Weekly News Feed - 17th September 2017

Welcome to 5th issue of OpenSourceFeed - Weekly News Letter. Last week, we shared only a few posts comparing to previous weeks. These posts were about GNOME 3.26 release, Manjaro Splitfire laptops, KDE development release and atom code editor. We've also updates from DistroScreens and OpenSourceFeed Showcase.


Following are stories covered in last week:

Manjaro Cinnamon 17.0.4 released
Saturday 16 September 2017 12:24 PM

The Manjaro community has announced release of Manjaro Cinnamon 17.0.4, latest stable release of popular Manjaro community flavor featuring Cinnamon desktop environment. This release of Manjaro Cinnamon brings Cinnamon Desktop 3.4.6, latest stable releases of XApps and other applications required to deliver stock Cinnamon experience. Manjaro Cinnamon 17.0.4 being an updated snapshot of a

Plasma 5.11 beta is available now; features redesigned settings app, improved notifications & more
Friday 15 September 2017 09:13 AM

The KDE community has announced immediate availability of KDE Plasma 5.11 beta, development release prior to upcoming stable release planned for Mid-October. This beta release gives a clear overview of what we can expect from final release. It includes a redesigned settings app, improved notification systems and a better and powerful task manager. In addition to changes in existing visual

Atom Code Editor 1.20 released with improved Git integration
Wednesday 13 September 2017 10:40 PM

Github has announced release of Atom 1.20, latest stable release of full featured, open source text cum code editor. This release brings various improvements including better support for Git integration, modified find and replace module and language-php package has been updated with various bug fixes. Improved find and replace functionality in Atom 1.20 (Credit : Atom Website) The diff view

GNOME 3.26 released with redesigned Control Center
Wednesday 13 September 2017 10:01 PM

The GNOME Project has announced release of GNOME 3.26, latest stable release of free and open source desktop environment for GNU/Linux and its siblings. This release of GNOME is a result of 6 months of continuous development effort by GNOME team and other community contributors. As a recognition to organizing team of recently held GUADEC, this release will be known by the code name Manchester.

KDE Frameworks 5.38.0 released with numerous bug fixes and improvements
Monday 11 September 2017 10:46 PM

The KDE community has announced availability of KDE Frameworks 5.38.0, latest stable release of Qt addon libraries which provides various commonly used functionalities with high reliability and stability. This release of KDE Frameworks includes various bug fixes and improvements, especially in Kirigami, a set of QtQuick components which can be used to build user interfaces based on the KDE UX

Station X introduces Manjaro powered Spitfire laptop
Monday 11 September 2017 09:43 PM

In collaboration with Manjaro team, Station X, a specialized Linux laptop/Desktop vendor has announced Spitfire Manjaro Special Edition. Spritefire Manjaro Edition laptop will be powered by fully hardware tuned versions of Manjaro Xfce flag ship edition, which comes with intricate kernel tweaks, to streamlined settings, and even custom changes to battery, cpu, and sound settings..etc


DistroScreens

Last week, we published screenshots of Zorin OS 12.2 release and GNOME 3.26 Manchester.


Showcase

In our showcase website,we don't have any new distribution or desktop environment. We're are redesigning the showcase home page to make it more accessible. Instead of displaying feeds from blog, this website will be dedicated for distributions and desktop environments. We're planning to implement inline search feature to find operating systems easily.

Manjaro Cinnamon 17.0.4 released

The Manjaro community has announced release of Manjaro Cinnamon 17.0.4, latest stable release of popular Manjaro community flavor featuring Cinnamon desktop environment. This release of Manjaro Cinnamon brings Cinnamon Desktop 3.4.6, latest stable releases of XApps and other applications required to deliver stock Cinnamon experience.


Manjaro Cinnamon 17.0.4 being an updated snapshot of a rolling distribution, does not force existing users for a fresh installation. Instead, a contineous update is possible from existing installations.

In addition to updated packages from Manjaro core and community repositories, Manjaro Cinnamon 17.0.4 brings complete applications from X-apps stack with latest versions of pix, xed, xplayer, xreader and xviewer. It also inlcudes applications like Cinnamon sounds, lightdm-slick-greeter and also file manager nemo includes a bulk renaming option.

