Zorin OS 12.1 released with Linux Kernel 4.8

The Zorin group has announced release of Zorin OS 12.1, latest minor release in Zorin OS 12.x LTS series. This release includes several updated packages, bug fixes, improved desktop and better hardware support.

Zorin OS 12.1 is an incremental release in Zorin OS 12.x series and so, existing users of Zorin OS 12 can upgrade their system via regular means of system update which can be either through command line or using GNOME Software which is shipped as a part of this release.

Zorin OS 12 was the biggest release in the history of this easily customizable operating system. It was this release which introduced a newer version of Zorin Desktop, built on top of GNOME shell and it was highly customized to make it more appealing and familiar for users migrating from other proprietary operating systems.

Zorin OS 12.1 brings several packages updates which includes Linux Kernel 4.8 and an updated X server. These two updates together will provide improved support for modern hardware and computers. Another important highlight of this release is improved desktop environment with several bug fixes and new features like ability to easily add desktop shortcuts from application menu.

In addition to the Zorin Core edition, Zorin Ultimate & Business editions are also available in 12.1 release.
Zorin OS 12.1 introduces an updated hardware enablement stack. The newly-included Linux kernel 4.8 as well as an updated X server graphics stack adds compatibility for newer computers and hardware in Zorin OS.

One of the new desktop features is an easy way to add app icons to the desktop. Simply open the Zorin menu and right-click on an app to view the option to add it to the Desktop or to Favorites.

After installing Zorin OS 12.1, you will have the latest versions of the pre-installed packages. That means less software updates will need to be downloaded after installing Zorin OS onto your computer.
You may read original release announcement in Zorin Group blog.

Zorin OS 12 Business edition released

A few months after release of Zorin OS 12 Core and ultimate editions, Zorin group has announced launch of Zorin OS 12 Business, latest stable release of Zorin OS based GNU/Linux distribution targeting business units and enterprises who looks for a stable, usable and reliable operating system. It comes with a good choice of tools and enhancements to run your business in a better way.

Zorin OS 12 Business is based on Zorin OS 12 Core and thus makes use of enhancements and features in Core edition which includes but not limited to revamped Zorin Desktop environment, ease of customization and a reliable software center. This release also offers improved hardware support with a newer version of Linux Kernel.

Zorin OS 12 is based on Ubuntu 16.04.x LTS release and hence will be able to provide support for 5 years since the release of base distribution. Which means it can avail critical bug fixes and security updates till April 2012. Zorin OS 12 Business edition also enjoys this liability and so is a good choice for large scale deployments in business units, government institutions and other enterprise organizations.
This new release of Zorin OS Business takes advantage of the new features and enhancements in Zorin OS 12, our biggest release ever. These include an all new desktop environment, a new way to install software, entirely new desktop apps and much more. You can find more information about what’s new in Zorin OS 12 here.

As Zorin OS 12 Business is based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, it will be supported with security updates until April 2021. This makes Zorin OS 12 Business the ideal choice for large deployments in businesses, governments and organisations.
You may also proceed to read release announcement in Zorin blog.

LFS and BLFS 8.0 released with major updates

The LFS team has announced release of LFS (Linux From Scratch ) and BLFS (Beyond Linux From Scratch) version 8.0 which includes major updated packages, bug fixes and improved guide lines to follow while building your own GNU/Linux distribution.
Some of the significant changes in LFS 8.0 includes 29 updated packages usch as glibc-2.24, binutils-2.27 and gcc-6.2.0. Also some bug fixes has been done on bootscripts and the LFS book has been modified to make it more clear and transparent.

While BLFS 8.0 includes around 800 more packages comparing to previous release, ie, 7.10. This release also includes 775 updated packages and improved documentation with better formatting.

What is LFS & BLFS?
LFS (acronym for Linux From Scratch) is a set of tools, packages and guide lines to build your own custom GNU/Linux distribution from scratch.

BLFS (acronym for Beyond LFS) shows you the way to travel after installing your own GNU/Linux distribution as per the guidelines provided in LFS book. It includes additional packages and tools to make life much easier.

