New Linux Distribution and a very special offer!
Linux-FT is a modern Linux distribution that has been produced
in the UK for the UK and European market. It is a joint venture between
the UK's Lasermoon and ACC corp. in the states.
We have already secured agreement that UKUUG Linux SIG archives (small
as they are at the moment!) will be available as part of the Linux-FT.
This neatly solves the problems of producing our own CD as discussed
in the last "Linux@UK". The price of a basic Linux-FT package
is very reasonable and update CDs are going to be available every four
to six weeks at about 8 pounds each. It isn't going to cost much to
Lasermoon are very keen to foster links with the UKUUG Linux SIG. To this
end the full Linux FT package that normally retails at £65 is available
to UKUUG Linux SIG members for just £52 - a full 20% discount. This
is for a package with documentation, sunsite and TSX-11 archives and proper
UK based support. You want to make your mark on and with Linux? Now is your
chance as Linux-FT is not going to be a static system. ROMs will be
produced in small quantities to order. This means that you will never
be fobbed off with stuff that is months out of date. It also means that
as a UK community we can set about co-operativley producing software
and documentation with the knowledge that it will have a wide audience
as part of a major new distribution.
Please note that the discount offer is only open to paid up members
of the SIG. You should state that you are a member at the time of
ordering. Saving £13 on a great Linux product? That's over half the
money you spend on Linux SIG membership given back in an instant!
I have put together some edited hi-lights of the full Linux-FT
product announcement (the source document spanned many pages).
If you want to see the full announcement
I am sure email to lasermoon would be effective!
Linux-FT : Unix Is Now Closer Than You Thought
Linux-FT is unlike any other distribution you have used before.
Containing many new and revolutionary features not present on any other
product, with a full range of variations to suit almost every
conceivable application it is already making other distributions look
The full package comprises an excess of 5 (five) CD-ROM's and a complete
integrated Motif development system.
What's so Special?
It's not just the ELF binary and development environment, nor the 1.2 kernel
and XFree86-3.1.1 (all ELF) that makes Linux-FT special :
What make Linux-FT so different
The differences start the moment you begin installation. You can either
install using a boot floppy or by using the install.exe program from a
DOS system. Unlike distributions where the boot floppy tries to guess
the hardware you are using, or others where you have attempt to make a
floppy disk from a number of possibilities, Linux-FT presents you with
a menu of the hardware present, and you select the hardware to boot from.
This could be a floppy disk, local hard disk, CD-ROM or NFS- mounted. And
unlike other distributions who seem to be obsessed with disk-sets,
Linux-FT uses unique copy-cache technology to copy files from the CD-ROM to
the hard-disk as and when you use them.
- No nonsense.
- No guesswork.
- Simplicity itself!
What's New :
- copy-cache : makes installation a truly hands-off affair.
- YP and NIS : Linux-FT has a full implementation of YP and NIS
- Boot Management All new GUI style Boot Manager
- xadmin tool: An extremely easy to use X based administration tool
- ELF: Full ELF distribution
- kernel: 1.2
- applications: demos of commercial applications
- Window Manager: ELF format OSF/Motif 2.0 mwm runtime license included
- WWW connected: Already configured for WWW and the Internet
- Multi-Lingual: Versions available in English, French, German,
Italian, and Spanish. (not available with some
- Motif: Full version of Motif 2.0 available.
- html: Extensive specific documentation in html format.
But can I use the older a.out format Binaries?
Linux-FT supports old a.out binary formats.
Say Good-bye to Disk Sets!
Installation is even simpler. With revolutionary ``copy-cache``
technology, all you do is mount the CD-ROM and the system almost
installs itself. Every time you access a file on the CD-ROM it is
automatically copied to the hard disk as you are using the system.
Naturally, you can install complete packages as well if you want a
one-shot installation. copy-cache is fully configurable allowing you to
control the file systems copied across and how much free disk space you want
to leave free.
With copy-cache there are :
Linux-FT's copy-cache technology gives you no fuss installation - you'll be
using your system while the other are still trying to install theirs.
- No more disk sets.
- No more pressing the return endlessly as the files are copied.
- No more package copying
- No more hassle
Configuration is easy too! With the sophisticated X Windows based
configuration scripts, you can configure your printers, networks and
disk sub-systems using a user-friendly console. So, say good-bye to the
endless manual file editing.