Following are some widely used applications packed with Manjaro 17.0.4 Cinnamon release:
  • Firefox 55.0.3
  • Thunderbird 52.3.0
  • Libreoffice 5.4.1
  • Gimp 2.8.22
  • Transmission-gtk 2.92
  • Gnome-system-monitor
  • Pamac package manager version 5.1.1
  • Manjaro-printer
  • Calamares 3.1.4
  • Manjaro Architect 0.9.2
For more information and related discussions see original release announcement and forum discussions respectively.

Plasma 5.11 beta is available now; features redesigned settings app, improved notifications & more

The KDE community has announced immediate availability of KDE Plasma 5.11 beta, development release prior to upcoming stable release planned for Mid-October. This beta release gives a clear overview of what we can expect from final release. It includes a redesigned settings app, improved notification systems and a better and powerful task manager.

In addition to changes in existing visual components, Plasma 5.11 will be the first release to provide a Vault, a system to encrypt and open set of documents in secure and user friendly way. This feature will make Plasma a good choice for people who keep more concern on their security and privacy.

Redesigned Settings App in Plasma 5.11 beta (Credit : Release announcement)
The redesigned System Settings, in Plasma makes navigation between different sections easier by providing a navigation menu on left side of menu. It resembles with GNOME 3.26 control center remotely. This interface is made optional and users can either stick with traditional experience or get matured for this new design.

Other highlights in Plasma 5.11 includes:
  • Considering the demand from users, a notification history is added. This will help users to see the notifications shown in their absence and expired notifications. This is an experimental feature in 5.11 beta release. It may or may not be in final release based on tester feedback.
  • There are multiple functionality changes in task manager, and also it offers a smooth experience.
  • As mentioned earlier, Vault will help users to open groups of documents in secure and user friendly way.
  • Multiple improvements in application menu which includes better search results, disabling of favorites section if there is nothing to show, folder view is now default desktop ..etc
  • A lot of work has been put into Plasma on Wayland. KWin, Plasma's Wayland compositor, can now automatically apply scaling based on the pixel density of a screen and even do so for each screen individually. This will significantly improve user experience on setups with multiple monitors, such as when a regular external monitor is connected to a modern high-resolution laptop. Moreover, legacy applications not supporting this functionality may be upscaled to remain readable.
For more information on Plasma 5.11 beta, see release announcement published in KDE website.

Atom Code Editor 1.20 released with improved Git integration

Github has announced release of Atom 1.20, latest stable release of full featured, open source text cum code editor. This release brings various improvements including better support for Git integration, modified find and replace module and language-php package has been updated with various bug fixes.

Improved find and replace functionality in Atom 1.20 (Credit : Atom Website)

The diff view in Git integration has been improved to show multiple diff views simultaneously. You can also compose commit messages in main window if you don't like the tradition way of doing it.

When searching for particular keywords, you can also configure to show context lines, say n lines before and before actual keyword and modify their display inline when looking at the results.

Other highlights in atom 1.20 includes:
For more information, see release announcement published in Atom website.


GNOME 3.26 released with redesigned Control Center

The GNOME Project has announced release of GNOME 3.26, latest stable release of free and open source desktop environment for GNU/Linux and its siblings. This release of GNOME is a result of 6 months of continuous development effort by GNOME team and other community contributors. As a recognition to organizing team of recently held GUADEC, this release will be known by the code name Manchester.

GNOME 3.26 release is coming with various new features and improvements. The most noticeable highlight of GNOME 3.26 is redesigned control center, which provides an easy way to navigate between various configuration options. The network configuration page is also updated to be in symmetry with whole control center.

Redesigned GNOME Control Center (OS : Ubuntu 17.10 Daily)
There is also many improvements in GNOME Builder, a feature rich IDE (Integrated Development Environment) as part of GNOME project. It includes a new editor interface, contextual documentation popups, enhanced search and a new debugger.

