Mageia 6 development is in progress; GNOME 3.24 update is under testing

In another weekly news letter, Mageia team has stated that, Mageia 6 development is in progress and GNOME 3.24, recent stable release of GNOME desktop is also included in current testing branch.

Mageia team is planning to publish a release candidate for Mageia 6 soon. Hence the rate of inclusion of new packages and features is settling down and the team is focusing on bug fixes to make sure that all packaged software are in best state for release. While the team has included GNOME 3.24 in updates testing branch and is undergoing active regression testing. If everything works as planned, then it will be included in stable release.

Another update was migration to ICU 58.2 which is required for packaging of Firefox 52 ESR.  There were some issues while building mozilla packages against updated ICU 58.2 and eventually it was fixed by adding Mozilla patches to ICU 58.2.

Other packages updates includes LibreOffice 5.3.2 RC1, which will be updated to final before release Mageia 6, libinput, samba 4.5.7, dnf 2.1.1 mesa 17.0.2 and flash player plugin ..etc

The current stable release of Mageia, ie, Mageia 5 has also got some important package updates including Flash, Kernel 4.4.55, qbittorrent 3.3.11, Firefox/Thunderbird 45.8.0 ..etc.
Another week has passed and there have been many changes with Cauldron as well as continued testing on RC ISOs for Mageia 6. Mageia 5 has also received some important updates.

As we are hoping to release the release candidate for Mageia 6 soon, the focus on development in Cauldron is switching more and more away from new releases and features to focus on bug fixes and getting the packaged software into the best state for release. That being said, there was a major update to Gnome 3.24. This is currently in updates_testing to check was major issues and regressions before being pushing to release if everything is ok.

For a more detailed list of updates and other activities, see Mageia weekly news letter dated 24th March 2017.

Linux Mint KDE flavor is beautiful and easy to use : Review

Linux Mint project a well known Ubuntu based, non-canonical project that attracts people because of it's modern yet familiar desktop design metaphor. The project officially ships MATE and Cinnamon flavors. In addition to that, there are community contributors associated with Linux Mint which delivers this distribution in Xfce & KDE flavors.

The Linux and Ubuntu portal has published a review by exploring Linux Mint KDE flavor. This review observes, Linux Mint KDE flavor is simply beautiful and it is relatively easy to use. This review goes through different aspects of operating system including Applications used, desktop organization, security updates and bug fixes, easy of use and installation ..etc.
Unlike Windows, You have everything ready in mint. As you can see below, this is called welcome screen. It has 8 icons. The first one shows you the new features.
The second is Documentation which you should read over once if you are new to computer or Linux world.

​Then we have app which is like play store in android. It is a package management software or at least its front-end. We can install apps from it easily.
If any of your hardware needs proprietary drivers, then you should use them. It will increase performance. But mostly you won't need it unless your hardware is too recent. 
For complete review, checkout original post in Linux and Ubuntu portal.

Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus final beta released with other community flavors

Ubuntu development team has announced release of Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus beta 2 along with other community flavors. This will be the final development release prior to upcoming stable release with code name Zesty Zapus. This release announcement is also applicable for other official community flavors of Ubuntu such Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu MATE and the new comer Ubuntu Budgie.

Ubuntu Budgie, a new member of Ubuntu family ships latest release of budgie desktop, ie, v10.2.9 and it is integrated with GNOME 3.24 applications along with GTK+ 3.24 based mutter window manager. It also provides Gtk native theme support of Qt based applications. Also, Appindicator applet developed by the Ubuntu Budgie team is a default feature in this release. For more highlights, installation image and development details of Ubuntu budgie, you may checkout release notes in Ubuntu Wiki pages.

Other Ubuntu flavors also brings recent technologies to provide a reliable and secure system for end users. Some notable highlights in these release includes GNOME 3.24 stack and associated applications, Linux Kernel 4.10 ..etc.
The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the final beta release of theUbuntu 17.04 Desktop, Server, and Cloud products.

Codenamed "Zesty Zapus", 17.04 continues Ubuntu's proud tradition ofintegrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into ahigh-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution.

