Sparky Linux 4.6 STB is available now with Debian 9 base

The Sparky Linux team has announced availability of Sparky Linux 4.6 STB, an updated release of Debian based, out of the box ready to use operating system with slightly tweaked desktop environments.

Sparky Linux 4.6 STB is first release of project based on recently announced Debian 9 Stretch. This release includes Sparky Home edition and Sparky Minimal editions. Sparky Home editions provides out of the box experience with two different desktop environments, LXDE and Xfce. While, Sparky Minimal CLI and Minimal GUI editions comes with minimal set of applications so that people can later install applications of their choice using advanced Sparky installer.

Following are some of the key highlights of Sparky Linux 4.6 in comparison with previous stable release, Sparky 4.5.
  • full system upgrade from Debian 9 stable repos as of June 19, 2017
  • Linux kernel 4.9.30 as default (4.10.x and 4.11.x available in Sparky ‘unstable’ repo)
  • added new repo (not active):
  • deep cleaning from old packages and files of older releases
  • email client Icedove replaced by Thunderbird
  • changed http to https protocol of all Sparky services, including repository; updating the ‘sparky-apt’ package fixes it automatically
  • new theme “Sparky5” which fixes look of gtk+ based applications
  • added two new live system boot options:
    - toram – lets you load the whole live system into RAM memory (if you have enough);
    - text mode – if any problem with normal or failsafe boot, this option runs sparky in text mode and lets you install it using the advanced installer
  • new tool for checking and displaying notification on your desktop about available updates
  • Calamares 3.1 as default installer
For more details and download links, see original release announcement published in Sparky Linux blog.

elementary os has completed github migration

Promising more transparency and accessibility, elementary os team has announced completion of their github migration. This implies, more than 70 repositories of elementary os has been moved from launchpad-bzr environment to github.

For those who are not familiar with github, it is one of the biggest version control management platform backed by Git. There are several small to big scale open source projects hosted at github. It offers an easy way code commit, code review, issue management, issue tracking ...etc

one of the key reason behind github migration is enabling an easy way in for developers and other contributors. Over the time, different elementary projects hosted at github has enjoyed small but numerous pull requests from community.

Other reasons inspired elementary team for github migration can be summarized as follows:
  • Lower Barrier to Entry : Github provides simple web tools so that small fixes can be submitted in a web browser. Since elementary started migrating to GitHub, they’ve seen an influx of small, but helpful pull requests.
  • Better Integrations : GitHub is integrated with Slack, which means that when a new issue is filed or a pull request is submitted, elementary team gets a message right away. Elementary downstreams like GitHub because it uses Git, making it easier to package elementary software for other Linux distributions like Fedora.
  • Better Code Reviews : GitHub allows to enforce some behavior for branches. Specifically, we can disallow the ability to push to the master branch and require code reviews. We can also require that branches pass status checks, like testing and even dismiss old approvals when new commits are pushed.
  • Tighter controls on pull requests :  elementary project also require that branches be up to date with the latest master and GitHub’s built-in tools make it easy to resolve conflicts if they occur. That way, we can be sure that the reviews we do are being done on up-to-date code. All of this together means that branches are reviewed faster and more thoroughly at the same time.
  • Richer Issue Reports : Because GitHub uses markdown everywhere, we can get much better issue reports with embedded images and code snippets.
For more information, see original blog post published on elementary blogs.

Debian 9 Stretch released with long term status

The Debian project has announced release of Debian 9 Stretch, latest stable release of independently developed GNU/Linux distribution which is popularly known as Universal Operating System. This release is dedicated to Ian Murdock, a founder of Debian project was passed away on December 2015.

Debian 9 is a result of 26 months of development effort since after release of Debian 8.0 Jessy and this release is planned to support for 5 years. Unlike many other Debian releases, Debian 9 comes with some key changes other than package updates.

