An up-to-date look at free software and its makers

PROJECTS ON THE MOVE

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Free software covers such a diverse range of utilities, applications, and other assorted projects that it can be hard to find the perfect tool. We pick the best of the bunch. This month we cover Yast2 for Debian, KDE 4, Bluetooth headsets, and the Debian project.

Novell GPL’d the Yast2 configuration tool shortly after acquiring Suse. The Yast2 sources were freely accessible prior to this change, but the license restricted use and distribution of the program. These license restrictions prevented legal full downloads of the Suse media for a long time. Yast4Debian Novell has stated that it intends to make Yast2 a universal standard. According to Novell, distributors should modify the Yast source code to match their own products. The first major project to tackle this task was Debian. The Debian distribution does not have its own central configuration tool, and creating a comprehensive tool like Yast2 from scratch would have involved a lot of work. The Yast4Debian project is currently porting the Yast2 version supplied with Suse 9.1, although an upgrade to the Suse 9.2 version is imminent.

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