Budgie Desktop getting remerged with Solus Project

A while after keeping Budgie Desktop as in independent project, it is getting merged with Solus Project, the original developers. This decision was made by the team considering the lack of contribution from other projects using Budgie Desktop.

The Solus project has observed that keeping Budgie as a separate project does not help in its growth and other projects using budgie is adding their own vendor-specific values. Overall, it is diminishing the brand value of Budgie Desktop. Considering this point, the budgie-desktop repository is merged with solus-project repository and the further development activities will mainly focus the goals of Solus operating system.

Budgie Desktop on Solus 3

As of May 20th, 2018, the Budgie Desktop project has been merged back into the Solus Project umbrella, making it a distinct Solus project once more. Contributions from all distributions, projects and individuals are welcome provided they add value and are of sufficient quality. We're happy to discuss test pull requests, which should be appropriately labeled as being Request For Comment [RFC].

Please note that we will NOT accept pull requests to add Pythonic applets. Any applets should be written in either C or Vala. Pull requests modifying any C source code should ensure to stick with code compliance. Run ./update_format.sh to ensure coding standards are respected. (Requires clang-format and misspell)

This decision has been made after a long time having Budgie Desktop being a separate project, which to this date has only repeatedly harmed the Budgie Desktop project due to other projects specifically looking to add vendor specific value-add and ensuring it is never upstream within this project. As such the project is now officially back under the stewardship of Solus (original authors) and will be developed with our goals in mind, as it once was. It should also be observed that Budgie has been an incredibly quiet project for almost the entire duration of the project being split out from Solus. This will now be remedied as we merge back into Solus, and all previous decisions will now be re-evaluated (Qt? Wayland? gtk4? etc).
You can read original announcement in Budgie Desktop README page.

Tor is released, first stable release in 0.3.3.x series

Mr nickm on behalf of Tor Project has announced the release of Tor, the first stable release in 0.3.3.x series. Tor is a set of tools to ensure secure and privacy while connecting various services available on internet. Tor being a stable release, includes various security patches and bug fixes. It also backports several important patches from alpha release.

The Tor 0.3.3 series includes controller support and other improvements for v3 onion services, official support for embedding Tor within other applications, and our first non-trivial module written in the Rust programming language. (Rust is still not enabled by default when building Tor.) And as usual, there are numerous other smaller bugfixes, features, and improvements.
Currently, Tor is only available as source code. Various packages will be made available in coming weeks along with new version of Tor Browser which is expected to arrive on June.

The main highlights and bug fixes in Tor release includes,
  • When built with Rust, Tor now depends on version 0.2.39 of the libc crate. 
  • There is now a documented stable API for programs that need to embed Tor. See tor_api.h for full documentation and known bugs.
  • Tor now has support for restarting in the same process. Controllers that run Tor using the "tor_api.h" interface can now restart Tor after Tor has exited. This support is incomplete, however: we fixed crash bugs that prevented it from working at all, but many bugs probably remain, including a possibility of security issues.
  • Add consensus method 27, which adds IPv6 ORPorts to the microdesc consensus. This information makes it easier for IPv6 clients to bootstrap and choose reachable entry guards.
  • Add consensus method 28, which removes IPv6 ORPorts from microdescriptors. Now that the consensus contains IPv6 ORPorts, they are redundant in microdescs. This change will be used by Tor clients on 0.2.8.x and later. (That is to say, with all Tor clients that have IPv6 bootstrap and guard support.)
  • Expand the documentation for AuthDirHasIPv6Connectivity when it is set by different numbers of authorities. 
  • The control port now supports commands and events for v3 onion services. It is now possible to create ephemeral v3 services using ADD_ONION. Additionally, several events (HS_DESC, HS_DESC_CONTENT, CIRC and CIRC_MINOR) and commands (GETINFO, HSPOST, ADD_ONION and DEL_ONION) have been extended to support v3 onion services. 
  • Provide torrc options to pin the second and third hops of onion service circuits to a list of nodes. The option HSLayer2Guards pins the second hop, and the option HSLayer3Guards pins the third hop. These options are for use in conjunction with experiments with "vanguards" for preventing guard enumeration attacks. 
  • When v3 onion service clients send introduce cells, they now include the IPv6 address of the rendezvous point, if it has one. Current v3 onion services running 0.3.2 ignore IPv6 addresses, but in future Tor versions, IPv6-only v3 single onion services will be able to use IPv6 addresses to connect directly to the rendezvous point. 
You can find complete list of changes in Tor release announcement published on Tor Project blog.

