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DukeOfURL: Conectiva Linux 7.0 Review

Nov 13, 2001, 11:05 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Daniel Christle)

[ Thanks to Patrick Mullen for this link. ]

Conectiva Linux is a distribution released by a company of the same name from Brazil. They are very focused on the South, Central and North American markets, which is clearly demonstrated by the fact that the distribution offers language choices of only Spanish, Portuguese, and U.S. English.

Conectiva is very popular in South America, however; this is changing, as their market expands north. One of the attractions of Conectiva is APT. APT is the highly venerated Debian package management tool that has long been a favorite of the Debian crowd. It excels at installing software and in the same step accounting for all dependencies that a particular package may have. If you have ever used it you will know what a blessing it is and how much time it can save when installing any package, particularly complex ones.

Conectiva pioneered, and help develop APT (Advanced Package Tool) as an addition to RPM, the Red Hat Package Manager. This is a big step forward for RPM-based distributions. A limitation of RPM is the lack of ability to fetch and install dependencies that are needed when installing a given package. It can be frustrating to try and install some software only to be held back by unmet dependencies. This usually leads to time-loss as one has to track down these dependencies, install them, and then install the package you wanted to install in the first place. By adding APT to their distribution Conectiva has added some serious value. Now Conectiva is one of two APT-enabled distributions that are RPM based. The other is Mandrake, which doesn't rely on APT as much as it does its own tools.

Conectiva also shares much in common with several other distributions, such as Red Hat, which it is based upon. Still, with version 7.0 we are starting to see the emergence of a unique distribution that has its own characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses. With this release Conectiva is definitely poised to stand on their own.

Another interesting fact about Conectiva is that they employ Alfredo Kojima, the author of Window Maker, a popular and very friendly window manager. This is very much represented by the fact that when you install Conectiva you are given a choice of GUI's to install and work with: KDE, GNOME and Window Maker. Three excellent choices.

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