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Poettering Fallout, GamingOnLinux Shake-up, and Replacing Xfce

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There was so much news today I hardly know where to start. All the reactions to Poettering's Google+ post probably dominated the headlines today, followed closely by the resignation of GamingOnLinux as Editor in Chief. In other news, Bryan Lunduke shares his thoughts on Cinnamon and Matt Hartley says it's time to replace Xfce. There are a couple of KDE tidbits as well as news that another German city is ditching Windows for Linux.

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More in Tux Machines

Review: Zorin 15.1 "Lite"

Zorin OS is an Ubuntu-based operating system that aims to make Linux easy for Windows and macOS users. In the words of Zorin, it is "the alternative to Windows and macOS designed to make your computer faster, more powerful, secure and privacy respecting". Zorin's main product is the paid-for "Ultimate" edition, which will set you back €39 and comes with macOS, Windows, Linux and "Touch" layouts (i.e. themes) as well as a relatively large collection of software and "installation support". Other editions of Zorin are free but come with less pre-installed software and fewer desktop layouts. For this review I dusted off a MacBook that dates from late 2009 and installed the "Lite" edition which, as the name suggests, is designed to breathe new life into older hardware. The laptop is one of the plastic, white MacBooks. It has an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and 4GB of RAM - I doubled the amount of RAM a few months ago. The laptop has mostly been running Fedora with the MATE desktop and the i3 window manager as an alternative environment, both of which ran fine. Zorin's Lite edition uses Xfce as the desktop environment. First impressions and installation Zorin's website is either modern and clean or yet another bootstrap site, depending on your view. There are just three links in the navigation menu: Download, Computers and Help (the Computers section links to vendors that sell laptops with Zorin pre-installed). The Download section lists Zorin's Ultimate edition first, followed by the Core, Lite and Education editions. Clicking any of the Download links for the free versions triggers a "Sign up to our newsletter & Download" pop-up window featuring a huge "Sign up & Download" button and a very small "Skip to download" link. I am not a fan of this type of marketing. I don't mind that they ask if I maybe want to sign up to their mailing list, but I take issue with the fact that the dialogue window has been designed to make the "No thanks" option easy to miss. Such marketing techniques assume that users need to be tricked into signing up to receiving marketing materials, which reflects poorly on the project as a whole. Read more

XFS - Online Filesystem Checking

Since Linux 4.17, I have been working on an online filesystem checking feature for XFS. As I mentioned in the previous update, the online fsck tool (named xfs_scrub) walks all internal filesystem metadata records. Each record is checked for obvious corruptions before being cross-referenced with all other metadata in the filesystem. If problems are found, they are reported to the system administrator through both xfs_scrub and the health reporting system. As of Linux 5.3 and xfsprogs 5.3, online checking is feature complete and has entered the stabilization and performance optimization stage. For the moment it remains tagged experimental, though it should be stable. We seek early adopters to try out this new functionality and give us feedback. Read more

Linux 5.5 RC7

  • Linux 5.5-rc7
    Well, things picked up at the end of the week, with half of my merges
    happening in the last two days.
    
    Whether that is the usual "send the weeks work to Linus on Friday", or
    a sign that things are just picking up in general after the holidays,
    I don't know.  If the former, I'll probably just release the final 5.5
    next week. But if it looks like there's pent-up fixes pending next
    week, I'll make another rc.
    
    Nothing in here looks particularly odd. Drivers is about half of the
    patch (networking, sound, gpio, gpu, scsi, usb, you name it), with the
    rest being the usual mix - arch, networking, filesystems, core
    kernel..  The diffstat looks mostly fairly nice and flat, with a
    couple of exceptions that look harmless (a few device tree file
    updates, some pure code movemment, and a couple of driver fixes that
    ended up changing calling conventions to get done and as a result got
    to be more lines than the bug otherwise would have merited).
    
    Please do test, there should be nothing scary going on.
    
                  Linus
    
  • Kernel prepatch 5.5-rc7

    The 5.5-rc7 kernel prepatch is out. Linus is still unsure whether the final 5.5 release will come out next week or not: "if it looks like there's pent-up fixes pending next week, I'll make another rc".

  • Linux 5.5-rc7 Kernel Released

    The seventh weekly release candidate to Linux 5.5 is now available for testing. Linus noted with Linux 5.5-rc7 there was a large uptick in patch volume at week's end. "Well, things picked up at the end of the week, with half of my merges happening in the last two days." Due to the recent holidays in large part, it's possible an eighth release candidate may be needed for Linux 5.5 before then releasing the kernel as stable on 2 February. However, in today's 5.5-rc7 announcement, Torvalds noted he may just end up releasing 5.5 stable next week. In any case, the release of Linux 5.5 is right on the horizon and this should be the kernel powering Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and other upcoming distribution releases.

GNU Make 4.3 Released!

The next stable version of GNU make, version 4.3, has been released and is available for download from https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/make/ Please see the NEWS file that comes with the GNU make distribution for details on user-visible changes. Read more Also: GNU Make 4.3 Released With Performance Improvements, Newer GNU libc + Musl Support