LXQt 0.13.0 released

The LXQt team has announced the release of LXQt 0.13.0, the latest stable release of the lightweight desktop environment built with Qt frameworks. This release is a footstep towards upcoming 1.0.0 release.

A preview of LXQt 0.10.0
The main highlights of LXQt 0.13.0 release can be summarized as:
  • All packages are ready for Qt 5.11.
  • Out-of-source-builds are now mandatory.
  • libfm-qt is made more self-sufficient and less dependent on libfm, resulting in better performance and more flexibility.
  • qps and screengrab have been moved to the LXQt umbrella.
  • Improved overall translations.
  • Made menu-cached optional (default=off) in panel and runner to prevent memory leaks and to avoid problems when restarting or shutting down LXQt.
  • Improved LXQtCompilerSettings.
  • Our (upstream) configuration defaults were moved to /usr/share/lxqt, distribution’s overrides can be placed into /etc/lxqt
For more details, read LXQt 0.13.0 release announcement, release notes and our gallery page for LXQt desktop environment.

TDF announces LibreOffice 5.4.7, last minor release in 5.4.x series

The Document Foundation (TDF) has announced the release of LibreOffice 5.4.7, final minor release in LibreOffice 5.4.x family. This series is currently targeting main stream users and enterprise environments where stability and consistency is main concern. Towards this, LibreOffice 5.4.7 includes fixes for over 60 minor and major issues.

In addition to the 32 bit releases, LibreOffice 5.4.7 also introduces 64 bit release for Windows. This will require Windows Vista or later. While, the 32 bit release can run even on Windows XP. LibreOffice 5.4.7 will be the final release that support Windows XP. LibreOffice 5.4.x enables users to install both LibreOffice 5.3 and 5.4 simultaneously, while in Windows, 5.4 will replace the 5.3 installation if it already exists.
The main issues fixed in LibreOffice 5.4.3 can be summarized as:
  • coverity#982189 backward heading search doesn't always work [Caolán McNamara]
  • ofz#6656 1 isn't a good flag for all elements filled [Caolán McNamara]
  • ofz#6827 bad-cast [Caolán McNamara]
  • ofz#6999 check available data len [Caolán McNamara]
  • ofz#7043 already registered [Caolán McNamara]
  • ofz#7063 ensure lifecycle [Caolán McNamara]
  • ofz#7109 infinite regress [Caolán McNamara]
  • ofz#7121 NamedDBs::insert takes ownership of its argument [Eike Rathke]
  • ofz#7165 set a recursion limit for svm in svm [Caolán McNamara]
  • tdf#71339 EDITING sigma icon (sum function) operating on selected range [Eike Rathke]
  • tdf#90627 Saving presentation results in invalid PPTX file [Szymon Kłos]
  • tdf#91106 1st Hierarchical level in Styles and Formatting is not alphabetically sorted [Michael Stahl]
  • tdf#104792 FILESAVE: PPTX: Corrupted File after RT (The element has incomplete child element) [Szymon Kłos]
  • tdf#106746 copy/pasting revisions copy deleted words [Aron Budea]
  • tdf#107094 Backward Search of Headings with Navigation Bar Does not Work Always [Caolán McNamara]
  • tdf#112997 Viewing: only a single of multiple animated gif is rendered [Noel Grandin]
  • tdf#115407 Impress loses transition sounds and sound instructions [Julien Nabet]
  • tdf#115539 "Start Slideshow" does not hide notebookbar when in Outline and SlideSorter mode [Xisco Fauli]
  • tdf#115795 "Get Online Help" under zh-tw locale would be redirected to zh-cn forum [Franklin Weng]
  • tdf#115853 Custom properties deleted [Julien Nabet]
  • tdf#116101 Bullets in bulleted list with proportion >100% appear off [Szymon Kłos]
  • tdf#116163 PPTX: Chart labels are too long [Szymon Kłos]
  • tdf#116215 Sum button: Calc adds wrong sum formulas if you select more than one row or column [Eike Rathke]
  • tdf#116238 Notebookbar stays visible during slide show when started from Slides pane [Xisco Fauli]
  • tdf#116324 Nested IF(IF( without Else path yields #VALUE! [Eike Rathke]
  • tdf#116474 Undo/redo: The redo of adding caption to an image isn't working: no image [Caolán McNamara]
  • tdf#116536 FILEOPEN: Bullets are higher than the text [Szymon Kłos]
  • tdf#116544 EDITING: Inserting Photo Album that includes .MOV causes Crash [Caolán McNamara]
  • bnc#778133 sw: handle cell background for BACKGROUND_PARA_OVER_DRAWINGS [Miklos Vajna]
  • ofz#7648 bad-cast [Caolán McNamara]
  • redmine#2585 update credits [Christian Lohmaier]
  • rhbz#1283420 message box fonts corrupted in libreoffice [Caolán McNamara]
  • tdf#84205 FILESAVE: Theme Colors inverted in drawings after PPTX roundtrip (black part turned to white) [Szymon Kłos]
  • tdf#100925 When overwriting a cell, new content is displayed on top of the old content until finishing the edit [Caolán McNamara]
  • tdf#115719 DOCX import: lack of Word 2013-style increased spacing for paragraph with anchored objects [Miklos Vajna]
  • tdf#116410 FILEOPEN DOCX: First paragraph has wrong top margin (space before) [Miklos Vajna]
  • tdf#116830 DOCX import: table cell background is behind background shapes [Miklos Vajna]
  • tdf#116925 Automatic text color in textbox does not consider fill style of shape [Miklos Vajna]
  • tdf#116976 DOCX import: bitmap does not consume its relative size [Miklos Vajna]
  • tdf#116985 DOCX import, shape with textbox: incorrect text area size when shape size is relative [Miklos Vajna]
  • tdf#116999 Libreoffice command line interface is not opening cgm files [Caolán McNamara]
  • tdf#117028 DOCX import: textbox of shape lacks its transparent background [Miklos Vajna]
  • tdf#117039 Print Preview crashes on signed document [Katarina Behrens]
  • tdf#117268 FILEOPEN: RTF: parser dont draw tables correctly [Mike Kaganski]
For more details and download links, see LibreOffice 5.4.7 release announcement published in The Document Foundation blog.