All the expected features are present, Andrew distribution, TCP/IP,
multimedia support, full C/C++ development environment, X11R6 runtime and
development packages with full documentation.
As you would expect, Linux-FT uses the 1.2 kernel which offers
compatibility with the latest hardware.
SCO Binary Compatibility
Better still, Linux-FT allows you to run SCO binaries with the iBCS
library (due to time and other practical constraints, it has not been
possible to test this will all SCO binaries, but we do know that
Infomix, Word Perfect, Frame and most compilers work).
Linux-FT is a joint ELF and a.out binary distribution allowing you to
develop ELF binaries whilst still using the older a.out format binaries.
Brief Package Lineup
All the expected Linux features are present including ;
You also get demonstrations of :
- X11R5 XFree86-2.1 (based on X11R5) is present shared
libraries in a.out format only.
- X11R6 XFree86-3.1.1 (based on X11R6) is present in ELF
- shells bash, tcsh, zsh
- editors EMACS, elvis (vi), joe, edit, axe, xcoral, xwpe
- Text Formatting TeX, LaTeX, groff, ghostscript
- Programming dev' & Support
C, C++, F77 (f2c), Pascal (p2c), Tcl/Tk, Basic,
Prolog, Scheme, perl, ADA (gnat)
- Networking TCP/IP, NFS with applications (such as telnet,
ftp etc) slip, ppp, uucp, pcomm, minicom,
- MultiMedia Image viewers (JPEG, MPEG, GIF, TIFF and more),
- Internet All the features you require to access the
Internet including mail readers (elm etc), News
readers and servers, pop3, ftp, telnet, sendmail
- Extra Packages Linux-FT is the only distribution that comes
with the option of the OSF/Motif 2.0 mwm window
manager. Other varients include a complete
OSF/Motif development system (compeditive
upgrades available for those with non-ELF
licences or other vendors products).
Heaps of X and Motif Freeware Taken from the archive at
ftp.lasermoon.co.uk and others.
- BRU The commercial Backup and retrieval system found on most
- Flagship The database manager
- Xad Commercial Motif GUI development tools
- dBMAN Commercial DBase compiler
- And more!
Linux-FT is not available on floppy disks as the resulting distribution
would be too unwieldy. You will require a CD-ROM drive.
Future Developments and Update Cycle
Linux-FT is developing fast, future weeks will see :
Linux-FT is updated approximately every 6 weeks.
- Full POSIX conformance
- DCE conformance and development tools
- Linux-FT Lite
- ISDN server (part of the Linux-FT Server product)
With flexibility in mind, Linux-FT comes in the following packages.
note that prices may vary from region to region and may be subject to
postal charges and local taxes.
Linux-FT (Runtime, 2 CD's)
The base FT media set comprising the FT runtime and source CD's (two CD's)
Installation guide on CD-ROM.
Linux-FT (4 CD's + mwm + Installation Guide)
Editor Note: This is what Linux SIG members get for £52! Also note that
instalation of the licenced Motif window manager is optional. The rest
of Linux-FT is in the true Linux tradition freely copyable. You do not
need to buy one set of disks per machine although the convinience of
copycache means that you will probably want to anyway. The most important
aspect is that you will be able to set up a whole network of Linux
workstations from a central NFS server with the Linux-FT ROM in it!
In addition to the two runtime media CD's you also get the sunsite and TSX11
archives on 2 CD's and the Linux-FT installation guide in printed form
(around 200 pages). Unlike some other distributions, this guide has been
specially written to accompany Linux-FT
Other bundles are also available,
contact lasermoon for more information.
Support and Internet Home
Linux-FT comes with a 30 day support contract which may be extended.
Linux-FT is available via FTP for free(!!!), although it is a rather
long ftp session! You can browse the file-system on
You will also find the source to the manual, errata, support
questions/FAQ's etc. in same directory.
For more informtion
And a complete version of the Linux FT specifications email Lasermoon
Info Desk - email@example.com or write to
Tel: 01329 834944 Fax: 01329 834955
Please note that this is a new address and phone number - they have
I will be moving up from Slackware to Linux FT myself so you will
be hearing much more about it in the next issue.