The Major strategic changes in Debian 9 can be summarizes as:
  • MySQL is replaced with another variant called MariaDB. This transition will automatically happen if you are migrating from an earlier version of Debian.
  • Debian 9 will include Firefox and Thunderbird in official repositories instead of their debranded variants Iceweasel and Icedove. These variants were present in Debian repositories for almost 10 years.
  • over 90% of the source packages included in Debian 9 will build bit-for-bit identical binary packages. This is an important verification feature which protects users from malicious attempts to tamper with compilers and build networks. Future Debian releases will include tools and metadata so that end-users can validate the provenance of packages within the archive.
  • X display system can be started without root privilege.
  • Debian 9 stretch will replace classical branch of GnuPG with modern branch. This will ensure more security by providing better algorithms for cryptography and encryption.
  • Now it is easier to get debug packages. A repository named dbg-sym can be added to provide debug symbols for many packages.
  • Improved UEFI support.
  • And other software updates.
For more information on Debian 9 Stretch see original release announcement published in Debian website.

Tails 3.0 released; First release based on Debian 9

The Tails development team has announced availability of Tails 3.0, a secure GNU/Linux distribution that comes with builtin tools to protect your privacy and anonymity while surfing internet. For the first time in history of project, Tails is shipping a release within same time period as of it's base distribution, Debian.

Tails 3.0 is based on Debian 9.x Stretch which is due to release on 17th of June. When both projects are shipped at the same time, Tails project can provide it's users with most recent patches and updates from base distribution which also implies better relation with upstream.

Credit : Tails Website
Tails 3.0 comes with redefined startup and shutdown experience, polished desktop environment, improved security and other updated packages from upstream project. Major highlights in Tails 3.0 are listed below.
  • Tails Greeter, the application to configure Tails at startup, has been completely redesigned for ease of use. Now all options are available in a single window, language and regional settings are available with this greeter and also, accessibility options can be easily enabled;
  • Redesigned shutdown experience by fixing some random glitches and the screen is set to show as black.
  • Project switched to default black theme of gnome shell, which is more appealing
  • Other cool features with GNOME shell
  • Dropped support for 32 bit systems and now only supports 64 bit systems.
  • Update Tor Browser to 7.0 (based on Firefox 52 ESR)  
  • Other updated packages
For a complete list of changes, see original release announcement published by Tails project.

Ikey Doherty leaves Intel and becomes a full time Solus developer

If you have been skimming through open source news in past two years, you might be familiar with the name Ikey Doherty. Yes, he is the founder and leading developer of Solus and beautiful budgie desktop environment.

Ikey Dohery was working at Intel for a while and his major work at Intel is associated with Clear OS. He was leading the Solus and budgie development activities in his fare time. Owing to his hardware, dedication and vision, both these projects has been well accepted by the community and the project was able to acquire a considerable amount of fund within a relatively short span of time.

As planned earlier, the Solus project was about to hire a full time developer when they hit the mission of $2500. When the mission was achieved, Ikey Doherty stepped in to work as Solus developer by leaving his job at Intel. This means a lot for the Solus community. When Ikey becomes full time developer, he can spend more time on addressing concerns of community and shaping his vision of developing an ideal desktop operating system and desktop environment.

In 4 weeks from today I will be moving to Solus as a full time developer. Originally we planned to support “a developer” once we hit the $2500 goal. However, I personally feel that this is a move I can now make myself. In doing so this will allow me to commit full time to Solus and all of it’s projects, bringing them up to the standards I want, with the features and experience that you deserve.

Whilst we have achieved a great deal so far, this has been through spare time. With this move I’m now able to dedicate all of my work hours to Solus, which in itself will result in a massive explosion in growth and development cadence for our project.
For more information, see original message shared by Ikey Doherty as part of a blog post published in Solus blog.

Fedora 26 beta released; Final release is coming on July

Mr Eduar Lucena has announced availability of Fedora 26 beta for testing. This release announcement is applicable for different Fedora flavors like Fedora workstation, server edition, atomic host and other Fedora spins, lab editions..etc.

The final release of Fedora 26 is scheduled to release on July 2017. Unlike many other GNU/Linux distributions, Fedora releases are not just about packages updates. It is also about a fresh collection of innovations. Fedora releases comes with latest and greatest experimental technologies.

