In February this year a group of South African developers announced a new Linux distro project Kongoni. While there is a strong BSD-Unix influence, the underlying code is based on Slackware and the makers are promising to keep the distribution free of proprietary software.
A.J. Venter, lead developer of the Kongoni GNU/Linux team, today announced that Kongoni version 1.12.2, codenamed Nietzsche, has been officially released. “This marks the first official and stable release of the Kongoni GNU/Linux distribution after several development releases,” says Venter.
“Kongoni is a fully free African GNU/Linux distribution based on Slackware with significant inspiration from the BSD-Unix architectures. The operating system is primarily designed for desktop power users and aims to provide a powerful, customizable system that puts the user in control of his own environment while nonetheless being easy to work with and not get in your way.”
According to Venter the most significant Kongoni feature is its source base software installation system, known as a ports tree, a feature that originated in the BSD-Unix world and remains a popular power-users tool on present day BSD-Unixes, Apple(tm)’s MacOS(R) and source based GNU/Linux distributions.
“Kongoni, however, is not a source-based distribution. The distribution itself is shipped as binaries which work out of the box. The ports tree is used only for installing additional software. This is the same approach taken by the BSD Unix system but relatively unique for a GNU/Linux system,” Venter explained.
Kongoni Nietzsche ships with version 220.127.116.11 of the Linux-Libre kernel, a version of the Linux kernel containing only free drivers and firmware and created by the Latin American Free Software Foundation. Other notable software included is version 3.1 of OpenOffice.org, GNUzilla IceCat version 3.5, Amarok 2.1 and KDE 4.2.4 with our unique African Sunset theme as the default desktop.
“Since Kongoni is developed in South Africa, we are subject to neither the DMCA nor Software Patent laws and are therefore able to offer our users these codecs which other distributions are often forced to exclude for fear of legal action,” Venter said.
The operating system is shipped as a downloadable ISO image with versions available to run natively on either 32-Bit or 64-Bit Intel x86 compatible processors. Users who already have an earlier version can safely upgrade to Nietzsche using the ports tree without needing to download the ISO’s.
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