Other changes in GNOME 3.26 includes ability to insert and show colorful emojis in chats, documents ..etc, and enhanced system search and folder sharing in Boxes.
The GNOME Project is excited to announce the release of version 3.26, the latest version of GNOME 3. The new version is the result of six months’ hard work by the GNOME community, and comes packed with improvements and new features. Announcing the release, Matthias Clasen of the GNOME Release Team, said “We are happy and proud to announce GNOME 3.26, the latest major release of GNOME, “Manchester”, just a few weeks after we celebrated the 20th birthday of GNOME at GUADEC. As always, the GNOME community did a great job in delivering exciting features, completing translations, and refining the user experience. Thanks!”
For more information on GNOME 3.26 release, see original release announcement and release notes in GNOME website.

KDE Frameworks 5.38.0 released with numerous bug fixes and improvements

The KDE community has announced availability of KDE Frameworks 5.38.0, latest stable release of Qt addon libraries which provides various commonly used functionalities with high reliability and stability. This release of KDE Frameworks includes various bug fixes and improvements, especially in Kirigami, a set of QtQuick components which can be used to build user interfaces based on the KDE UX guidelines.

Following are some important bug fixes and improvements included in KDE Frameworks 5.38.0 release.
  • Directory based search has been fixed in baloo, the file indexing and searching library for Qt.
  • KActivitiesStart has been updated with refracted query which combines linked and used resources, Reloading the model when the resource gets unlinked, and also the issue with query when merging linked and used resources is fixed.
  • Added support for uninstalled plugins in kcoreaddons_add_plugin
  • klauncher: fix appId matching for flatpak apps
  • Port the webshortcuts KCM from KServiceTypeTrader to KPluginLoader::findPlugins
  • Add mimetype filtering capabilities to KUrlCompletion
  • Remove busy loop check in TransferJobPrivate::slotDataReqFromDevice

Changes in Kirigami 

  • hide scrollbars when useless
  • Add basic example for adjusting column width draggable handle
  • ider layers in handles positioning
  • fix handle placing when overlaps the last page
  • don't show fake handle on the last column
  • don't store stuff in the delegates (bug 383741)
  • as we already set keyNavigationEnabled, set wraps as well
  • better left-alignment for the back button (bug 383751)
  • don't take into account the header 2 times when scrolling (bug 383725)
  • never wrap the header labels
  • address FIXME: remove resetTimer (bug 383772)
  • don't scroll away applicationheader in non mobile
  • Add a property to hide the PageRow separator matching AbstractListItem
  • fix scrolling with originY and bottomtotop flow
  • Get rid of warnings about setting both pixel and point sizes
  • don't trigger reachable mode on inverted views
  • take page footer into account
  • add a slightly more complex example of a chat app
  • more failsafe to find the right footer
  • Check item validity before using it
  • Honour layer position for isCurrentPage
  • use an animation instead of an animator (bug 383761)
  • leave needed space for the page footer, if possible
  • better dimmer for applicationitem drawers
  • background dimming for applicationitem
  • fix properly back button margins
  • proper margins for back button
  • less warnings in ApplicationHeader
  • don't use plasma scaling for icon sizes
  • new look for handles
For more information on KDE Frameworks 5.38.0 release, see original release announcement published in KDE website.

Station X introduces Manjaro powered Spitfire laptop

In collaboration with Manjaro team, Station X, a specialized Linux laptop/Desktop vendor has announced Spitfire Manjaro Special Edition. Spritefire Manjaro Edition laptop will be powered by fully hardware tuned versions of Manjaro Xfce flag ship edition, which comes with intricate kernel tweaks, to streamlined settings, and even custom changes to battery, cpu, and sound settings..etc


Powered by 7th generation Intel processors, Spritfire is one among the sleekest laptops available in the market. It's memory can be expanded up top 32 GB. In order to provide a good combination of hardware and software, Splitfire laptop model has undergone serious changes, and in combination with fine tuned Manjaro Xfce edition, it is expected to give ultimate user experience.

The key features of Spitfire Manjaro Special Edition includes:
  • 7th Gen Intel® Core™ CPUs (i5-7200u or i7-7500u)
  • INTEL® HD GRAPHICS 610/620
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Silver Aluminium Chassis
  • DDR4 Memory Support up to 32 GB of RAM
  • Ultra thin: just 17.8mm!
  • Full HD IPS 1920 x 1080
  • SuperFast SSDs (up to 500 GB)
  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0
  • HDMI Output Connection
  • Mini Display Port
  • 1.0MP Webcam
  • Wireless Fitted as Standard
Spitfire laptops are not currently available for purchase. However, by 13th of October, Manjaro team will open counter for pre-order in a dedicated hardware section of their website. It is planned to ship first batch of laptops by end of October.

