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Ubuntu 19.10 "Eoan Ermine" Promises More Boot Speed Improvements

Wednesday 11th of September 2019 03:22:00 PM
Colin Ian King, a Ubuntu Engineer working in the Kernel Team at Canonical, published a blog article with some of the boot improvements made in the upcoming Ubuntu 19.10 operating system.

According to Colin Ian King, the Ubuntu Kernel Team worked hard during the past few months to find a faster compression/decompression algorithm for the upcoming Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) operating system, which will hit the streets later this fall on October 17th.

The Ubuntu Kernel Team benchmarked six compression methods for the initramfs, including BZIP2, GZIP, LZ4, LZMA, LZMO and XZ, to measure the loading time of the Linux kernel, as well as the decompression time. The benchmarking was conducted on x86 configurations using the x86 TSC (Time Stamp Counter).

In the end, they realized that LZ4 is the best compression/decompression method for Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) as BZ... (read more)

GNOME 3.36 Desktop Environment Slated for Release on March 11th, 2020

Wednesday 11th of September 2019 02:40:00 PM
The GNOME Project published today the release schedule for the next major version of their acclaimed and widely used GNOME desktop environment for Linux-based operating systems, GNOME 3.36.

While the GNOME 3.34 desktop environment is not out yet, as it is expected to be officially unveiled tomorrow, September 12th, the GNOME developers are already planning on next major release, GNOME 3.36, which is currently slated for release on March 11th, 2020.

Development of the GNOME 3.36 desktop environment, which will be available under the GNOME 3.35.x umbrella, will start with the first snapshot, GNOME 3.35.1, which is scheduled for public testing release on October 12th. It will followed by a second development snapshot, GNOME 3.35.2, on November 23rd.

Only three development snapshots will be released for GNOME 3.36 before the beta instead of four as it happened until now, and the third one, GNOME 3.35.3, is currently scheduled for next year on January 4th. The two GNOM... (read more)

Ubuntu's Snapcraft Snap Creator Tool Will Soon Get a Windows Installer

Tuesday 10th of September 2019 01:05:00 PM
Canonical has released Snapcraft 3.8, a new feature and maintenance update of their in-house built tool for packaging Linux apps in the Snap universal binary format.

Made for Ubuntu, but also available on the software repositories of various other popular GNU/Linux distributions, the Snapcraft tool lets application developers easily distribute their apps across multiple operating systems by packaging them in the Snap universal and containerized binary format.

These days, Snaps are being packaged and published by some of the major tech companies, such as Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Spotify, and others, to make it easier for users to install cross-platforms apps on their GNU/Linux distributions. That's why Canonical decided to make a Windows installer for Snapcraft.

"Support for a Windows installer has been fully fleshed out and ready to be delivered, this means that Snapcraft will soon be able to run natively from Windows," Sergio Schvezov, Software Engineer at Can... (read more)

Microsoft Confirms It's Working on Microsoft Teams for Linux, Release Imminent

Monday 9th of September 2019 06:47:00 PM
Microsoft has confirmed today that it is working on a Linux version for its acclaimed Microsoft Teams universal communications platform.

Supported on some of the most popular desktop and mobile platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, Microsoft Teams offers a unified communications platform where teams can share a workspace where they can chat, share files, and work with business apps.

More and more people are switching to Linux these days, and since Microsoft itself started integrating Linux into its latest Windows 10 operating system with the WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) project, as well as to develop new features for the Linux kernel, the company confirmed today it will release Microsoft Teams for Linux.

After it was rumoure... (read more)

Purism's Debian-Based PureOS Linux Goes Stable for Rock Solid Releases

Monday 9th of September 2019 03:53:00 PM
Purism, the hardware manufacturer known for building and shipping Linux-based laptops and phones, announced that they are releasing a stable version of their Debian-based PureOS Linux operating system.

PureOS is Purism's in-house developed operating system based on the well-known Debian GNU/Linux OS, which the company is currently deploying on all of their Librem laptops, as well as the Librem 5 smartphone. Until now, PureOS was delivered only as a rolling release where you install once and receive updates forever.