Some of the key highlights common in all Fedora 26 variations can be summarized as:
  • Fedora, always in the path of innovation, will ship with the latest version of the GNU Compiler Collection, also known as GCC, bringing the latest language features and optimizations to users and to the software we build. Also the Go Language is updated to the latest version, 1.8, which includes 32-bits MIPS support and speed
  • One of the most important changes is the addition of “blivet-gui” to the installer. This provides a “building-blocks” style partitioning GUI for sysadmins and enthusiast users who are familiar with the details of storage systems.
  • The Workstation edition of Fedora 26 Beta features GNOME 3.24, which includes important changes like Night Light, which changes the color temperature of the display based on time of day. It also includes the latest update of LibreOffice.
For more information, see original announcement published in Fedora Magazine.

KXStudio 14.04.5 released with updated packages & plugins

Mr falkTX of KXStudio project has announced availability of KXStudio 14.04.5, latest update cum maintenance release of Ubuntu 14.04.x based GNU/Linux geared towards professional audio production.

This is the first time we're mentioning about KXStudio project in OpenSourceFeed. So, it may require a brief introduction. KXStudio is a collection of plugins and applications for professional quality audio production. It provides repositories compatible with Debian and Ubuntu which can be enabled to install special collection of audio production tools and turn your Debian/Ubuntu installation into a professional audio production system. It also provides a custom made ISO which comes with all these plugins and applications enabled by default.

KXStudio 14.04.5 is based on Ubuntu 14.04.x and it features a KDE4 based desktop environment. The project won't be shipping a Ubuntu 16.04.x based release as Plasma 5 was not matured enough during release of Ubuntu 16.04.x and hence it will be very difficult to port existing KDE4 based apps to Plasma 5. Though, now Plasma 5 has become mature enough and KXStudio project will be keeping the pace to port existing applications to Plasma 5.
Lots have changed in the applications and plugins for Linux Audio (even in KXStudio itself), so it was about time to see those ISO images updated.

Behind the scenes, from what the user can see, it might appear as nothing has truly changed. After all, this is an updated image still based on Ubuntu 14.04, like those from 2 years ago.

But we had a really big amount of releases for our beloved software, enough to deserve this small ISO update.

Before you ask.. no, there won't be a 16.04 based ISO release.

When 2016 started KDE5 was not in a good enough shape, and it would need a lot of work (and time) to port all the changes made for KDE4 into KDE5.

KDE5 is a lot better now than it used to be, but we missed the opportunity there.

The current plan is to slowly migrate everything we have into KDE5 (meta-packages, scripts, tweaks, artwork, etc) and do a new ISO release in May 2018.
(Yes, this means using Ubuntu 18.04 as base)
For more details, see release announcement published in KXStudio website.

MX-16.1 released with support for Adobe Flash

The MX Linux team has announced availability of MX-16.1, latest stable release of elegant and efficient operating system formed by a cooperative venture of antiX and MEPIS communities. This release comes with updated packages, refined user experience and other bug fixes. One of the key highlight of MX-16.1 is support for Adobe Flash.

Courtesy : MX Linux
MX-16.1 includes official release of Adobe Flash, included by special permission granted by Adobe. This will make MX-Flash deprecated. New Adobe Flash can work with both Firefox and Google Chrome browsers.

Other highlights from MX-16.1 can be summarized as follows:
  • Improved system installer -
      a. The installer now supports home folder encryption. This is an experimental feature
      b. An issue with partition boot flags that affected certain makes of pc (Dell) has been corrected.
      c. Autoinstall now works for UEFI systems.
  • Official Adobe Flash included on the iso, with permission from Adobe. MX-Flash is not on the iso and is now deprecated. Install/uninstall option via the regular package managers, including MX-Packageinstaller on the "Popular Apps" tab. Note our Adobe Flash package will work with BOTH Firefox AND Chromium (includes original classic NPAPI and the PPAPI plugins ie: pepperflash)
  • Tweaks to default user interface, including a new default theme and new MX-Linux wallpapers.
  • MX-Defaultlook and MX Panel Orientation have been merged, with MX-panel-orientation being deprecated. MX-Defaultlook now includes options for "top or bottom" placement of the horizontal bar, as well as improved panel backup and restore capabilities.
  • New MX-Packageinstaller, with improved handling of "popular apps", plus access to the MX-test repo, debian-backports, and the normal "stable" repos, from the new "Full Catalog" tab (no messing around with your apt sources is required!). Treat the "full catalog" as a supplement to synaptic. MX-debian-backports-installer and MX-install-from-test-repo are deprecated and no longer on the iso. (current MX-16 users have seen this update already)
  • Updated Manual in html and pdf formats. Full translations into Italian and Russian.
  • apt-notifier has many bug fixes, right-click menu improvements, and a choice of icon themes under preferences (classic vs. mx16).
  • Updated translations across most apps and in the Wiki (thanks translators!)
  • New MX-Linux sourceforge site for iso hosting.
  • Libreoffice 5.2.6
  • Updates to Jessie 8.8 base.
For more information, see release announcement published in projects blog.