Endless OS 3.4.0 released with data plan specific updates, android file sharing service & more

The Endless OS team has announced the immediate public availability of Endless OS 3.4.0, latest major release of GNU/Linux distribution featuring a custom desktop environment powered GNOME 3.x, and other native applications. This release includes several enhancements and improvements, including the ability to tune updates based on the data plan that is being used, a content sharing services required for pairing with android devices ..etc.

A preview of Endless OS 3.4.0 - (Courtesy - Endless OS project)
The main features introduced in Endless OS 3.4.0 can be briefed as
  • Endless OS 3.4.0 enables users to configure the data plan that is being used to selectively update the packages. If the user has access to a high speed and cheap data connect, then an extreme update strategy will be used. Earlier, the Endless OS used to automatically detect the net connection speed. Now with manual tuning, user has more power over their system.

    This release also provide the ability to schedule the update time, so that you can ensure that business hours are not disturbed by the update process.
  • Endless OS 3.4.0 includes an updated App Center which enables the system update through App Center itself. This will notify users when there is an update available for the system.
  • The Endless OS team is working on a companion app to access the Android screen on your desktop. The application development is an ongoing activity. As a part of this, Endless OS 3.4.0 includes content sharing services required to enable pairing of the system with android devices.
  • Endless OS makes use GNOME 3.26 which includes several improvements and cool features including redesigned settings app.
  • Some apps, like Dropbox and Slack, still use the older system tray interface for icons while they are running. In previous releases of Endless OS, these were kept separate from the bottom panel in a section of their own. That separate section has been removed in the latest version of GNOME, so we have moved the system tray icons into the bottom panel alongside the system’s own icons.
  • With Linux Kernel 3.15 Endless OS provides better support for modern hardware resources.
For more detailed description and screenshots, see Endless OS 3.4.0 release announcement.

Sparky Linux 4.8 released with updated packages from Debian stable

The Sparky Linux team has announced the release of SparkyLinux 4.8, latest stable update in project's 4.x series. This release includes updated packages from Debian repository as of 11th May 2018.

Sparky Linux 4.8 Banner
Sparky Linux 4.8 release includes a full-fledged operating system with LXDE desktop environment and minimal images for MinimalGUI and MinimalCLI which enables to install the system with a minimal set of applications, and then choose your own applications via sparky advanced installer.

The Sparky 4.8 ARMhF also includes a full-fledged system with Openbox window manager and other minimal editions.