The team has been hardat work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.This beta release includes images from not only the Ubuntu Desktop,Server, and Cloud products, but also the Kubuntu, Lubuntu, UbuntuGNOME, UbuntuKylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu flavours.

We're also pleased with this release to welcome Ubuntu Budgie to thefamily of Ubuntu community flavours.
For further information, testing images and release notes, see release announcement shared in Ubuntu announcements mailing list.

GNOME 3.24 released with numerous cool features

The GNOME Foundation has announced release of GNOME 3.24 Portland, latest stable release of modern desktop environment for GNU/Linux and other Unix like systems. This release is a result of 6 months of development effort by GNOME team members and other contributors across the world.

GNOME 3.24 is another remarkable milestone for GNOME project and it brings and updated platform and other applications. It includes several new features, improvements and other bug fixes. It offers something worthy for both basic users and experience users.

Courtesy : GNOME Project
Some of the noteworthy highlights of GNOME 3.24 is summarized in following section.
  • Introduces Night Light features which makes your system capable for adjusting brightness according to time of the day. This will help to reduce eye stress and sleeplessness caused by prolonged use of computer on night time.
  • System Menu contains a new section to preview summary of weather information. This will also link to weather application.
  • This release also introduces a new Recipes application, which contains recipes contributed by members of the GNOME community. It has an extensive set of features for adding and editing recipes, creating shopping lists, adjusting quantities and even has a hands-free cooking mode. 
  • Other GNOME applications like Web, Photos, Polari Games, Calendar and Calculator have been improved for 3.24
  • GNOME Control Center has been updated and there are 3 new pages which matches with standard design principles on which GNOME shell is built.
  • Improved GNOME Builder and better support for Flatpack are added features for developers.
For more information and screenshots of GNOME 3.24, see release announcement and release notes published by GNOME project.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.9 released with improved stability and enhanced features

Red Hat, Inc, world's leading open source solution provider has announced public availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.9, latest update in RHEL 6 series. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 started it's journey 6 years back and during these 6 years it has proven it's capability to provide a secure, stable and reliable platform for enterprises.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.9 delivers new hardware support developed in collaboration with Red Hat partners which helps to provide a smooth transition of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 production deployments to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 environments. Additionally, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.9 adds updates to TLS 1.2 to further enhance secure communications and provide broader support for the latest PCI-DSS standards, better equipping enterprises to offer more secure online transactions.

While emphasizing stability for existing IT investments, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.9 supports the next generation of cloud-native applications through an updated Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 base image. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.9 base image enables customers to migrate their existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 workloads into container-based applications - suitable for deployment on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host, and Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.
For more information, see original release announcement published in Red Hat Enterprise website.

GNOME 3.24 is getting released on 22nd March, following are planned features

As per development schedule published by GNOME project, GNOME 3.24, latest stable release of modern desktop environment for unix like systems, is expected to release on 22nd March 2016. Towards this release, the code freezing has been done on 20th March.

Credit : GNOME blog
GNOME 3.x is a modern desktop shell for unix like operating systems. When the GNOME project stopped support for GNOME 2.x project and started working on GNOME 3.x, there were a lot of criticism against it and most of them were associated with the productivity. Over the years, GNOME 3.x has evolved a lot and improved a lot to be more productive and user friendly desktop environment by adhering modern standards. Continuing the goal of improving productivity and usability, following are features planned to introduce in GNOME 3.24.
  • Updated user account settings - User Account Settings, a module in gnome control center facilitate user management such as user management, password management, user group management ..etc. In GNOME 3.24, this has been updated to follow general design standards of GNOME shell.
  • Updated printer settings - Print configuration module has also been updated to follow gnome design standards.
  • Tag editing feature is introduced in GNOME Music : New GNOME Music will let you to edit meta data of music files. This change was done as a part of GSoC 2016.
  • GNOME Photos facilitate photo import from devices.
  • A new application has been introduced to manage stored password and keys. This is expected to replace Seahorse.
  • Revamped header bar and bookmarks section in Epiphany (aka GNOME Browser)
  • Root files can be browsed only after proper authentication.
For more details, see release schedule, feature plans and individual blog posts on new features on GNOME portal.