Download MX-16.1 TORRENT

ROSA Fresh R9 LXQt released; It can smoothly work with 512 MB of RAM

The ROSA Lab team has announced availability of ROSA Fresh R9 LXQt, a new member in ROSA GNU/Linux family. This flavor of ROSA Fresh is based on R9 (2016.1) series and features elegant LXQt desktop environment. ROSA Fresh LXQt is most lightweight release from the project so far and can work smoothly even on a system having 512 MB of RAM.

Courtesy : ROSA Lab
Some of the key highlights of ROSA Fresh R9 LXQt release are :
  • All LXQt components are based on the freshest 0.11 branch with simplified ROSA theme, without compositing and desktop effects.
  • For this edition, we use NewMoon (PaleMoon) web browser. Being compatible with Firefox ESR (which is used as a basis), it consumes significantly less resources.
  • Default installation includes some additional components for Internet users - pidgin, qBitTorrent, trojita.
  • By default, nomacs image viewer is installed (which also provides basic image manipulation facilities)
  • Rosa Media Player and Audacious players are included, as well.
You can also read release announcement and release notes published by ROSA Lab.

Download ROSA Fresh R9 LXQt
  • 64bit ISO (md5sum: fba5177ca40469322d5466e02f231f50) 
  • 32bit ISO (md5sum: 9b856d906bdf7f87e02250fa00e793e1)

Bodhi Linux 4.2.0 released with Swami Control Panel installed by default

The Bodhi Linux team has announced release of Bodhi Linux 4.2.0, a regular update release in Bodhi Linux 4.x series. This release comes with updated packages and bug fixes from upstream project.

Despite of being a regular update release, Bodhi Linux 4.2.0 is coming with a few changes like inclusion of Linux Kernel 4.10 in 64 bit image and Swami Control Panel is installed by default in this release. Current Bodhi Linux users can avail these changes using system's package manager.

Beginning from this release, Bodhi Linux will be dropping 32bit PAE image. However, it will still support 32 bit systems using legacy images. If you have more than 4 GB of memory, it is highly recommended to use 64 bit image instead of 32 bit PAE enabled image.
This is the first release in which we are dropping our 32bit PAE discs. I would like to clarify that we are still supporting 32bit computers, but if you need to install the 32bit version of Bodhi Linux the only version we are preparing is our Legacy ISO image. The Legacy image will work on PAE and non-PAE 32bit hardware alike. If your computer needs a PAE kernel to utilize all of it’s memory it is likely better for you to be using a 64bit operating system anyways. If you do feel the need to use a PAE kernel on a 32bit operating system with Bodhi though, you can always install the Legacy release and then change kernels afterwards.
You can also read release announcement in Bodhi Linux blog.

Download Bodhi Linux 4.2.0

elementary OS team was not on vaccation after 0.4.1 release, here is updates in May

It is a usual practice that, core developers take some rest after an updated release. But this practice did n't work well with elementary OS team, at least after release of elementary OS 0.4.1 Loki.

