In true-blue Australian style, a pub in Sydney is the venue for the release this week of a new Linux distribution and an update of the GNOME open source desktop environment.

The new Debian-based GNU/Linux distribution — code-named “The Warty Warthog” — is scheduled for release at the Sydney Linux Users Group’s (SLUG) Debian Special Interest Group’s (SIG) Wednesday night meeting at the James Squire Brewery on King St Wharf.

Jeff Waugh, release manager at UK-based company Canonical and head beekeeper of the GNOME project, who is due to present the new distribution, was tight-lipped about the details ahead of the official release.

“We are going for a relatively quiet release, we are not going to be making a big deal about it but at the Debian SIG meeting we’ll be doing a live release of the new distro on Wednesday night,” he told Builder AU.

Waugh added that “most of our first release will be of interest to the open source community”.

According to the Web site of the creators of the distribution — who style themselves the “warthogs” in the absence of a more formal title — it will be “free of charge and include only open source applications.

“It will include binary drivers if that’s what we need to do to get free software applications more widely used”.

The group added that the new distribution would be free for modification as developers saw fit, easy to derive from for the creation of new distributions and bug fixes to Debian packages would be released as they were created.

The GNOME Project’s release of its Unix and Linux desktop suite is the second update from the group this year. It follows the 2.6 release, which was distributed after an initial hitch due to a security breach.