The main highlights of Sparky Linux 4.8 include:
  • full system upgrade from Debian stable repositories as of May 11, 2018
  • Linux kernel 4.9.88 (PC)
  • Linux kernel 4.14.34 (ARM)
  • Calamares 3.1.12 with the possibility of installing the live system on an encrypted disk
  • added new option of live system booting which lets you choose your localization
  • sparky tools which need the root access use pkexec now instead of gksu/gksudo/kdesudo/etc.
  • added packages: xinit (provides startx command) and bleachbit (for cleaning the system)
  • sparky advanced installer features 6 localizations now: Brazilian, English, German Italian, Polish and Portuguese
  • APTus 0.4.x has been enlarged of new, additional applications and tools to be easily installed
  • removed packages: gksu, gdebi, reportbug, sparky-fontset
For more information, see Sparky Linux 4.8 release announcement and our gallery page on Sparky Linux.

ArchLabs 2018.05 released with more polished user experience

The ArchLabs team has announced the release of ArchLabs 2018.05, the latest stable release of Arch based GNU/Linux distribution that offers a minimal desktop experience with high customizability. The main focus of ArchLabs 2018.05 was polishing some rough edges of the distribution and the team has spent a significant amount of time and effort on this activity.

A preview of ArchLabs
The main highlights from ArchLabs 2018.05 includes:
  • LightDM has been completely removed, as a result you will be auto-logged in to your desktop.  For those who prefer to use LightDM, you can reinstall this from AL-Hello.  Openbox has been set as default but you can change this by editing your ~/.xinitrc and changing your session to your preferred WM/DE.
  • All ArchLabs related packages have been refreshed. Jgmenu especially has had an update and is in fine form.  We are really happy with jgmenu, it is developing into one of the best menu utilities out there for Linux.
  • We have a new default wallpaper, created by Karl Schneider, considerable inspiration (as usual) comes from BunsenLabs and this time Manjaro and their new Openbox spin had an influence on the outcome as well.
  • Neofetch has been removed and replaced with Al-Info, this can display a ASCII ArchLabs and your system information.  Read more about AL-Info here.
  • The deprecation of gksu has resulted in it’s removal from ArchLabs.  Any applications requiring root will now make use of pkexec.
  • We have switched to gnome-polkit and have also removed lx-session.
  • We have switched the default theme to ArchLabs-Light and icons to ArchLabs-Dark.
  • Al-Hello has had further tweaking and polishing.
  • Minor changes, improvements and bug-fixes to AL-Installer
  • There was some more tweaks and improvements to the pipemenus as well, you can now install selected apps from the Obmenu.
For more information, see ArchLabs 2018.05 release announcement and our gallery page on ArchLabs.

CentOS 7 (1804) released with Red Hat EL 7.5 base

The CentOS community has announced the release of CentOS 7 (1804), a minor release in CentOS 7 series. This release is derived from recently announced Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.5 and is available for multiple architectures.
CentOS 7 release comes with several bug fixes and security updates inherited from EL base. So, it is highly recommended to update the packages immediately. This can be done using regular yum update operation.
Updates released since the upstream release are all posted, across allarchitectures. We strongly recommend every user apply all updates,including the content released today, on your existing CentOS Linux 7machine by just running 'yum update'.

As with all CentOS Linux 7 components, this release was built fromsources hosted at git.centos.org. In addition, SRPMs that are abyproduct of the build (and also considered critical in the code andbuildsys process) are being published to match every binary RPM werelease. Sources will be available from vault.centos.org in their owndedicated directories to match the corresponding binary RPMs. Sincethere is far less traffic to the CentOS source RPMs compared with thebinary RPMs, we are not putting this content on the main mirrornetwork. If users wish to mirror this content they can do so using thereposync command available in the yum-utils package. All CentOS sourceRPMs are signed with the same key used to sign their binarycounterparts. Developers and end users looking at inspecting andcontributing patches to the CentOS Linux distro will find the codehosted at git.centos.org far simpler to work against.
For more information and download links, read CentOS 7 (1804) release announcement in projects release mailing list. 

Pinguy OS 18.04 Beta released for testing

Within 3 days after Alpha release, Pinguy OS team has announced the availability of Pinguy OS 18.04 beta testing. This is a development release and hence won't be completely free from issues. However, there are many things fixed and polished after the alpha release.

A preview of Pinguy OS 18.04 beta - Courtesy : Pinguy OS

The Pinguy OS team has reduced the size of installation images by removing several packages. So, this release can be considered as a mini edition. A full experience can be obtained by installing a few additional packages.

