Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

The KANOTIX distro implodes

Filed under
News

As of today, the KANOTIX distribution is...not dead, exactly, but most definitely without a firm direction. Its co-developer has left, its Paypal donation link is down, and it's not clear what's going to happen with it in the future.

KANOTIX is a Debian unstable-based distribution from Germany, distributed on a live CD. Its kernel comes highly customized to provide support for lots of hardware. It comes with a graphical installer and many customized scripts for ease of configuration. It was originally based on Knoppix, but it was always meant to be installed, while Knoppix is more of a live-CD-only distro.

KANOTIX's user base is mainly German, although there is an active English-speaking user base.

The official message from KANOTIX's founder, Jörg Schirottke (a.k.a. "Kano"), reads, in part:

Quote:
"Since financing Kanotix through donations has proved a failure and I am planning restructuring to a more stable base (be it Ubuntu or Debian will have to show in tests) and I myself regard Debian/Sid as unfortunately not compliant with a more commercial orientation, he (co-developer Stefan Lippers-Hollmann) has left the project."

The co-founder's reasons for leaving:
Quote:
Why do I resign after two years of hard work for Kanotix?

As expected this isn't easy to answer and has evolved over time, but technical
and personal disagreements make this step inevitable and non revocable for me.
In particular I object about:

- almost one year without any form of suitable release:
- this is an eternity for an debian sid based distribution, clean upgrading from the latest release to current -sid is no longer possible
- no significant technical progress in those >11 months from upper leading personnel, planned milestones slipped, finished code improvements were neither incorporated nor even tested
- seriously deteriorating inter project communications and working athmosphere
- unequal distribution of workload and/ or responsibilities
- a siginificant shift of agenda in ways I can- and will not endorse


There is one thing about KANOTIX that will sorely be missed. By way of explanation, when you use Debian Sid and upgrade its packages frequently, things often break. Installation scripts are sometimes buggy. Things get moved around (for example, the shift from X.org 6.9 to 7.0 entailed a shift to new X directories). Packages don't work.

Beyond its great user community, KANOTIX included people who would watch out for the "dist-upgrade" bugs, find fixes for them, and communicate that information to the user community in a timely manner. (If you wonder why Ubuntu became so popular so fast, probably the main reason is that it tries to actively make things easier for end-users. Debian, upon which Ubuntu is based, has the opposite reputation.)

A few of my opinions about this situation:

  • I don't expect professional developers to be great at communication. Especially when it's bad news. However, it would be nice if the KANOTIX team could be more forthcoming with its users about what's going on.
  • I hope Kano doesn't decide to base future versions of KANOTIX on Ubuntu. My personal opinion of Ubuntu is that it takes away a lot more from Debian than it gives back.
  • It's been a wonderful experience using KANOTIX these past 2 1/2 years. It's taught me a lot about Debian and Linux. My deep respect and gratitude goes to all those involved in its development. (And I think Kano's a genius.)

Note: The opinions expressed here are mine. I alone am responsible for them.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

dang shame

That's a dang shame. I thought it was a nice distro and hate to hear of this. Crying

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Sad News

This is rather sad news. But from my experience distribution that are based on other distros don't last a lot unless there a lot of developers working on the project especially since there are already numerous Debian derivatives.

Sad indeed

Sad news for all Debian livecds based... Here in Brazil we have some livecds that use Kanotix as based... They have nice hardware support... but I must agree, there are thousands of Debian based distros and Knoppix method for livecd is too old... linux live or morphix is better and faster to maintain.

We are seeing the future, more distros based on Ubuntu and Slackware, and less based on Debian...

Update

Some of the project's devs have already started up a new project named sidux. They really want to keep focused on a Sid-based distro.
--
><)))°> Kanotix: Making Linux work. http://kanotix.com

I wonder who is next

Kanotix was one of the first Distros that I installed to my HD, along with DreamLinux(The Best) I had a whole lot of fun playing with it, after a while I found that updating and upgrading was too much of a challenge....easy to install, easy to use, hard to upgrade...too many bugs. I have since moved to Edubuntu, (I had trouble installing Ubuntu from the live CD) so I installed the Edubuntu install only CD, worked like a charm. Now my only issue is that "it just works"....not much fun...no problems to figure out it's like having Windoze, all I do is change the backgrounds and themes.