Weekly News Feed - 10th September 2017

Welcome to 4th issue Open Source Feed - Weekly News Feed. In past week, we mainly covered development and stable releases of various distributions. Two immediate releases of Manjaro was also in the news.


Following are brief of news items we shared in last week starting from 4th September 2017.

Oracle Linux 7.4 update is available for x86_64 servers
Sunday 10 September 2017 09:51 AM

Mr Scott Lynn, product strategy director at Oracle Linux has announced public availability of Oracle Linux 7.4 for x86_64 servers. This is 4th update in Oracle Linux 7.x series and brings various updates in several key areas, including Security, support for Cloud and Container environments, and Performance. For those who have never heard of Oracle Linux, it is a an enterprise driven operating

GNOME Shell 3.25.91 lands in Artful, final release will ship with 3.26
Saturday 09 September 2017 10:51 AM

As a part of migration to GNOME Shell 3.26 in Ubuntu 17.10 Artful, Ubuntu team has packed GNOME 3.25.91 in update repositories. This will give way to 3.26 once the upstream release is available. Ubuntu 17.10 Artful will be the first release of Ubuntu featuring GNOME shell as default session. In order to provide a Unity like experience, Ubuntu team is customizing GNOME shell a little bit. This

Manjaro 17.0.4 fixes issue with graphical package manager and installer in 17.0.3 release
Friday 08 September 2017 11:06 PM

It was just at the beginning of this week, Manjaro team announced release of Manjaro 17.0.3, scheduled final release in Manjaro 17.x series. Now, Manjaro team is back with release announcement of Manjaro 17.0.4 an unscheduled bug fix release. This release fixes issues with graphical package manager and installer shipped in previous release. It also includes bug fixes for Mesa Stack. Manjaro

Fedora 27 Beta enters Freeze state
Friday 08 September 2017 11:10 PM

Strictly adhering to the release schedule, Fedora 27 has entered Freeze state for beta release. This implies there won't any package additions in Fedora 27 till beta release with exception for packages with fix accepted blocker status or freeze exception bugs. This status will continue till approval of beta release. Till the approval of beta release, new package updates will be added to

Zorin OS 12.2 released with performance and usability improvements
Friday 08 September 2017 10:22 PM

The Zorin Group has announced release of Zorin OS 12.2, latest stable release of Ubuntu based GNU/Linux distribution that provides a familiar user experience. This release of Zorin OS comes with various performance and usability improvements to provide a more faster, secure and powerful computing experience to all class of users. Zorin OS 12.2 comes with an enhanced desktop experience. It

Open source video editor OpenShot 2.4.0 released with improved stability
Thursday 07 September 2017 09:46 PM

Mr Jonathan Thomas, developer of OpenShot video editor has announced release of OpenShot 2.4.0, latest release of free, open source, non-linear, cross platform supported video editor. This stability focused release of OpenShot brings fixes for various issues which used to cause unexpected crash on run time. This make it suitable for more professional video editing. For the past few months,

Linux Mint 18.3 will feature window level progress info and redesigned backup tool
Wednesday 06 September 2017 10:40 PM

In monthly news letter for August 2017, Linux Mint team has unveiled some planned highlights of upcoming Linux Mint 18.3 stable release. It includes a completely rewritten system backup tool and window level progress to show progress on task bar. The backup tool has been completely rewritten to provide a better experience. The code has been minimized and modernized to ensure better performance

Linux Container (LXC) 2.1 released with a lot of new features
Wednesday 06 September 2017 10:07 PM

The Linux Container team has announced release of LXC 2.1, latest stable release of tools, templates, language binding and libraries that support every containment technology offered by Linux Kernel. The LXC 2.1 release brings various new features after release of LXC 2.0. LXC 2.1 release is not a long term supported release and hence it will be supported for a period of one year only. Those

Porteus Kiosk 4.5.0 released with Linux 4.12.x, Firefox 52.x ESR and Chrome 60.x
Monday 04 September 2017 09:00 PM

