Saturday, April 01, 2006

Frugal Me...Frugal You!

It was the spring, that the Vista never Sprung. It was the hippie love youth movement of the microsoft massive. Meanwhile in linuxville, a new plot was being hatched to undermine the corporate giants of the Redmond battlements. A plot to make things make more sense, a place where people unafraid of the command line could come together and share, in the joys of being frugal, a place where the simple reality is gradually coming together, that Free can mean better.

There aren't any big slogans, logos, or mottos here, no Giant 400 x 3200 wall sized HDTV remote control carrying pickup truck sized living room kitchen appliance weilding cellular bluetoothing manias sprouting from these minds, unless of course you've got pacman and will travel.

The Frugalware development team are downright Frugal and they mean to share it with the world, and let the chips fall where they may. I've got to say, they've got the right gambler for it. I installed it before it was even released stable, and I'm one satisfied customer.

The Lord of the Rings the Two Towers plays out on my desktop while I have a little fireside chat with the crew that brought this wonderful platform to my attention, initially through Alex Smith aka AlexExtreme.

Frugalware is a slack distribution at present. Are there plans for developing binary package management platforms of it?

VMiklos: Our package manager is called pacman, and its primariy purpose is to install binary packages. If you want to install packages from source, you can use our "repoman" tool.

What are your visions for the future of Frugalware, do you plan to globally distribute it as a product, and would you consider allowing a major corporation to sponsor your efforts?

VMiklos: The second. Frugalware is free, but maintaining it needs hardware, mirrors, money. We got several donations already (buildservers), and we countinously need them. If a corporation want to sponsor us, I think that is totally O.K. :-)

What is Arch linux in relationship to your project? And how do their efforts fit into your gameplan.

VMiklos: The common in Arch Linux and Frugalware is the package manager. (To be strict: nothing else.) Developing our package manger is a common effort, if anyone interested in its development, he/she can subscribe to the pacman development mailing list here.

I've successfully installed Frugalware, OpenSUSE, and WinXP on the same box. Do you see a lot of people doing this sort of thing in the future?

VMiklos: We support having more than one operating system on a single machine - though this matters only in case Frugalware is the last installed operating system. We do not have any statistics about what operating systems do other people use besides Frugalware, if they have more than one.

Is it possible that PearPC and Frugalware may have a relationship to distribute the PearPC Emulator with Frugalware in the future?

VMiklos: It is already available.

What kinds of software might you include with further editions of Frugalware? Is Muse part of the base package for electronic musicians, or will you have those sorts of things?

VMiklos: No it is not available at the moment. You can request a package by filing a feature request to our Bug Tracking System, at

Is the autoupdating feature of Frugalware unique to frugalware and perhaps a keystone to future developments?

VMiklos: I have never tried other autoupdating features. What one can see is that upgrading even from the previous stable release - which means installing 6 months of update at once - requires only a few tricks and these are documented. So it works as it should and we always pay attention not to break this great feature.

What can new users of Frugalware do to test and relay infotmation back to the developers through the correct channels?

VMiklos: We have release stable versions two times a year. There are testing releases every 2 months. If one would like to help us, then download these releases, test them and if something is broken, then file a bugreport to the BTS (mentioned above already).

Thank you again Frugalware for many hours of continued enjoyment in computing. Right now I am watching the Two Towers on DVD while typing this interview. Your KDE and improved x-drivers are excellent!

One last question? Are you going to let anyone else have them? :)

VMiklos: What do you mean on "them"?

Thanks again,

Sincerely Chris Bradley


Developer of Frugalware Linux, to make things frugal -


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