The elementary team has published a new blog post summarizing updates in past month, May 2017. All the updates are available in official repositories and existing users can make use of AppCenter update option to get their hands on latest updates and refinements.
Newly introduced brightness control in elementary OS power indicator
Following are notable updated shipped by elementary team during May 2017.
  • The battery icon on panel has been updated to show more charge levels. Also, there were multiple changes in icon theme like refined Terminal icon, new USB key icons, non-generic icons for meson build files and CSV files, and more
  • AppCenter has been updated to show more detailed error report in case of payment failures. Based on feedback from many users, card expiry date field is updated to take input matching with either MMYY or MM/YY format.
  • The power indicator applet has been updated to include a brightness control options. This was a long requested feature in elementary OS.
  • Other bug fixes like canceling transaction when ESC key is pressed during authentication, empty language and regional settings on first run ..etc
  • Granite, the elementary OS development library has been updated to version 0.4.1
  • Other updates like clean code, general bug fixes and updated translations.
For more information, see monthly news letter in elementary OS blog.

Peppermint OS 8 released with Linux Kernel 4.8 and updated graphics stack

The Peppermint OS team has announced availability of Peppermint OS 8, latest updated release of *ubuntu based GNU/Linux project that offers an integrated cloud experience on desktop operating system. This release of Peppermint OS is available in both 32 bit and 64 bit variations. The 64 bit variation comes with full UEFI/secure boot support.

Peppermint OS 8 is based on Ubuntu 16.04.2 and provides option to use Linux Kernel 4.8, which comes with updated graphics stack and modern hardware support.

Other highlights in Peppermint OS 8 includes:
  • Still based on the 16.04 code base, but now with the 4.8 kernel series and upgraded graphics stack via the HWE offering rolling kernel and graphics stack upgrades as they become available upstream.
  • Mesa 17.0.2 for an improved gaming experience.
  • The Peppermint 8 ISO images now have an ‘OEM Install’ option, allowing computers to be shipped with Peppermint pre-installed (and with additional software pre-installed) where the user will be prompted for their own language, location, keyboard layout, and account details on first boot, allowing the system configuration to be unique to the new owner.
  • Talking of keyboard layouts, in response to user requests Peppermint 8 now has much improved keyboard layout handling, including the ability to easily configure then swap between multiple layouts from the system tray (or Left-Alt+Left-Shift keyboard shortcut) .
  • Added volume management, so external drives are now auto-mounted when plugged in and DVD’s auto-played in VLC , a utility for changing these settings can be found in the much expanded Peppermint Settings Panel.
  • Again because of much appreciated user feedback we’ve switch back to the Chromium web browser as the default, the pepperflash PPAPI flashplayer is included, and we’ve retained the ‘Firefox Theme Lock’ utility for those that wish to use Firefox and a dark Gtk theme instead.
  • The calculator is now mate-calc because it’s more consistent with the way the Windows/OS X/iOS/Android calculators processes sum entry.
  • The lxtask task manager has been replaced with xfce4-taskmanager because it displays more active information including a CPU and RAM usage trace.
  • The pluma text editor is replaced with xed, but for documentation compatibility – typing a command with ‘pluma’ or ‘gedit’ will open xed.
  • The eog image viewer has been replaced with xviewer because Gnome client side decorations were inconsistent with Peppermint’s overall ‘look and feel’.
  • All X-Apps are now in the Peppermint 8 repositories, so you can install pix, xreader, and xplayer if you wish, as are xfdashboard and xfce4-hotcorner-plugin for those that may want them.
  • Added NFS support out of the box.
  • Added exFAT support out of the box.
  • OpenDyslexic font installed out of the box as an option (not the default font).
  • Font hinting changed to “full” by default.
  • A much expanded Peppermint Settings Panel with additional features and a new ‘Tweaks‘ category.
  • Added a ‘Panel Reset’ utility to the Peppermint Settings Panel to reset the xfce4-panel to system defaults.
  • Added a utility to the Peppermint Settings Panel to enable/disable system sounds.
  • Added a utility to the Peppermint Settings Panel to enable/disable system hibernation.
  • Added the ‘Numix Folders’ utility to the Peppermint Settings Panel which allows changing the type and colour of the folder icons when using one of the Numix icon themes.
  • The whiskermenu application categories have been switched to the left, and application descriptions replaced with tooltips by popular request.
  • Extra color options for Gtk and Icon themes
  • New installation slideshow.
  • And some new wallpapers that we hope you’ll like including the new default, and some additional images by the brilliant photographer Ray Bilcliff
Original release announcement for Peppermint OS 8 is available on official website.