ⓘ ALT Linux is a set of Russian RPM-based operating systems built on top of the Linux kernel and Sisyphus packages repository. ALT Linux has been developed collec ..


ⓘ ALT Linux

ALT Linux is a set of Russian RPM-based operating systems built on top of the Linux kernel and Sisyphus packages repository. ALT Linux has been developed collectively by ALT Linux Team developers community and ALT Linux Ltd.


1. History

ALT Linux Team arose from the merger of IPLabs Linux Team and the Linux community of the Institute of Logic, Cognitive Science and Development of Personality. The latter cooperated with Mandrake Linux and SUSE teams to improve localization specifically Cyrillic, producing a Linux-Mandrake Russian Edition RE.

Mandrake and Mandrake RE became different distributions and thus the decision was made to create a separate project. The name "ALT" was coined, which is a recursive acronym meaning "ALT Linux Team".

The split led to the creation of the Sisyphus package repository, which is an unstable branch of the ALT Linux development. In 2007, the Sisyphus repository won a prestigious CNews award in nomination for Information Security.


2.1. Releases Linux-Mandrake

Linux-Mandrake 7.0 Russian Edition, released in the beginning of 2000, was the first de facto independent distribution of IPLabs Linux Team. It kept the name Mandrake with permission from Mandrake developers.

Spring 2001 was the second IPLabs Linux team release, released several months later.


2.2. Releases ALT Linux 2.*

ALT Linux Master 2.0, released in May 2002, was the 4CD all-purpose Linux distribution targeted for software developers and system administrators.

ALT Linux Junior 2.0 was released in summer of 2002, as a 1CD desktop/workstation-oriented release.


2.3. Releases ALT Linux 3.0

ALT Linux Compact 3.0 was released during autumn 2005, and consisted of 1CD/1DVD installable versions along with LiveCD TravelCD 3.0. There were several subsequent OEM updates counting up to 3.0.5.


2.4. Releases ALT Linux 4.0

These series changed the official naming somewhat to be "ALT Linux 4.0 $flavour".

  • Lite in December 2007 installation CD, live CD and 2CD with addons; i586; Xfce4;
  • Desktop Personal in August 2007 ;
  • Server was released in June 2007 1CD+1DVD per platform; i586 and x86_64;
  • Terminal in December 2007.
  • Office Server quickly followed 1CD; i586 and x86_64;

There was also a more conservative "school 4.0 branch" maintained for the Russian schools pilot project, and several distributions specifically tailored for schools released using that as a base.


2.5. Releases ALT Linux 4.1

  • Children in December 2008 LiveCD; i586;
  • Desktop was released in October 2008 1CD/1DVD; i586 and x86_64; KDE3;
  • School Server in February 2009 1CD; i586.
  • Skif in December 2008 1CD; x86_64; HPC;


2.6. Releases ALT Linux 5.x

The 5.0 branch was canceled mainly due to stormy X.org conditions and subsequently archived; 5.1 community branch was created along with p5 "conservative" branch later in 2009. Somewhat confusingly, distributions based on the p5/branch were numbered as ALT Linux 5.0:

  • Ark client+server suite, 1DVD+1CD per platform; i586 and x86_64;
  • Junior 1DVD/flash; GNOME2;
  • Master 1DVD/flash; KDE4;
  • Lite 2CD; Xfce4;
  • New Lite 1CD/1DVD/flash; LXDE;
  • School Suite - mostly i586, also including docs, video lessons and free software for Windows 3DVD
  • Terminal 1DVD; KDE3;
  • Server 1DVD; i586 and x86_64;
  • Simply Linux 5.0 1CD/flash/LiveCD; i586; Xfce4.
  • KDesktop 1DVD; i586 and x86_64; KDE4;

2.7. Releases Lite

A small single-CD distribution for older/low-memory computers, with Xfce as default desktop. Available in normal and Live CD versions. Rather superseded by LXDE-based New Lite.


2.8. Releases Compact

Compact is a series of ALT Linux distributions tailored for beginner users. It is mostly used on workstations, home computers, and notebooks. It includes additional means for easy configuration, lots of office and multimedia applications, and some games. Compact was also a popular choice for OEM whitelabeling, i.e. creating a specific edition for various hardware vendors to bundle with their hardware.


2.9. Releases Server

ALT Linux Server is a hardened server single CD distribution. It is certified by Federal department of technical and expert control of Russia in the following categories:

  • class of protection from unauthorized access to information - class 5
  • by the level of monitoring for non-declared features - level 4

2.10. Releases Terminal

ALT Linux Terminal is a terminal server distribution based on ALT Linux Desktop and ALTSP5: a friendly/merging fork of LTSP which is usable on older hardware acting as thin/diskless clients 16 MB RAM is enough, while stock LTSP5 usually requires ≥ 64 MB RAM. It was also adapted for Russian School Education National Project free software package.

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