I hope Kanotix will stick with Debian-Sid, although I am sure it get's expensive and time consuming, too bad it was not Kano who sold his company for Millions, instead of Mark Shuttleworth....

Open Your Future to Millions
www.clicksip.com

I got spanked for posting this

I got a rash of s**t for posting that snippet of Stefan Lippers-Hollmann's announcement. You can read all about that here if you want to.

Out of respect for Kanotix, I'll restrain myself to saying that I find their attitude both unreasonable and unacceptable.

Perhaps when things turn sour, it's human nature for things to get progressively ugly, and for people to be non-communicative.

Guess it's time to change my sig and move on.
--
><)))°> Kanotix: Making Linux work. http://kanotix.com

re: spanked for posting

Quote:

I got a rash of s**t for posting that snippet of Stefan Lippers-Hollmann's announcement. You can read all about that here if you want to.

Dang, kinda cat-y huh? I can hardly believe it. If something is posted on the web anywhere, it's practically fair-game. It could be quoted, plagerized, mis-quoted, or parodied. We appreciate your sharing.

At least that one guy had your back. Smile

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Life goes on...

As eco2geek mentioned, some (most) of the kanotix devs have started up sidux, which will pretty much carry on where kanotix (as it was) left off.

Sidux works nicely!

"As eco2geek mentioned, some (most) of the kanotix devs have started up sidux, which will pretty much carry on where kanotix (as it was) left off."

http://sidux.com/index.html

Grab the
Current release: sidux-2007-02 “Τάρταρο”, install to disk, then add the multimedia packages they don't include from

http://www.debian-multimedia.org/

I just replaced my Kanotix install on a Thinkpad A31 with Sidux. Kanotix was excellent work, but I see no need to go back.

More in Tux Machines

Red Hat and Fedora Leftovers

OSS, Openwashing and More

  • Speak at Open Source Summit Europe – Submit by July 1
    Open Source Summit Europe is the leading technical conference for professional open source. Join developers, sysadmins, DevOps professionals, architects and community members, to collaborate and learn about the latest open source technologies, and to gain a competitive advantage by using innovative open solutions.
  • MariaDB launches Oracle compatible enterprise open source database
    Enterprise computing has often been reliant on proprietary database architecture, but this can be both complex and costly, putting up a barrier to innovation. Now open source database specialist MariaDB is launching its latest enterprise offering with Oracle compatibility. This allows existing Oracle Database users to reuse existing code and established skill sets when migrating applications or deploying new ones. MariaDB TX 3.0 introduces built-in, system-versioned tables, enabling developers to easily build temporal features into applications. This eliminates the need to manually create columns, tables and triggers in order to maintain row history, freeing DBAs to simply create new tables with system versioning or alter existing tables to add it, streamlining the process significantly. Developers can query a table with standard SQL to see what data looked like at a previous point in time, such as looking at a customer's profile history to see how preferences have changed over time.
  • MariaDB TX 3.0 Delivers First Enterprise Open Source Database to Beat Oracle, Microsoft and IBM
    MariaDB® Corporation today announced the release of MariaDB TX 3.0, the first enterprise open source database solution to deliver advanced features that, until now, required expensive, proprietary and complex databases.
  • 5 Open-Source SQL IDEs for You to Learn and Explore
    If you’ve done a lot with SQL, you’ve probably used some form of SQL IDE to help you complete that work. Yes, it’s possible to do everything in SQL from the command line; but creating or even maintaining databases and tables that way is an exercise in masochism. There are some nice commercial IDEs such as dbArtisan and SQL Server’s Management Studio, but IDEs is one area where open-source can do just as well (or in some cases, even better).
  • LibreOffice 6.1 Branches & Now Under Feature Freeze, LibreOffice 6.2 On Master
    LibreOffice has reached its hard feature freeze and branching period with the first beta release being imminent. As of yesterday is now the libreoffice-6-1 branch for continued with on this next open-source office suite while the Git master code is tracking what will later become LibreOffice 6.2.
  • Securing Third-Party and Open Source Code Components: A Primer [Ed: Citing, as usual, firms that try to sell their proprietary software by badmouthing FOSS]
    The increasing popularity of open source code continues to be a boon for developers across the industry, allowing them to increase efficiency and streamline delivery. But there are security risks to be considered when leveraging open source and commercial code components, as each carries with it a significant risk of becoming the enemy within, creating a vulnerability in the program it helps build.
  • FOSSID Awarded Grant for Artificial Intelligence in Open Source Auditing by Sweden's Government Agency for Innovation
  • Intel AI Lab open-sources library for deep learning-driven NLP
    The Intel AI Lab has open-sourced a library for natural language processing to help researchers and developers give conversational agents like chatbots and virtual assistants the smarts necessary to function, such as name entity recognition, intent extraction, and semantic parsing to identify the action a person wants to take from their words. Just a few months old, the Intel AI Lab plans to open-source more libraries to help developers train and deploy artificial intelligence, publish research, and reproduce the latest innovative techniques from members of the AI research community in order to “push AI and deep learning into domains it’s not a part of yet.”
  • 'monitor mode for iwm(4)'
  • FSFE Newsletter - May 2018
    Following a more than a decade long tradition, the FSFE once again led its annual Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW) in Barcelona, Spain, as a meeting point for world-leading legal exper...
  • 24 best free security tools