MATE Desktop 1.18 lands in Solus with other package updates

In weekly news letter of Solus project, the team has announced availability of MATE Desktop 1.18 in Solus stable repository. MATE Desktop 1.18 is most recent version of modern, productive desktop environment that follows traditional desktop metaphor. This release of MATE Desktop marks completion of Gtk3+ migration process which was started a while ago.

CREDIT : Solus Project
Other updates from Solus weekly news letter includes:
  • KDE Frameworks has been upgraded to version 5.32.0 and most recent version of KDenlive is made available in repositories.
  • Linux Kernel has been updated to 4.9.16 latest stable long term supported release.
  • Continued live stream which introduces Solus package management which begins from basic concepts and gradually moves into advanced concepts.
Currently, the team is working to improve ISO snapshots for Q1. This mainly includes following items.
  • A new release for brisk menu - a modern application menu for mate desktop, developed by Solus project in collaboration with Ubuntu MATE. This release will include option to open menu editor by right clicking on items and option to search for items in control center.
  • Budgie 10.3 - An upcoming bug fix release of budgie desktop. Possibly, this may the last release prior to upcoming Budgie 11.
  • Removing some outliers in UEFI installation process.
  • Reducing the verbosity of debug message during boot time.
For more information and a detailed list of updated packages, see This Week in Solus published in Solus blog.

Zorin OS 12.1 Education flavor released

The Zorin Group has announced release of Zorin OS 12.1 Education, a Zorin Core based operating system featuring latest and greatest education tools and applications that makes learning more easy and interesting.

Zorin OS 12.1 Education flavor comes with all benefits of core edition which was projects biggest release so far with numerous change in usability and introduction of brand new Zorin Desktop 2.0. Being an Ubuntu 16.04.x LTS based release, Zorin OS 12.1 will be supported till April 2021 hence is a good choice for deployment in education institutions like schools and universities.

We are pleased to announce the release of Zorin OS 12.1 Education. Zorin OS 12.1 Education pairs the latest and greatest software with educational apps that make learning better and more impactful.

This new release of Zorin OS Education 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.

Improved hardware support ensures that you’re getting the best experience on computers old and new.
For more details, see release announcement published in Zorin Group blog.

NetBSD 7.1 released with Raspberry Pi Zero support

The NetBSD project has announced release of NetBSD 7.1, first feature update in NetBSD 7.x series. This release includes fixes for critical bugs reported since release of version 7.0 and some minor features and enhancements.

NetBSD 7.1 comes with some exciting highlights like support for Raspberry Pi Zero, improved NVIDIA graphics card support, inclusion of vioscsi, a driver for the Google Compute Engine disk and other bug fixes.

In original release announcement, you can find a summary of notable highlights in this release:
  • Support for Raspberry Pi Zero. 
  • Initial DRM/KMS support for NVIDIA graphics cards via nouveau (Disabled by default. Uncomment nouveau and nouveaufb in your kernel config to test). 
  • The addition of vioscsi, a driver for the Google Compute Engine disk. 
  • Linux compatibility improvements, allowing, e.g., the use of Adobe Flash Player 24. wm(4): C2000 KX and 2.5G support. 
  • Wake On Lan support. 82575 and newer SERDES based systems now work. ODROID-C1 Ethernet now works. 
  • Numerous bug fixes and stability improvements. 
For more details, see release notes published by NetBSD project.

Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin retires on 28th April 2017

Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, a long term supported release (LTS) of Ubuntu is approaching end of life by 28th April 2017. This means, existing users of Ubuntu 12.04 won't get any security updates or bug fixes after 28th April and are expected to upgrade their system to another supported version, which can done by upgrading to 14.04 which is still supported. After upgrading to 14.04 LTS, there will be option available to migrate into 16.04 LTS.

As per Canonical policy, every regular release will be supported for 9 months and long term releases will be supported for 5 years. While LTS releases for other community flavors will be supported for 3 years. During the support period, Ubuntu will release multiple minor releases with bug fixes and updated packages to make installation less pain for new users.

Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin was released on 26th April of 2012 is retiring on Friday, 28th April by completing it's 5 years of life time. In Ubuntu fridge blog, you can see an announcement regarding the same.
Ubuntu announced its 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) release almost 5 years ago, on April 26, 2012. As with the earlier LTS releases, Ubuntu committed to ongoing security and critical fixes for a period of 5 years. The support period is now nearing its end and Ubuntu 12.04 will reach end of life on Friday, April 28th. At that time, Ubuntu Security Notices will no longer include information or updated packages for Ubuntu 12.04.

MATE Desktop 1.18 released by completing GTK3+ migration

Mr Martin Wimpress, developer at MATE project has announced availability of MATE 1.18, latest stable release of traditional looking, modern desktop environment which was initially started as a fork of outdated GNOME 2.x project.

The main highlight of MATE 1.18 is completion of GTK3+ migration which was started a while back. This release includes desktop applications and other components built against GTK3+ by removing outdated and deprecated framework api calls.

Following are notable changes/highlights of MATE 1.18 release:
  • Entire applications and other desktop components are build against Gt3+
    • Requires GTK+ >= 3.14.
    • All GTK2+ code has been dropped including the --with-gtk build option.
  • Completed the migration to GtkApplication from libunique.
  • Added libinput to support mouse and touchpad.
    • Separate settings for handedness (left/right-handed) and motion acceleration/threshold.
  • Better accessibility support (Especially for visually impaired users)
  • Caja - The mate file managers comes with several improvements
    • Added a copy queue and copy pausing.
    • Asking confirmation before moving files to the Trash.
    • Support for back/forward mouse buttons for directory navigation.
    • Notification when ejected drives are safe to unplug.
  • Users can customize background of lock screen instead of using system default one.
  • MATE Panel gets several improvements, including:
    • Added desktop actions support for additional launch options.
    • Added StatusNotifier support.
    • Added support for Menulibre menu editor, if installed it is preferred over Mozo.
  • Engrampa, the archive manager, includes a number of improvements:
    • Added ear and war to the supported types list.
    • Check the rar/unrar version to the correct date is shown.
    • Fixed compress rar and 7z split into volumes.
  • Notifications now implement action icons support, for example playback control icons used by media players.
  • Reworked the font viewer to add font browsing mode, support for TTC fonts and expose it in the menus by default.
  • Replaced deprecated upower suspend/hibernate functions with ConsoleKit2 equivalents.
  • MATE Terminal adds the ability to close tabs with middle mouse button.
  • Atril, the document viewer, has much improved page load times and adds support for unarchiver used by some comics.
  • Lots of deprecated GTK+ methods have been replaced and many bugs have been fixed.
  • The plugin systems, and all C and Python plugins, in Eye of MATE and Pluma have been ported to libpeas.
  • Updated translations.
  • A number of memory leaks issues have been addressed.
  • MATE Calculator is back and has been ported to GTK3+
For more details, see release announcement in MATE project website.

Chakra Linux 2017.03 Goedel released with refreshing look & feel

The Chakra Linux team has announced release of Chakra Linux 2017.03, latest stable snapshot of semi-rolling GNU/Linux distribution that comes with stable core and rolling packages. This release is named as Goedel, after Kurt Goedel, an Austrian born American logician, philosopher and mathematician.

CREDIT : Chakra Project
Chakra 2017.03 is coming with two notable changes and other updated packages. Following are notable changes in Chakra 2017.03.
  • Calamares - a system independent installation framework - has been updated to version which supports installation in brtfs and LUKS encrypted partitions. It also includes improved partition system and several bug fixes.
  • The Heritage theme - A plasma theme developed by Chakra - has got several refinements which makes it more refreshing. Chakra Linux has announced this refinement in a separate blog post.
This release also includes updated packages from Chakra repositories which includes Linux Kernel 4.8.6 and Plasma 5.9.2. Existing Chakra users can perform regular system update to get all improvements as per latest snapshot.

For more details, see release announcement published in Chakra website.