Impi Linux 2 to be launched on Software Freedom Day
Impi Linux 2 is the next generation of original South African-developed open source software. Unlike Impi 1, version 2 is not based on any existing Linux distributions such as Red Hat and Debian, but is built from the ground up. Ross Addis, chairman of the Gauteng Linux Users Group says Impi 2 is a \”purely South African-developed open source technology.\”
The official launch will happen at the Open Source Installfest planned for Dimension Data Campus this weekend.
\”With Impi Linux 2, South Africas will have a completely local alternative to Linux, the open source operating system that has steadily become a serious challenger to Microsoft offerings,\” says Addis.
Impi 2 is no longer distributed as a \”live\” CD as with the previous version. In large part this is because of space constraints, says Addis. Although the CD can be used to boot a machine, it does not include a full graphical interface as with most \”live\” CDs. Impi 2 will be distributed on a single CD however, with a range of the most popular desktop and server applications included.
Although Impi 2 includes a full working desktop the distribution is built primarily with server-related tasks in mind, says Addis. He says Impi 2 will provide all the typical server requirements for small and medium businesses from web server to email and file server requirements.
\”Impi 2 is a completely new distribution built from the ground up,\” says Addis. This includes its own XML-based Impi package management system. Addis says that the Impi package management system includes compression techniques based around the work of the Cubit team which reduces application sizes. Addis says that the decision to use the Impi package management system is in part an opportunity to show that South African developers have the skills to develop their own tools. \”We could have gone the tried and tested route but with this we are proving a point,\” he says.
On the desktop Impi has standardised on the KDE desktop environment. Addis says the decision to include the KDE desktop was largely because of \”popular demand\” but also because many other distributions ship with GNOME as a default so Impi is slightly different.
Impi 2 also includes a selection of the best locally-developed software available. This includes the newest version of the very Cubit accounting system. Cubit\’s technologies have also been used across the entire distribution, in particular as the core of the web-based administration system.
From 28 August, Impi Linux 2 will be available for download at www.impi.org.za.