Firefox 63 Plans and Mozilla's Error Code Plans

  • Firefox 63 to Get Improved Tracking Protection That Blocks In-Browser Miners
    Mozilla developers are working on an improved Tracking Protection system for the Firefox browser that will land in version 63, scheduled for release in mid-October. Tracking Protection is a feature that blocks Firefox from loading scripts from abusive trackers. It was first launched with Firefox's Private Browsing mode a few years back, but since Firefox 57, released in November 2017, users can enable it for normal browsing sessions at any time.
  • Firefox 63 To Block Cryptojackers With Advanced Tracking Protection
    It has been reported by Bleeping Computer, a security blog, that Firefox 63 will be launched with an improved tracking protection system to ward off the threats and security concerns posed by in-browser miners. With the surge in incidents involving mining malware trying to use your CPU power to perform some CPU-intensive calculations for their own benefit, many browsers have raised their guards by providing additional security features. (You can read more about blocking cryptocurrency mining in your browser in our earlier published article.)
  • What’s the 411 on 404 messages: Internet error messages explained
    Nothing’s worse than a broken website. Well, maybe an asteroid strike. Or a plague. So maybe a broken website isn’t the end of the world, but it’s still annoying. And it’s even more annoying not knowing what those weird error messages mean. That’s why we’ve decoded the most common HTTP error messages.

OpenStack News/Leftovers

  • Canonical founder calls out OpenStack suppliers for ‘lack of focus’ on datacentre cost savings
    The OpenStack supplier community’s reluctance to prioritise the delivery of datacentre cost savings to their users could prove “fatal”, says Canonical co-founder Mark Shuttleworth.
  • OpenStack in transition
    OpenStack is one of the most important and complex open-source projects you’ve never heard of. It’s a set of tools that allows large enterprises ranging from Comcast and PayPal to stock exchanges and telecom providers to run their own AWS-like cloud services inside their data centers. Only a few years ago, there was a lot of hype around OpenStack as the project went through the usual hype cycle. Now, we’re talking about a stable project that many of the most valuable companies on earth rely on. But this also means the ecosystem around it — and the foundation that shepherds it — is now trying to transition to this next phase.
  • Free OpenStack Training Resources
  • How the OpenStack Foundation Is Evolving Beyond Its Roots
    The OpenStack Foundation is in a period of transition as it seeks to enable a broader set of open infrastructure efforts than just the OpenStack cloud project itself. In a video interview at the OpenStack Summit here, OpenStack Foundation Executive Director Jonathan Bryce and Chief Operating Officer Mark Collier discussed how the open-source organization is still thriving, even as corporate sponsorship changes and attendance at events declines. At the event, Collier said there were approximately 2,600 registered attendees, which is nearly half the number that came to the OpenStack Boston 2017 event. OpenStack's corporate sponsorship has also changed, with both IBM and Canonical dropping from the Platinum tier of membership.