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 stay current!

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 This means that you will never be fobbed off with stuff that is months out of date.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a full range of variations to suit almost every conceivable application it is already making other distributions look outdated. 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.


What's New :

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.

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 : Heaps of X and Motif Freeware Taken from the archive at and others.

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.

Linux-FT Variants

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 - or write to
Lasermoon Ltd,
The Forge,
Fareham Road,
PO17 5DE.
Tel: 01329 834944 Fax: 01329 834955

Please note that this is a new address and phone number - they have recently moved. I will be moving up from Slackware to Linux FT myself so you will be hearing much more about it in the next issue.

Martin Houston