The Porteus Kiosk team has anounced release of Porteus Kiosk 4.5.0, latest stable update of Gentoo based, specialized GNU/Linux distribution for embedded systems like display boards, ATM installation ..etc. Considering the continues requirement for security updates, this release ships various updated packages like Linux Kernel 4.12.10, Firefox 52.3.0 ESR and Google Chrome 60.0.3112.113. It also

Manjaro 17.0.3 Gellivara released; GNOME, Plasma & Xfce flavors are available now
Monday 04 September 2017 09:17 AM

Mr Philip Muler, on behalf of Manjaro team and community has announced availability of Manjaro 17.0.3, final snapshot release in Manjaro 17.0.x Gellivara series. This release announcement includes officially supported KDE and Xfce flavors and also community supported GNOME flavors. Manjaro 17.0.x is considered as a good release considering it's acceptance by the community. Manjaro 17.0.3 is 3rd


In last week, we had no updates in DistroScreens or OpenSourceFeed Showcase.

Oracle Linux 7.4 update is available for x86_64 servers

Mr Scott Lynn, product strategy director at Oracle Linux has announced public availability of Oracle Linux 7.4 for x86_64 servers. This is 4th update in Oracle Linux 7.x series and brings various updates in several key areas, including Security, support for Cloud and Container environments, and Performance.

For those who have never heard of Oracle Linux, it is a an enterprise driven operating system for cloud deployments. It is developed and tested for handling large workloads like Oracle database and other 3rd party applications on private and public clouds.

There has been multiple security, cloud and container support, performance and compatibility improvements in Oracle Linux 7.4 release. Repeating from original release announcement, these improvements includes:

Security

  • UEFI Secure Boot
A system in Secure Boot mode loads only those boot loaders and kernels that have been signed by Oracle. Oracle has updated the kernel and grub2 packages to sign them with a valid Extended Validation (EV) certificate. The EV certificate has been compiled into the shim binary and has been signed by Microsoft.
  • openSSH now uses SHA-2
By default, the algorithm for public key signatures that is used in this release is SHA-2. SHA-1 is available for backward compatibility purposes only.
  • payload_gpgcheck option to yum
Enhances security during installation. The new payload_gpgcheck option enables yum to perform a GNU Privacy Guard (GPG) signature check on the payload sections of packages. This capability provides enhanced security and integrity when installing packages.
  • New NBDE security packages
NBDE enables you to encrypt root volumes of hard drives on physical machines without requiring you to manually enter a password when the systems are rebooted.
  • New usbguard package
The USBGuard software framework provides system protection against intrusive USB devices by implementing basic whitelisting and blacklisting capabilities that are based on device attributes.

Cloud and container support

  • Btrfs
Btrfs is the ideal filesystem for supporting containers in the cloud. We continue to support and enhance Btrfs in Oracle Linux 7 with Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 4 allowing you to continue to use Btrfs for your container cloud deployments.
  • User Namespace
Prevents container users from being able to gain the same privileges at the global level by allowing separation of the container namespace from the underlying operating system namespace.
  • Spacewalk
Oracle Linux 7 Update 4 makes it even easier to install and add a system to Spacewalk by not requiring the spacewalk client to be installed before registering with the Spacewalk server.

Performance

  • Improved operating system scalability and performance
Replaced ticket spin locks with queued spin locks which provide better scalability under contention and higher performance overall.
  • Addition of http-parser performance package
http-parser is designed for high performance web applications by eliminating buffering, system calls and allowing interrupts.
  • Addition of libfastjson package
libfastjson is a limited feature set JSON library that provides significantly improved performance, compared to json-c.

Compatibility

Oracle Linux maintains user space compatibility with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), which is independent of the kernel version that underlies the operating system. Existing applications in user space will continue to run unmodified on the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 4 (UEK R4) and no re-certifications are needed for RHEL certified applications. 
For more details see original release announcement published by Oracle Linux team.

GNOME Shell 3.25.91 lands in Artful, final release will ship with 3.26

As a part of migration to GNOME Shell 3.26 in Ubuntu 17.10 Artful, Ubuntu team has packed GNOME 3.25.91 in update repositories. This will give way to 3.26 once the upstream release is available.