However, due to the privacy and security-focused Librem 5 Linux phone, which will start shipping to customers on September 24th, the company decided to create a stable version of PureOS that contains well-tested components for a rock solid re... (read more)

LXLE 18.04.3 Linux OS Released for Old PCs, It's Based on Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS

Monday 9th of September 2019 02:57:00 PM
The LXLE team announced the final version of LXLE 18.04.3, a new maintenance release of their Ubuntu-based computer operating system that brings latest updates and important bug/security fixes.

Several weeks in the works, the LXLE 18.04.3 release is based on Canonical's latest Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system and features a new "Open 'File' as Root" option, increased applications menu speed, keyboard shortcut overlay list, screen magnifier tooltips, reshuffled Games section, and an updated lock screen that now includes random fortune quotes.

LXLE 18.04.3 also comes with Pinta instead of GIMP, Lxtask instead of Htop, Sakura as default terminal, Bookworm instead of FBreader, Abiword, Gnumeric, and Spice-Up instead of LibreOffice, and Pitivi instead of OpenShot. The PulseAudio equalizer, Lubuntu Software Center, and Java OpenJDK packages have been removed from this release.

F... (read more)

GNOME 3.34 Release Candidate Available for Testing Ahead of September 12 Launch

Monday 9th of September 2019 02:20:00 PM
The GNOME Project announced the availability of the final milestone in the development cycle of the upcoming GNOME 3.34 desktop environment for Linux-based operating systems.

The GNOME 3.34 Release Candidate (RC) has been released over the weekend to public testers in case last minute bugs are discovered before the final release of the open-source desktop environment. The source packages are available to download under the GNOME 3.33.92 umbrella, along with a Flatpak runtime.

The Release Candidate milestone doesn't bring any important changes to the upcoming GNOME 3.34 release, but only minor fixes and updated translations. With this, the development cycle of the GNOME 3.34 desktop environment has come to an end and the development team is now preparing for the final release.

GNOME 3.34 to launch on September 12th

It would appear that the GNOME Project also changed the release date of the GNOME 3.34 desktop environment from September 11th to Sept... (read more)

Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" Gets First Point Release, Available to Download Now

Monday 9th of September 2019 01:45:00 PM
The Debian Project announced the general availability of the first release in the latest Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" operating system series, along with the tenth update to Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch."

Debian GNU/Linux 10.1 "Buster" and Debian GNU/Linux 9.11 "Stretch" are now available to download as new installation mediums for those who want to deploy either operating system release on computers without downloading hundreds of updates from the repositories after the installation. It consists of 34 security updates, 102 miscellaneous bugfixes, and 2 removed packages.

"This point release mainly adds corrections for security issues, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories have already been published separately and are referenced where available," Debian Project explains. "Please note that the point release does not constitute a new version of Debian 10 but only updates some of t... (read more)

Anonymous OS Tails Gets Fix for SWAPGS Variant of the Spectre Vulnerability

Thursday 5th of September 2019 07:02:00 PM
Tails, the amnesic incognito live system built around the Tor technologies, also known as the Anonymous OS, has been updated to version 3.16 to address a critical security vulnerability and update core components.

Tails 3.16 is now available and it ships with an updated Linux kernel to version 4.19.37-5+deb10u2, imported from the Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" operating system. Besides several other security fixes, the updated kernel is patched against the SWAPGS variant of the infamous Spectre vulnerability.

Moreover, the Tails 3.16 release updates most of the firmware packages to improve support for newer hardware, including graphics, Wi-Fi, and others. It also updates the Tor Browser anonymous web browser to the latest 8.5.5 release, and removes predefined bookmarks from Tor Browser's bookmarks toolbar.

Other c... (read more)

Mozilla Firefox 69 Is Available for All Supported Ubuntu Releases, Update Now

Thursday 5th of September 2019 05:43:00 PM
The recently released Mozilla Firefox 69 web browser is now available for download from the official software repositories of all supported Ubuntu Linux operating systems.