Kubuntu 17.04 Beta 1 released with Plasma 5.9.0

Following the official announcement of Ubuntu Budgie, Kubuntu has also announced availability of Kubuntu 17.04 beta 1 for testing. This development release of Kubuntu will give an impression of planned features/changes for upcoming Kubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus stable release. However this release is not recommended for newbies and unexperienced users as it is likely to break at any moment.
Courtesy : Kubuntu Project
Kubuntu , an official community flavor of Ubuntu featuring modern KDE Plasma desktop brings a new yet stable release of Plasma Desktop (currently 5.9.0) by default in 17.04 release. While this can be upgraded to latest plasma release by enabling Kubuntu backports repository. Plasma 5 desktop in Kubuntu will deliver a smooth desktop experience. Other important updated packages included in this release is KDE Applications 16.12.1 which is a collection of KDE applications which will find use in daily life and most of these applications have been ported to KDE Frameworks 5. This release also brings LibreOffice 5.2 - a relatively new and stable version of productivity suite developed by the Document Foundation and Firefox 50.1.

Plasma 5, the new generation of KDE's desktop has been developed to make it smoother to use while retaining the familiar setup. The ninth set of updates to Plasma 5 is the default in this version of Kubuntu.

Kubuntu comes with KDE Applications 16.12.1 containing all your favourite apps from KDE, with the exception of okular and PIM and related products. This is the 16.12.1 update with bugfixes and translation updates. Most applications have been ported to KDE Frameworks 5 but those which aren't should fit in seamlessly. Non-KDE applications include LibreOffice 5.2 and Firefox 50.1.
Fore more information see release announcement and release notes published in Kubuntu blog and Ubuntu wiki respectively.

Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 beta 1 is ready for testing

The Ubuntu Budgie team has released Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 Zesty Zapus beta 1, first beta release of upcoming Ubuntu based GNU/Linux distribution featuring elegant and efficient budgie desktop developed by Solus project. This is first beta release since official status of Ubuntu Budgie and the release 17.04 will be first official release of the project.

Being a development release, Ubuntu Budgie team warns regular users and people looking for a stable system from using this release. There is a good amount of possibility for this release to break as it includes a lot of development  and testing packages. This release is meant for people who are interested in hunting bugs and rough edges of the distribution.

Courtesy : Ubuntu Budgie project
Some of the significant highlights of Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 beta 1 can be summarized as follows:
  • latest budgie-desktop stable release v10.2.9.
  • Latest GTK+3.24 applications (in beta) together with GTK+3.24 window manager
  • latest budgie-welcome app with our browser ballot screen
  • AppIndicator support is now default
  • Terminix is the default terminal
  • Many new GNOME based applications are included by default compared to previous budgie-remix releases
  • 17.04 Community Contest Winning Wallpapers
  • This Zesty Zapus snapshot includes the v4.9 kernel
Ubuntu Budgie team has published a release notes in Ubuntu Wiki pages and for more details on Ubuntu Budgie itself, you can visit projects official website

KaOS 2017.02 snapshot released with latest Plasma desktop

Following the monthly release schedule, KaOS project has announced release of KaOS 2017.02, latest monthly snapshot for us based, independently developed rolling GNU/Linux distribution delivering most modern bleeding edge KDE Plasma experience.

KDE components packed with this monthly snapshot includes KDE Frameworks 5.31.0, Plasma Desktop 5.9.2, KDE Applications 16.12.2 and some other KDE applications which are still under development. All these packages are build against Qt 5.8.0.

Most notable major updates to the base of the system are Qt 5.8.0, Readline 7.0, Bash 4.4 Perl 5.24.1, Systemd 232, Xorg-Server 1.19.1, Linux 4.9.10, Glibc 2.25, GCC 5.4.1, Binutils 2.27 Protobuf 3.2.0, Libwebp 0.6.0, Gstreamer 1.10.3 and a move to qtwebkit-tp replacing no longer maintained qt5-webkit.