Ubuntu 17.10 Artful will be the first release of Ubuntu featuring GNOME shell as default session. In order to provide a Unity like experience, Ubuntu team is customizing GNOME shell a little bit. This customization includes dash to dock extension for GNOME shell, which was shipped in earlier beta release. Now, Ubuntu is planning to have notification badge for dock. It is already implemented and committed to upstream repository. It will be available in Ubuntu Artful once the review process is completed.

Updated control center in Ubuntu Artful
Other ongoing activities in Ubuntu Artful development includes:
  • The KStatusNotifier extension is packed in repositories to provide support for indicators. This will provide support for apps which use libappindicators which was removed from GNOME 3.26.
  • Test plan has been revised to catch bugs and regression issues for fresh installation of default session
  • People with non-hybrid NVIDIA graphics cards can not normally use the Wayland session unless they are adventurous and enable KMS. If that is done, however, X11 sessions then break. This week we have incorporated a change into GDM (also proposed upstream) to hide the X11 sessions in this scenario so that we make the system a bit more usable even for people who like to tweak. 
  • Ubiquity (the Ubuntu installer) now shows the correct theme in ‘install only’ mode, as well as in the live session. Previously it was using GNOME’s default theme “Adwaita”.
  • Performance issue while playing videos on totem has been fixed. It reduces almost 50% of CPU usage
  • Mobile broadband provider info has been updated from Debian and is now in sync with Debian Sid.
  • Initial support for authenticating using PolicyKit has landed in snapd master
  • We landed PCLm print output support. With this all known driverless printing standards are supported, making most modern printers work under Linux.
For more detailed information about Ubuntu Desktop development activities, see weekly news letter published in Ubuntu Insights.

Manjaro 17.0.4 fixes issue with graphical package manager and installer in 17.0.3 release

It was just at the beginning of this week, Manjaro team announced release of Manjaro 17.0.3, scheduled final release in Manjaro 17.x series. Now, Manjaro team is back with release announcement of Manjaro 17.0.4 an unscheduled bug fix release. This release fixes issues with graphical package manager and installer shipped in previous release. It also includes bug fixes for Mesa Stack.

Manjaro 17.0.4 includes all 3 flavors made available in 17.0.3 release, which are Xfce, KDE Plasma and GNOME.
A preview of Manjaro 17.0 KDE Edition (Courtesy : DistroScreens)
In addition to various bug fixes, Manjaro 17.0.4 release also includes package updates from stable repository till today (8th September 2017). It will be help people using this release to save some amount of band width will updating their system post installation.

Citing from official release announcement for Manjaro 17.0.4:
Manjaro Gellivara was a great release! Now we are proud to announce v17.0.4, our hopefully final release of Gellivara. We found some issues with our graphical package managers and installer, the shipped Mesa-Stack in combination with KDE and decided therefore to fix those with a new release of our ISOs. These ISOs also include all other updates from today’s stable release.
For the original release announcement and related discussions see manjaro blog and manjaro forums respectively. You can also read release announcement for Manjaro 17.0.3 to get an overview of features.

Fedora 27 Beta enters Freeze state

Strictly adhering to the release schedule, Fedora 27 has entered Freeze state for beta release. This implies there won't any package additions in Fedora 27 till beta release with exception for packages with fix accepted blocker status or freeze exception bugs. This status will continue till approval of beta release.

Till the approval of beta release, new package updates will be added to updates-testing branch and will be moved to stable once beta freeze state is lifted. This process will continue till final Freeze. Once final freeze is done, further updates will be moved into update repositories.
Beginning from Fedora 27, there won't be any Alpha release. This decision was taken to ensure that, Raw hide, current development branch always remains in Alpha quality. Otherwise, Alpha was also an important milestone in development cycle of Fedora release.
Hi all, Today is an important day on the Fedora 27 schedule[1], with two significant cut-offs. Today is the Beta freeze[2]. This means that only packages which fix accepted blocker or freeze exception bugs[3][4] will be marked as 'stable' and included in the Beta composes. Other builds will remain in updates-testing until the Beta release is approved, at which point the Beta freeze is lifted and packages can move to 'stable' as usual until the Final freeze.
For the original announcement on Fedora 27 beta freeze, checkout Fedora developer mailing list.