The main issues fixed in Pinguy OS 18.04 Beta release can be summarized as:
  • Fixed the naming and logo in gnome control center and other branding issues.
  • Fixed the cursor theme so it works with Shell (dragging icons).
  • Removed Docky and replaced it with Simple Dock & Places Status Indicator extensions.
  • Audio levels can go past 100% by default.
  • Made the Wayland session work with root app.
  • Reduced the size of the ISO.
  • Reduced memory footprint.
For further details, read Pinguy OS 18.04 beta release announcement.

Devuan 2.0 ASCII release candidate is available with multiple installation options

The Devuan community has announced the release of Devuan 2.0 ASCII release candidate, latest development release of Debian without systemd. The final release will be released in near future. The main highlight of this release is ability to choose from a variety of desktop environments including XFCE, KDE, MATE, Cinnamon, LXQT. The installer also provides console productivity option with hundreds of preconfigured tools and a minimal installation option.

We are happy to announce that the Devuan 2.0 ASCII Release Candidate is now available thanks to the support, feedback, and collaboration of the Devuan community. Devuan 2.0 ASCII Stable will be following soon.

The Devuan 2.0 ASCII RC installer now offers a wider variety of Desktop Environmentsincluding XFCE, KDE, MATE, Cinnamon, LXQT (with others available post-install).  In addition, there are options for "Console productivity" with hundreds of CLI and TUI utils,as well as a minimal base system ideal for servers.

When installing from ISO, the expert install option offers a choice of SysVinit and OpenRC. Official ready-to-use Devuan 2.0 ASCII RC images are available for dozens of ARM boardsand SOCs, including Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, OrangePi, BananaPi, OLinuXino, Cubieboard, Nokia N900, and several Chromebooks, as well as for Virtualbox/QEMU/Vagrant.
For more information and discussions, see release announcement in Devuan Forums.

Ubuntu 18.10 will be named as Cosmic Cuttlefish

After the successful release of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Canonical is switching their focus to next long term supported release, Ubuntu 20.04. As a foot step to this, Mr Mark Shuttleworth has announced the code name for upcoming Ubuntu 18.10. This release will be known by the code name Cosmic Cuttlefish. Security and privacy will be a main consideration in upcoming releases without compromising diversity and unified use experience, Mark added.

Cosmic Cuttlefish - courtesy (redbubble.com)
With our castor Castor now out for all to enjoy, and the Twitterverse delighted with the new minimal desktop and smooth snap integration, it’s time to turn our attention to the road ahead to 20.04 LTS, and I’m delighted to say that we’ll kick off that journey with the Cosmic Cuttlefish, soon to be known as Ubuntu 18.10.

Each of us has our own ideas of how the free stack will evolve in the next two years. And the great thing about Ubuntu is that it doesn’t reflect just one set of priorities, it’s an aggregation of all the things our community cares about. Nevertheless I thought I’d take the opportunity early in this LTS cycle to talk a little about the thing I’m starting to care more about than any one feature, and that’s security.

If I had one big thing that I could feel great about doing, systematically, for everyone who uses Ubuntu, it would be improving their confidence in the security of their systems and their data. It’s one of the very few truly unifying themes that crosses every use case.
Read complete announcement in Mark Shuttleworths blog.

GhostBSD is switching the base system from FreeBSD to TrueOS

Recently, a hot discussion was going on GhostBSD forums regarding the base project. Currently, the distribution is based on FreeBSD and the discussions were on the topic whether to migrate to TrueOS base or not. The team has concluded these discussions with the decision to create future releases of GhostBSD with the TrueOS base. The team is yet to decide whether to continue FreeBSD based releases or not.
The team has decided to migrate to TrueOS base considering following facts.
For some time we have discussed problems that GhostBSD is facing in the long run. Some of our community have asked for improvements including a better rc such as OpenRC. We all have thought of OpenRC, but for a small team, it is a hard thing to do on our own as a project. After a lot of discussions, we decided to join TrueOS effort. Since then it is now making more sense as both of the main developers of GhostBSD work for iXsystems.

TrueOS is becoming more mature as an appliance building platform making it appealing for the goal of creating reproducible builds of GhostBSD. Security-enhancing features such as LibreSSL integration and improved service management with OpenRC are just a few examples of some the improvements the switch will bring.
For details, see original announcement published in GhostBSD blogs