KaOS repositories no longer provide Qt 4. It is a good three years ago that development for Qt 4 stopped, late 2015 all support including security fixes ended. Any application that has not made the transition to Qt 5 in all this time can no longer be supported in KaOS. Either they actually are no longer maintained or their development is ignoring the implications of building on a possible insecure toolkit.
For more details, see release announcement in KaOS website.

Zenwalk 22.02.2017 rolling snapshot is available now

The Zenwalk team has announced availability of Zenwalk 22.02.2017, latest stable snapshot of Slackware based desktop operating system offering lightweight, small and modern desktop experience.

Some of the notable highlights of this release includes Firefox web browser which was held back earlier. It is built against multi-threading enabled GTK3 library and it is quick and responsive as Chromium even with multiple tabs open simultaneously. It has also much improved memory foot print. Other highlights includes ffmpgg, and MPV which is set as default media player in Zenwalk. Gstreamer plugin is removed from installation image, however it can be installed from projects repositories.

Current seems stable enough for a rolling ISO release, so here it is. The main change is the comeback of Firefox, built with GTK3 and multithreading enabled by default : This build of Firefox starts and react nearly as fast as Chromium, and with many tabs opened : scales much better in terms of responsiveness and memory footprint. You will also notice some improvements around ffmpeg, and MPV which is from now the main media player in Zenwalk. Gstreamer has been dropped from ISO but is still available from Slackware repositories. Of course this ISO contains many updated packages
You may also find official release announcement and complete list of updated packages in projects blog.

Rebellin Linux v3.5 released with Whatsapp client

The Rebellin Linux team has announced release of Rebellin Linux v3.5, latest stable release of Debian sid based GNU/Linux distribution with a fair amount customization to deliver a delighted users experience to end users. This release comes with several updated packages and a refined look and feel.

One of the key highlight of this release is Whatsapp client which is not too much fancy but it just works. This client application developed by Rebellin Linux team can also be used with other GNU/Linux distributions.

Credit : Rebellin Linux MATE
Other highlights of this release can be summarized as;
  • Gnome Shell upgraded to v3.22.2 (New updates are available after download)
  • Mate Version upgraded to v1.16.1 (New updates are available after download)
  • Kernel upgraded to v4.8 Liquorix (New updates are available after download)
  • Brand new Material Design theme now completes the look!
  • Plenty of package and driver updates
  • MTP Support Added
  • Rebellin now works perfectly with AMD APUs. Tested on a tiny AMD A4-1200 (Temash, 1Ghz) processor and Rebellin just ploughs through!
  • Rebellin now uses Liquorix Kernel version 4.8. It’s more reliable than the kernel that was available from official Debian Repositories. And did I say it’s fast? It’s wonderful! Also, do upgrade your system after download to get the latest version of Liquorix.
  • VLC has been replaced by Totem.
For more information see Rebellin Linux blog.

Manjaro 17.0-rc1 Xfce & KDE flavors announced with Linux 4.9 LTS

After finishing release cycle for Manjaro 16.09 Gellivara successfully, it is time to finish another release cycle for Manjaro. Announcing the progress on this release cycle, Philip Muller, the manjaro project lead has announced Manjaro 17.0-rc1 first release candidate for upcoming manjaro release. As usual convention of project, this official release announcement is applicable for both Xfce and KDE flavors.

For those who are not familiar with Manjaro, it is an Arch based rolling GNU/Linux distribution that makes use of Arch principles such as rolling packages, simplicity and customizability and adds usability on top of it by integrating automated device detection & driver installation, graphical installer and pre-configured desktop environments.

The main highlights of both Xfce and KDE plasma flavors can be summarizes as:
  • We updated the stock kernel to linux49 4.9 LTS
  • We updated the Xorg-Stack to v1.19 series
  • We enhanced and improved our Manjaro Tools & Profiles
  • MHWD we adopted to handle a more efficient way to handle libglx binaries
  • Some of our themes got updated and new got designed
For more information, see separate release announcement for Xfce and KDE flavors.