Mozilla officially launched the Firefox 69 web browser earlier this week with several new privacy and security features, such as the enablement of the Enhanced Tracking Protection by default to automatically block cryptominers, fingerprinters, and third-party tracking cookies.

Firefox 69 also introduces a new Block Autoplay feature to automatically block video content from automatically playing, improves support for WebRTC conferencing services, and brings JIT support to ARM64 systems to improve the performance of Mozilla's JavaScript Optimizing JIT compiler.

Moreover, Firefox 69 adds a new "New Tab" page experience for US users focused on Po... (read more)

Librem 5 Linux Phone Starts Shipping September 24th in Batches Until Q4 2020

Thursday 5th of September 2019 04:06:00 PM
Purism, the hardware manufacturer behind the Librem laptop lineup powered by the PureOS Linux operating system, announced today the final and official shipping dates of the Librem 5 Linux phone.

In development since October 2017 and after a few delays, the privacy and security-focused Librem 5 Linux-powered smartphone from Purism is finally shipping later this month, but in batches as iterative production releases. Each batch will ship hardware and software updates, as well as improved mechanical design. The shipping starts September 24th and it will end in Q4 2020.

"The iteration schedule starts in September, 2019, and the Librem 5 will be shipping in batches with incrementing code names. Each iteration improves upon the prior in a rapid rolling release throughout the entire first version of the phone, including the public plans for the second revision of the phone for context," said Todd Weave... (read more)

LibreOffice 6.3 Office Suite Gets Its First Point Release, over 80 Bugs Fixed

Thursday 5th of September 2019 02:58:00 PM
The Document Foundation announced today the general availability of the first point release of the latest LibreOffice 6.3 open-source and cross-platform office suite series for all supported platforms.

Coming a month after the release of the LibreOffice 6.3 series, LibreOffice 6.3.1 is a maintenance update that fixes a total of 82 issues across various components, such as Word, Draw, Calc, Math, etc., and also introduces a new layer of protection for users before they attempt to run a script or a macro embedded in a document. The same level of protection has been implemented in the LibreOffice 6.2.7 release as well, also announced today.

"LibreOffice 6.3.1 considers the presence of any call to a script-like thing as equally hazardous as a macro, and present the user a warning dialog about the document trying to execute a script," explains Italo Vignoli. "Users should ... (read more)

LibreOffice Developers Announce Increased Focus on PPT/PPTX File Support

Thursday 5th of September 2019 09:45:00 AM
LibreOffice has long been considered the best alternative to Microsoft Office, and partially responsible for this is the advanced compatibility that it offers with documents created in Microsoft’s productivity suite.

And because working with Microsoft Office files is something that all LibreOffice users expect to do as smoothly as possible, The Document Foundation today announced that a dedicated team of developers would be in charge specifically of improving support for PowerPoint presentation files.

In other words, LibreOffice should soon receive updates refining the way the freeware productivity solution works with PPT and PPTX files, albeit the timing obviously depends on a series of factors, including how smoothly the development process goes.

“LibreOffice’s Quality Assurance team is currently going through the collecti... (read more)

Linux Mint 19.3 Slated for Release on Christmas with HiDPI Improvements, More

Tuesday 3rd of September 2019 07:15:00 PM
The Linux Mint project published their monthly newsletter to inform the community about the latest developments around the Ubuntu-based Linux Mint operating system.

With the Linux Mint 19.2 "Tina" operating system hitting the streets last month, the Linux Mint project has kicked off the development of the next release, Linux Mint 19.3 (codename is yet to be revealed), which is expected to arrive this Christmas with more improvements and updated components.

"With the stable release behind us, the upgrade path opened and the new packages ported towards LMDE 3, we started work on Linux Mint 19.3. This next release is planned for Christmas, so our development cycle is quite short and we need to move fast," said Linux Mint project leader Clement Lefebvre.

