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Linux Magazine / May 2004 / NEW PRODUCTS
Zonker's Product Picks

Zonker's Product Picks
by The Best and the Coolest New Linux Products. By Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier


Installing Linux applications isn't always the easiest thing to do. If you or your company wants to distribute applications to Linux users with a minimal amount of fuss, BitRock's InstallBuilder is a solution worth looking at.


InstallBuilder allows developers to create easy-to-use Linux installers. You can choose to create graphical installers for KDE or GNOME, text-mode installers, or a silent-mode installer that can be used for automated deployments. It doesn't matter what language your application is written in, and the installers have no external dependencies, making installation a much simpler experience for users who don't have the hang of Linux packaging systems.

InstallBuilder runs $495 per developer and includes six months of upgrades and email support. If InstallBuilder sounds right for your apps, get the full scoop at the BitRock web site at


When users have questions, they want answers now! For organizations looking to provide a live chat solution for their customers, PHP Live! might just be what the doctor ordered.

PHP Live! is live support software that allows users and help desk staff to chat in real time to address questions and problems. Based on PHP and MySQL, PHP Live! works with any web server with PHP 4.0.6 or better and can be run on Unix, Linux, and Windows.

Depending on your needs, you can choose to purchase the PHP Live! software or pick a hosted plan with OSI Codes, the company behind PHP Live! Hosted solutions start at only $19.95 a month; downloaded versions of PHP Live! start at $99.95. For more information or to take PHP Live! for a test drive, visit the product homepage at


These days, you have to be insane to connect your systems directly to the Internet. For folks that need a firewall, the answer might be the Sentry Firewall CD, a "live" Linux CD that turns any personal computer into a firewall, server, or intrusion detection system (IDS).


The Sentry Firewall CD is based on Slackware Linux and includes a current Linux kernel and tons of security tools, such as OpenWall, OpenVPN, Snort IDS, NMap, Webmin, and Scanlogd, just to name a few. You can also run Apache, Sendmail, Squid, and a number of other packages.

You can use Sentry as-is or customize Sentry to build your own custom solution. The ISO image is a free download, and there's plenty of documentation on the Sentry web site to help you get started.

Start making your systems safe by visiting


Most networks have their share of bandwidth hogs. To take control of your network and tame bandwidth-hogging applications -- internal and external to your network -- take a look at the NetEqualizer Bandwidth Shaper.

The NetEqualizer is a network appliance that sits between your network and the Internet and keeps track of how much bandwidth each user is consuming. It monitors traffic on your network and uses a set of predefined rules to slow data rates to users when it's necessary to alleviate network congestion. It's a two-way solution that slows traffic entering and leaving your network.

For more information, including pricing, browse over to the NetEqualizer homepage at If you want to try before you buy, there's a free trial version on CD that boots on any Intel PC with two compatible network interface cards (NICs).

Got a product pick of your own for Zonker? Drop him a line at

Linux Magazine / May 2004 / NEW PRODUCTS
Zonker's Product Picks

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