ReactOS 0.4.4 released with basic printer support

Continuing its journey to be an ideal operating system, the ReactOS project has announced release of ReactOS 0.4.4, fifth release in 3 month evolutionary release cycle started by the project since release of v 0.4.0.

During the past release cycle, significant amount of effort was spent on improving overall stability and usability of operating system so that it will appear more appealing to the end users. Most of these improvements were showcased on FOSDEM convention held at Brussels on 4th and 5th of February.

Another notable highlight of this release is basic support for printers. Currently this supported is very primitive and can only work with parallel port printers. However, it is a good step moving ahead to support all types of printers.

Also, comparing to 0.3.x series there is a lot improvement in applications rendering. The weird misalignment issue with tool bars and icons in applications has been addressed by 0.4.x series. There are still some issues in rendering. However, there overall user experience is improved dramatically.
Today marks the fifth release of the ReactOS 0.4.x series, as well as the fifth following the 3 month release cycle started by 0.4.0 itself. Progress has continued steadily, with a great deal of work going on in the background to improve ReactOS' general usability and stability. Many of these improvements were on display at the FOSDEM convention in Brussels that took place on the 4th and 5th of this month. Certainly one of the more notable albeit less visible additions was the incorporation of basic printing support by Colin Finck. At present ReactOS is only capable of sending print commands to a parallel port printer, but this is the first step towards universal support and Colin should be applauded for his effort.
 You can also read original release announcement in ReactOS blog.

Ubuntu 16.04.2 released with improved hardware support

Mr Adam Conrad on behalf of Ubuntu release team has announced immediate availability of Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS, latest point release in Ubuntu 16.04.x Xenial Xerus series. As usual point releases of Ubuntu, this release also includes several updated packages and bug fixes, along with updated kernel stacks to provide better support for new hardware components.

The main purpose of providing a milestone release is to provide most recent updates to the people doing fresh installation so that, the don't have to download several updates just after the installation. While existing LTS users can avail these updates by running a mere apt update command or by using system update tool.

Customized version of Unity shell on Xenial Xerus (Credit : Distroscreens)

This release is also applicable for other actively maintained, community flavors of Ubuntu such as Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, Lubuntu, Kubuntu, Ubuntu MATE ..etc and the updated installation images can be downloaded from respective websites.
Like previous LTS series', 16.04.2 includes hardware enablement stacks for use on newer hardware. This support is offered on all architectures except for 32-bit powerpc, and is installed by default when using one of the desktop images. Ubuntu Server defaults to installing the GA kernel, however you may select the HWE kernel from the installer bootloader.

As usual, this point release includes many updates, and updated installation media has been provided so that fewer updates will need to be downloaded after installation. These include security updates and corrections for other high-impact bugs, with a focus on maintaining stability and compatibility with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.
For more details and download links, see release announcement shared in Ubuntu Announcements mailing list.

Fedora 25 is not something worth to recommend : review

It has been a few months since release of Fedora 25. It was the first Fedora release to feature wayland as default window manager. Also it comes with latest stable release of GNOME, ie, GNOME 3.22.

Mr Gary Nevel, author at Everyday Linux User portal has revisited Fedora after two years. Despite of his love Fedora, he has reached in a conclusion that, it is not a distribution that can be recommended to others. He also remarks that Fedora 23 was a cool distribution. The major drawbacks of Fedora 25 listed in review includes, lack of support for multimedia files even after installing codecs, unavailability of popular proprietary packages such as steam and google chrome in GNOME Software - graphical front end for software installation. He also criticizes that, there many crashes and error notifications which is a serious question over usability of distribution.

I have always loved Fedora but I love music more and the amount of hassle and the amount of hoops I have had to jump through to try and get it working this time is just not worth the effort. The Google Chrome thing is also an issue for me. It works fine in openSUSE so why is it not working in Fedora?
Wayland seems to be performing well enough and I haven't experienced any problems that seem to be related to the graphical side of things.
Unfortunately I have witnessed far too many errors, notifications, application crashes and general pointless pain to be able to recommend Fedora 25. Fedora 23 worked great, 25 doesn't.
Read complete review on Every Day Linux User blog.