of the goings-on in the Linux community

Issue #9 December 21 to Jan 1

Our Motto: "To Hack and to Serve"

***** News of Note

- 0.99 and 0.99 patchlevel 1 kernels released
- GCC 2.3.3 and Linux C library 4.2 available at tsx-11
- H.J. Lu's new bootable rootdisk released
- YAPPS (yet another /proc ps) source at tsx-11
- Xxgdb (X interface to Gnu debugger) uploaded to
- New Gnu utility binaries from Rik Faith
- Tinymush and tinyfugue binaries uploaded
- PennMush 1.5 ported
- Newest Seyon is 1.6
- Ver. 0.2 of sent to
- SUGG conference in Moscow calls for papers on free software
- Ed Carp uploads atp-1.3 (QWK reader)
- Drivers for XT controllers Alpha-4 version are ready
- Lars Wirzenius steps down as Linux News Editor, Denise Tree takes

***** Goodbye

After doing eight issues of Linux News I decided to force, er, ask
somebody else to continue. After I sent out issue #8 with the request
for volunteers, I received several replies within a couple of hours.
Nice to see that there is still that kind of spirit lingering among

I picked Denise Tree as my successor, partly using a few random
criteria (I recognized her name from c.o.l from way back, and a few
other things like that), but mostly because her reply was by far the
funniest. I'm sorry for all you others who also wanted to do it, but
it is better to have only one person in charge of this kind of thing.
However, I'm sure Denise will be glad to get any offerings for help,
especially after the first few issues (it's more fun in the beginning;
trust me, I know what I'm talking about).

I have received about fifteen post cards and one letter in response to
the begging buried in the legalese section of a few issues. Thanks to
all of you who sent them, they (among other things) motivated me a lot
when the thing started to get only routine and less and less fun.

Don't get me wrong, Linux News never got unpleasant; I gave it away
before things got that bad. Especially the first three or four issues
were quite fun. The rest were more routine than creativity, and I
feared that I would get quite bored and quite disgusted with it, and
this was one reason why I decided to give LN away.

Let's hope that Denise likes routine more than I do.

Some people noticed that I got somebody else to do the INFO-SHEET and
the Meta-FAQ as well, and were curious why I did that. Was I going to
give up Linux?

Well, no, I'm not going to give up Linux. Part of the reason I have
given up these things is that I don't really have the time for them.
The time freed by not doing them anymore I will allocate for studies
(which haven't been progressing very well during the past year), and
also for the Linux documentation project, which I coordinate.

Unfortunately, there are more unpleasant reasons as well. Those who
read comp.os.linux might have noticed that it is very active and has a
lot of messages per day. Although I have no problem myself with the
volume (even if I have at least skimmed through every article, high
though it is, the amount of quality discussion is heart-breakingly low
and the amount of crap unpleasantly high.

Even worse, the number of persons asking questions that are directly
answered either by my INFO-SHEET and Meta-FAQ, the real FAQ, or what
other documentation is available is so high that I almost feel sick.
So, since there seem to be few people who make use of them, the hours
I have put into writing them, and the on-going effort of maintaining
them, seem to be quite wasted. Since I did I-S and M-F for a purpose
-- to reduce the number of repeated questions -- and since that goal
did not seem to get achieved, I didn't find it worth my time to go on.

At the moment, I have grown tired of fighting windmills and trying to
improve the signal-to-noise ratio of comp.os.linux. I guess c.o.l
will never again be the cozy meeting place of hackers and intelligent
newbies who discuss things in a friendly manner, fool around, and
generally have a good time.

I am not certain that I wish to dwell much in the dark place that
c.o.l has become, where newbies come in and the first thing they do is
to try to change the Linux community to their tastes, who want to be
spoonfed any and all information, and who go around demanding that
others do various bigger and smaller things for them, preferably by

Therefore, I will retire myself from most things I've been doing for
the Linux community, instead continuing to whine. Of course, since
there really _are_ people who do behave in the way that I consider to
be civilized, I haven't just stopped doing things, but have instead
found other people to take over the tasks, in the hope that these
people will continue to be helped.

On a more pleasant note, I'd like to thank all of those who have given
me feedback over the past months, either in the form of thank yous,
encouragement, or, best of all, constructive criticism and
corrections. Despite my dark ramblings above, you have been many and
I am truly thankful for you all. Without that kind of support from
the Linuxers, I probably would have given up a lot sooner, given that
I very easily grow tired of people I consider stupid (being ignorant
is all right, being stupid and/or inconsiderate is not).

