BU Linux 6 (Neo) is a refresh of the BU Linux distribution that more closely aligns with RedHat Enterprise Linux 6.x / CentOS Linux 6.x. In previous releases of BU Linux we had rebuilt, repackaged, and in some cases made customizations to software as distributed by CentOS. This work was often time-intensive and also resulted in some package versions drifting from what was available in the standard CentOS distribution.

BU Linux 6 is constructed by taking the standard CentOS 6 and layering on configurations for DNS, Kerberos, NTP, Global UID, and other software that is specific to Boston University’s environment. We believe that this change in construction will make BU Linux closely match CentOS and RedHat Enterprise Linux, and will also allow IS&T to be more responsive when providing ongoing updates to software packages and Linux version upgrades.

Features

  • A new package, “bu-config”, now provides the BU specific configuration and modifications in a central place for a variety of CentOS configuration files.
  • Neo will continue to have additional security enhancements
    • Disallows null passwords
    • Disables interactive initialization
    • Requires a root password for entering system service mode
  • Neo only customizes those packages that need BU modifications
    • Reduces package version “drift” from standard CentOS
    • Reduces time required to provide ongoing package updates and Linux version upgrades
    • Includes the newer kernel so enhancements are automatically included
  • Web distribution of the packages using an Apache server
  • Majority of packages will be available directly from other repositories (CentOS, EPEL, RHEL, ATrpms, others)
  • Many of the Monde packages are now provided by default from the EPEL software repository; others from ATrpms, NauLinux or RPMForge.
  • The standard CentOS 6 distribution has SELinux enabled by default with targeted mode, so this will now be the default for BU Linux 6. SELinux was disabled in BU Linux 5 Monde.
  • AFS is available, but is no longer installed by default.

Important Considerations

  • Due to the changing nature of the BU Linux 6 software distribution, systems should reinstalled as a fresh install rather than upgraded in place. As always, it is a good practice to routinely back up your systems, especially before reinstalling an operating system.
  • The CentOS 6 packages installed by default for various installation types such as Desktop or Minimal differ from the default set of packages installed by BU Linux 5 Monde. This software can easily be installed with “yum” if it is required.
  • The autoupdate utility by default only updates packages in the CentOS, EPEL, and BU Linux repositories. If you need rpms from other repositories to be automatically updated, these repositories should be listed in /etc/sysconfig/autoupdate
  • Some software that was provided as part of the BU Linux 5 Monde distribution repository should now be retrieved from one of the ATrpms, NauLinux or RPMForge repositories (packages detailed in the last section of this page).
  • Computer lab managers should be aware that the standard CentOS 6 by default does not disable interactive start-up, nor password protect the boot environment.  These customizations will need to be made if they are required for lab use.

Retired Packages

The following packages have been retired they are obsolete, are no longer maintained, or have been replaced by alternative software:

  • ADOdb banner bittorrent bsd-games bulinux-bookmarks bulinux-logos
  • bulinux-release-notes calc childsplay_plugins childsplay chkfontpath
  • clisp compat-lzo compat-wxGTK26 dclock elvis fonts-cheapskate
  • fonts-essays1743 fspanel gcal geg gnome-doc-utils grass gtkpod heyu
  • hwbrowser kvpnc lash lavaps liquidwar littlefrm mattdm-utils mindguard
  • ming mousepad msttcorefonts-builder mvgp oed ots pam_passwdgrub
  • perl-Acme-Cow perl-Chart-ThreeD perl-Env-PS1 perl-Exporter-Tidy
  • perl-ExtUtils-CBuilder perl-ExtUtils-ParseXS perl-Geo-TAF
  • perl-Hook-LexWrap perl-Inline perl-IO-stringy perl-IP-Country
  • perl-MIME-Base64 perl-Module-Build perl-Module-Pluggable
  • perl-Pod-Escapes perl-Pod-Simple perl-TDB_File perl-Term-ReadLine-Zoid
  • perl-XML-Encoding perl-XML-RegExp perl-XML-XQL perl-Zoidberg pine
  • pirut pump pychecker pyfribidi python-eyed3 python-gpod rkward rss-glx
  • SDL_sound SDLmm smpeg timidity++ ufsparse wesnoth xfce4 xforms xfprint
  • xfwm4 xfwm4-themes xrmap

Included Packages

BU Linux 6 Neo includes hundreds of packages by default, with a full list available online. If BU Linux does not include a package you believe would be beneficial to all users, contact us and we will consider it for inclusion in future versions.

Supported Packages Not Provided in BU Linux

The following packages will no longer be provided directly by BU Linux, but can instead be installed by adding the ATrpms, NauLinux, or RPMForge repositories:

  • abiword aiksaurus allegro audacious audacious-plugins bchunk
  • faad2 ffcall fluidsynth gqview gtkmathview lha libbinio libfreebob
  • libsidplay link-grammar mcs perl-Chart-Plot perl-Mail-SPF-Query
  • perl-Net-Ident perl-Net-PH perl-Perl-Tidy perl-PostScript-Simple
  • perl-RPM-Specfile png2ico scalapack scilab scite ttcp vacation
  • xmms xmms-lirc