Better HiDPI support, improved language settings, and more

Among the changes that will be implemented in the upcoming Linux Mint 19.3 operating system... (read more)

KDE Plasma 5.16 Desktop Reaches End of Life, Plasma 5.17 Arrives on October 15

Tuesday 3rd of September 2019 04:35:00 PM
The KDE Project released today the fifth and last maintenance update for the KDE Plasma 5.16 desktop environment, also marking the end of life of this series.

KDE Plasma 5.16.5 is now available, coming five weeks after the KDE Plasma 5.16.4 update, bringing a total of 42 changes across various core components, including the Plasma Workspace, KWayland integration, KWin window manager, System Settings, Plasma Discover, KDE GTK Config, Plasma Addons, KScreen, KScreenlocker, Dr Konqi, and the Breeze and Oxygen themes.

Among the most important changes, we can mention additional current condition icon mappings in the Weather widget, support for Volume widget's speaker test to display sinks and buttons, the ability to group only the same origin notifications and display them in the heading, support for the dictionary runner to find definitions, and various other smaller fixes.

"Today KDE relea... (read more)

Canonical Outs Major Linux Kernel Security Updates for All Supported Ubuntu OSes

Tuesday 3rd of September 2019 10:32:00 AM
Canonical released new major Linux kernel security updates for all supported Ubuntu Linux operating systems to address up to 28 security vulnerabilities.

Affecting the Linux 5.0, 4.15, and 4.4 kernels of Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo), Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), the most critical vulnerability (CVE-2019-10638) fixed in this new security update was discovered by Amit Klein and Benny Pinkas in the Linux kernel when randomizing IP ID values generated for connectionless networking protocols, which could allow a remote attacker track particular Linux devices.

Also discovered by Amit Klein and Benny Pinkas, the security update addresses another critical vulnerability (CVE-2019-10639) in the Linux kernel, but only affecting the Linux 4.15 kernel used in the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bi... (read more)

Kali Linux Ethical Hacking OS Switches to Linux 5.2, Now Supports OnePlus 7

Monday 2nd of September 2019 09:24:00 PM
Offensive Security announced today the release and general availability of the Kali Linux 2019.03 operating system, a major update to the Kali Linux 2019 series that adds lots of new features, improvements, and updated hacking tools.

Kali Linux 2019.03 kicks off important changes to the default toolset, which will be split in three main categories, kali-linux-default with essential tools for penetration testing, kali-linux-large with a wider collection of penetration testing tools, and kali-linux-everything with all the hacking tools.

It also brings better support for ARM architectures, a few helper scripts that makes finding information about packages more easily and automatically runs Windows binaries with Wine, or make it easier to discover what resources can be transferred over to a Windows system.

The Kali Linux NetHunter project for running the OS on Android devices has been updated as we... (read more)

New SparkyLinux Rolling Release Based on Debian Bullseye Ships with Xfce 4.14

Monday 2nd of September 2019 07:49:00 PM
The development team behind the Debian-based SparkyLinux operating system released a new rolling version based on the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 11 "Bullseye" OS.

SparkyLinux 2019.09 is the rolling release for September 2019, fully updated from the Debian Testing repositories, where the development of the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 11 "Bullseye" operating system takes place. All packages are synced with the Debian Testing repos as of September 1st, 2019.

But the better news is that SparkyLinux 2019.09 is the first release of the Debian-based distribution to ship with the recently announced Xfce 4.14 desktop environment. So if you want to get a taste of the new Xfce 4.14 release, go ahead and download the SparkyLinux 2019.09 Xfce edition.

However, the developer... (read more)

RaspEX Project Now Lets You Turn Your Raspberry Pi 4 into a HTPC with Kodi

Sunday 1st of September 2019 04:57:00 PM
GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton released a new edition of his RaspEX operating system for Raspberry Pi devices featuring the Kodi media centre and designed for the new Raspberry Pi 4.