I guess what I want to say is that I don't like comp.os.linux that
well anymore, but thanks to those who have supported me this far,
sorry that I can't continue, good luck to you all, hope you enjoy
yourselves. If and when I feel that c.o.l is a dwellable place again,
and/or I cool down a bit and grow a thicker skin, I may become more
active again. If not, well, it isn't my loss (if it is a loss at

Goodbye friends.

No longer at your service,


***** A few editorial words from Denise Tree

Goodbye Lars ... and thank you for all your work and committment. I
promise to do my best to add something to Linux until I too, become
gloomy (or until my grades slip).

It was almost exactly one year ago that I put a "rawwrote" floppy into
the A: drive of my '386 and was amazed to see a new OS actually
booting. Like many people I suppose, I didn't like MS-DOS or any of the
commercial schemes available to simulate real multitasking. I wanted
to run Unix on my own computer! I had read with anticipation about the
port of BSD by the Jolitz's and of Hurd, but since they seemed long in
arriving I had resorted to using a DOS clone of the Bourne shell and a
mess of Unix-like DOS utilities in a free package called dosnix. Linus
Torvalds version of the 0.11 kernel made such kluges unnecessary.
Since then I have been an evangelical Linux Activist (I ended up
changing my major from biology to COSC).

So what... some might say. I'll bet the story I've told could be told
with minor variations by almost everyone with a Linux partition.

That's just the point of course. There have been many posts (some of
which have contributed to Lars' gloomification) and even some really
extended pontification about how Linux should be "handled" or whether Linux
will be a "success" or what should be done to "improve" Linux....
blah blah woof woof. Well, it has already been said but I think it
bears repeating:

1. Linux _is_ a success.
2. Decisions about Linux will be handled by those who
do the work.
3. Linux will be improved by those who do the work and
the beta testers who test it.

I will try and continue Linux News much as Lars did and if I have the
time I will try and do some new things which I hope will be of value
to the Linux Community (and fun for me).

Happy New Year and Happy Hacking!
Please send Lars some more post cards!

If you have praise, criticisms, suggestions, virtual beer or pizza or
postcards send to:
Denise Tree
348 Ilchester Ave.
Baltimore, MD. 21218

***** Announcements

- December 21 Linus released the first patch for the 0.99 kernel which
changed the following:

1. Configuration script debugged
2. inode.c initializaion changed (missing NULL and minor
3. SCSI tape patches by Kai M{kisara
4. tcp/ip patches by Ross Biro and Linus
5. keyboard patches to eliminate lockups
6. completed /proc-fs (Michael Johnson)
7. other minor fixes
8. support for extended VC switching in support of future X11
which will understand VC's. Linus say's "Wait for Xfree-1.2
to be able to switch VC's while under X (yes, including several
X-sessions active at the same time..).
FTP: pub/OS/Linux/testing/Linus (cd blind) pub/linux/sources/system

- December 21 Michael Caro uploaded xxgdb.bin.TZ and to Xxgdb is the X interface for gdb, the Gnu debugger.
It was compiled with

- December 21 Michael Johnson announces that he is writing a
/proc-based ps which does not depend on /dev/kmem for process status
information. It will eliminate the need for recompiling ps with
every kernel change and he hopes to have it completed in time for
the 1.0 kernel release.

- December 23 Olaf Kirch sent a patch to tsx-11 to help in compiling
GWM-1.7n, the generic window manager. Look for gwm-patch.tar.Z.
FTP: (probably in pub/linux/sources/usr.bin.X11)

- December 23 David Peterson announces new binaries of tinymush 2.0.9
and tinyfugue 2.0.b2 (mud's?) compiled with libc4.1 jump tables and
4.0 libm. and tinymush-2.0.9-bin.tar.Z

- December 25 Rik Faith released a large collection of Gnu binaries
compiled with libc 4.1 jump tables and gcc 2.2.2d7 ( tested with
0.99 kernel and libc 4.2). Included are:

*.Notes - Instructions for installation, ftp sites for src, patches
for compilation
*.taz - tarred, compressed binaries, COPYING, README's, man and info
*.dist - used to build the *.taz file
*.Unins file - will uninstall binaries and leave src intact
This package includes the Gnu shell, file and text utils plus MANY
more FSF and Gnu utilities.
Bug reports and comments to:
FTP:*.Notes files are in the following places:

*.taz files are in the following places:

The hard to find (i.e., non-GNU) sources are in the following places:

Source for FSF utilties are in the following places:

- December 26 M. Saggaf released version 1.6 of Seyon, the X based
communication program. Seyon uses Xterm ( or any other X terminal
emulator ) and has auto-detect zmodem download, mouse aware dialing
directory and transfer protocol selection. NOTE: Be sure and get the
source for zmodem, rzsz9202.tar.Z, and patch with Xrz3D.tar.Z (at pub/Linux/X11/utils) for a really nice graphical
download status display.
FTP: pub/seyon

- December 27 Michael Johnson announced improvements to his /proc
based ps and some new programs including: free, uptime, and tload.
FTP: pub/linux/BETA/procps/procps.tar.Z

- December 28 Geoffrey S. Knauth posts an announcement for a
conference on free software to take place in Moscow on March 19 to
23. Exerpted from Geoffrey's post:

The conference is hosted by SUUG, the Society of Unix User Groups
(formerly the Soviet Unix Users Group), the Russian Center for Systems
Programming, the Russian Chapter of the Free Software Foundation, and
the International Center for Scientific and Technical Information.

Participant specialists are coming from North America, Europe and
Japan. We have just learned that Richard Stallman, founder of the
Free Software Foundation, and recipient of the ACM Admiral Grace
Hopper Award and MacArthur Fellowship, will attend.

The main topics of the Workshop include:
- the current state of the GNU project and other FSF projects;
- "free" software means information freedom and sharing;
- free software portability in Open Systems environments;
- user experiences with free software;
- free software in education and training;
- legal aspects of free software;
- relevance of free software to NIS modernization and democracy;
- how NIS scientists can contribute to free software.

(.. stuff deleted ..)

The precise location of the conference will be announced in the
coming months.

For further information, you may contact any of the following
members of the program committee:

Name Telephone E-mail
========================== ================= ======================
Sergei Kuznetsov (Chair) +7 (095) 272-4425
Peter Brusilovski +7 (095) 198-7055
Dmitry Volodin +7 (095) 231-2129
Geoffrey S. Knauth +1 (617) 891-5555

- December 29 Rik Faith re-announced his release of the Gnu (and more)
utilities for Linux and also notes:


All of the recent binaries were linked with gcc 2.2.2d7/jump 4.1, but on a
system with installed. In particular, the rcs56A.taz files
will dump core *unless* you have On the other hand, if you
just recompile the source distribution, it appears that it will work fine
on your system with Please report other problems so that I
can update the solutions.

- December 29 Pat Mackinley sent his ALPHA-4 XT controller drivers to and These drivers let you use XT (8
bit) controllers under Linux in conjunction with normal 16 bit AT
interface cards. These cards use different IO ports and IRQ's so
they will not conflict with AT hardware, thus allowing two more
drives to be used (a pretty neat wat to utilize older hardware).
FTP: filename not given yet

- December 30 H.J. Lu announced the availability of gcc2.3.3 at
tsx-11. It requires the libc4.2 library installed to run.
FTP: pub/linux/GCC/gcc233.TZ

- December 30 H.J. Lu announced Linux C Library version 4.2.
From H.L.'s post:

This is the release of the Linux C library 4.2. You have to
install the source code of 0.98 pl5 to use it since fd_set is changed
and it needs <linux/ioctl.h>. You don't have to use 0.98 pl 5 kernel.
But 0.98 pl 4 kernel is necessary. You also need gcc 2.3.3 or above to
use it.

Since kernel now has the 387 emulation, we don't need soft math library

I was told this shared image work with older kernel (newer than 0.97
pl4). I have put libnet.a and librpc.a back into libc.a.

Please get the latest binutils.TZ from if you cannot
get your binaries linked with the shared libraries.

You can get them from under pub/linux/GCC. The
file names are image-4.2.TZ, extra-4.2.TZ, gxx-2.3.TZ, inc-4.2.TZ,
jump-4.2.TZ and libc-4.2.TZ.

- December 30 H.L. Lu has made a new bootable rootdisk for the 0.99pl1
kernel using a lite version of which does not have
curses, sun rpc or gdbm. The Image has SCSI, tcp/ip and 387
FTP: pub/linux/GCC/rootdisk/3rootdisk.Z (for 3.5") pub/linux/GCC/rootdisk/5rootdisk.Z (for 5" )

Please forgive me if any announcements have been missed. I missed a
few days of mail ( I have no Netnews at my school) and I have lost
some older mail... send mail to if you would
like me to include something in Linux News #10 ....

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