If you're looking for a fast, working, and easy-to-install operating system to turn your tiny Raspberry Pi 4 single-board computer into a versatile HTPC (Home Theatre PC), the latest RaspEX Kodi build is here to help with that, and it also supports previous Raspberry Pi models.

Based on the latest Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" and Raspbian operating system series, RaspEX Kodi focuses on the open-source and cross-platform Kodi media center for all the video and audio playback operations, and more. Kodi 18.3 "Leia" is being used in the current release of RaspEX Kodi.

What's new in RaspEX Kodi Build 190803

RaspEX Kodi Build 190803 comes with the lightweight LXDE desktop environment, which is needed for the tiny Raspberry Pi computers, making them faster and more responsi... (read more)

Linux Lite 4.6 Officially Released, It's Based on Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS

Saturday 31st of August 2019 11:40:00 PM
Linux Lite creator Jerry Bezencon announced today the official release and general availability of the Linux Lite 4.6 operating system.

After several months of work, the final version of the Linux Lite 4.6 operating system is here, coming five months after the previous version, Linux Lite 4.4. The entire system is based on Canonical's recently released Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system, but it doesn't ship with its newer HWE (Hardware Enablement) Linux 5.0 kernel by default.

Instead, Linux Lite 4.6 is still powered by the stock Linux 4.15 kernel of the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system series, though users will be able to install a wide range of kernels from Linux 3.13 to Linux 5.2 from the official Linux Lite software repositories.

Here's what's new in Linux Lite 4.6

Hightlights of the Linux Lite 4.6 release include a new theme selector in Lite Welcome to more easily select between the Light and Dark themes, as ... (read more)

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

Thermostats, Locks and Extension Add-ons – WebThings Gateway 0.10

Happy Things Thursday! Today we are releasing WebThings Gateway 0.10. If you have a gateway using our Raspberry Pi builds then it should already have automatically updated itself. This new release comes with support for thermostats and smart locks, as well as an updated add-ons system including extension add-ons, which enable developers to extend the gateway user interface. We’ve also added localisation settings so that you can choose your country, language, time zone and unit preferences. From today you’ll be able to use the gateway in American English or Italian, but we’re already receiving contributions of translations in different languages! Read more

A technical comparison between the snap and the Flatpak formats

Since we’ve already discussed the snap layout and architecture in greater details in the previous weeks, let’s start with a quick overview of Flatpak. Much like snaps, Flatpak packages come with necessary components contained inside standalone archives, so they can be deployed and maintained with simplicity on a range of Linux distributions. Runtime and image components are bundled into a single file using the OCI format. In general, Flatpak applications are built against runtimes, but they can also contain additional libraries inside their own bundles. A Linux system with the Flatpak binary (primary command) installed and configured can then run Flatpak applications. At the moment, there are 21 distributions that offer Flatpak support. Furthermore, applications are sandboxed using Bubblewrap, which utilises kernel security and namespace features to set up unprivileged containers. Communication outside the sandbox is possible through a mechanism of portals, which allows granular access to system resources. Flatpak packages are available to end users primarily through Flathub, an app store and build service that is (semi)-officially associated with the Flatpak project. Submissions to Flathub are done as pull requests through GitHub, and require approval from the store admins. Similarly, publishers of proprietary software have to manually request inclusion of their applications. Flatpak applications are also sometimes available as manual download links. There is no automatic update mechanism available by default. Read more

Zorin OS vs Linux Mint

There are some specific linux distros out there that specially target the new and casual Linux users, most notably, Linux Mint and Zorin OS. In this article we will compare them.

Zorin OS vs Linux Mint

Both of these distros have earned a solid reputation from the community for being two of the most user-friendly distros of all. Both of them use Ubuntu as the core. Thus, both of them offer similar functionality at the core. However, the real magic is how each of them builds up on top of it. Both Linux Mint and Zorin OS comes up with different feel and vibe. While both of them are extremely user-friendly and robust, there are some key differences between them. That’s the beauty of Linux. Read more