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Munich's U-turn, Fedora 27 on Halloween, Back to Linux

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In the story that wouldn't die, Munich's Linux reversal in in the news again as the city's administrative committee recommended moving to a uniform Windows-based deployment throughout city government by 2020. Elsewhere, Fedora 27 is scheduled for release on October 31, 2017 and kde.org got a new look. Former Linux user Paul Cutler has returned to the fold and Blogger Dedoimedo compared Fedora's Xorg to Wayland.

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Kodi Illegal, Open Source Now a Word

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Seems the top story today was the arrest of five individuals for selling devices loaded up with Open Source Kodi. Apparently the kits came with add-ons that allowed users to stream pirated content. In other news, Merriam-Webster has added the word "Open Source" to its database of official words, along with 1000 others. Jonathan Terrasi described his Linux awakening and blogger Dedoimedo said the GNOME version of openSUSE 42.2 is better than Plasma, but it still doesn't redeem the mediocre release.

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Best Distros, openSUSE Whoops, Debian 9 One Step Closer

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In the latest Linux news, the news.opensuse.org got hacked and displayed "KurDish HaCk3rS WaS Here" for a while Monday and while the site has been restored, no comment on the hack has been issued. Elsewhere, Debian 9.0 has entered its final freeze in the last steps in preparations for release. FOSS Force has named their winner for top distro of 2016 and Swapnil Bhartiya shared his picks for the best for 2017. Blogger DarkDuck said MX-16 Xfce is "very close to the ideal" and Alwan Rosyidi found Solus OS is giving Elementary OS a run for its money. Phoronix.com's Michael Larabel explained why he uses Fedora and Jeremy Garcia announced the winners of the 2016 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards.

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Bodhi Needs Testers, Build Your Own PC

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Jeff Hoogland today posted that time has come to polish up Swami and asked for his bravest users to install the newest to give it a go. Tails is the latest distribution to deprecate their 32-bit architecture and GIMP 2.8.20 was released. Liam Tung reported on a new self-assembled laptop able to run Linux and Rick Broida suggested some light-weight distros for such cases. Just in case you actually take that route, Jamie McKane shared some tips for first time computer assemblers.

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Best Distros for Mac Users and Everyone Else

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Derrik Diener today said that a lot of Mac users jumped ship recently and he has some Linux suggestions for them. Adam Shepherd shared his list of best distributions for desktop users, enterprise servers, and security buffs. Most of his picks are very familiar. Elsewhere, GIMPer Alexandre Prokoudine blogged of the 2.10 blockers and Mozilla has pulled the plug on Firefox OS. In case you missed it, LibreOffice 5.3 was announced yesterday with the most features ever in a single release and Carla Schroder posted a quick down and dirty tutorial to becoming an Arch user.

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Also: GIMP 2.10 Coming, GIMP May Re-Target To GTK4 Rather Than GTK3

GIMP 2.10 blockers and the road to 3.0

KDE Plasma 5.9 Released, 5.10 Previewed; Steam Machines RIP

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Jonathan Riddell announced for the KDE team the arrival of Plasma 5.9, the next big update to the desktop family. This release brings some new features such as Global Menus and a new network configuration module. And if that wasn't enough KDE for you, Eike Hein blogged of some of the goodies being cooked up for 5.10. The Register reported on a bug in Cryptkeeper that triggered its removal from Debian, other distros are waiting for upstream fixes. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols said Linux is the right choice for those who appreciate a modicum of privacy and Mairin Duffy said today to come join in the Fedora IRC chats.

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Top Ubuntu Mistakes, F26 Wallpaper Hunt, Linux GOTY

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It's that time of development again when the Fedora Design Team sends out their call for supplemental wallpapers. Artists and photographers are encouraged to participate. Matt Hartley discussed today some of the mistakes new users make with Ubuntu and offered up his best advice for avoiding them. TecMint compiled the top five reasons to install Linux and the second round of voting has begun in FOSS Force's Best Distro of 2016 contest. Some familiar names graced Google's Code-in winners and Gaming On Linux has identified the best games of 2016 through a user polling survey.

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Mint 18.1 KDE & Xfce, Bodhi 4.1.0, ftp.kernel.org RIP

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Clement Lefebvre announced the releases of Linux Mint 18.1 KDE and Xfce following earlier releases of MATE and Cinnamon versions. Mint 18.1 is a long term supported release meaning it will get security updates until 2021. Jeff Hoogland announced an update to Bodhi Linux 4.0.0, dubbed 4.1.0. This release brings all the security and bug updates since the 4.0.0 release as well as a new dark theme for the native Moksha desktop. The Fridge announced 17.04 Alpha 2 as the community wallpaper drive got underway and a new KDE laptop has surfaced.

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Also:

  • Linux Mint 18.1 KDE and Xfce released

    The Linux Mint team has just released the long term support release Linux Mint 18.1 as a KDE and Xfce edition to the public.

    The new version of Linux Mint brings software updates and refinements mostly. First, some information on Linux Mint 18.1 being a long term support release.

    The Mint team will support Linux Mint 18.1 with security updates until 2021. Future versions of Linux Mint will use the same base package as Linux Mint 18.1 until 2018. This ensures that it is easy to update to new versions.

  • Linux Mint 18.1 “Serena” KDE released!
  • Linux Mint 18.1 “Serena” Xfce released!

Best Distro, systemd Exploit, KDE neon Scare

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The Linux world keeps on turning and while I've been under the weather a KDE neon download scare rocked users recently as well as a newly discovered exploit in systemd. The exploit is said to "open the door to privilege escalation attacks, creating a means for hackers to root systems." Elsewhere, FOSS Force is running their annual Readers' Choice Awards Poll for the best Linux desktop distribution for the year ended a few weeks ago. Firefox 51.0 was released with a new logo and Arch is deprecating the 32-bit architecture images. Jamie Watson test several more distros on his new notebook and Jesse Smith reviewed GoboLinux saying, "I applaud the developers' efforts in making something unusual and interesting."

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2017 Desktops, neon Goes Calamares, Spices Changes

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Desktop choice is a hallmark of Linux and Jack Wallen today predicted which will become more popular in 2017. His list may surprise you. In other news, Jonathan Riddell said today that KDE neon would be switching installer from its current Ubiquity to another gaining in popularity. It's currently in the developer version, but it'll soon make its way into the user recommended version. Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre today announced changes to the Cinnamon desktop applets. He said he was concerned about security of 3rd party contributions given last year's security breach. Elsewhere, Robin Miller defended his Ubuntu choice saying, "So call me mass-average. Call me boring. Call me one of the many, the humble, the Ubuntu users!"

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A Forbes Writer Spent 2 Weeks Using Ubuntu, This is What He Thought…

A classic love story — one Hollywood has yet to adapt in to major motion picture/musical starring Robert Downey Jr (I swear he’s in everything). The latest case in point? That comes courtesy of online magazine Forbes.com and its tech contributor Jason Evangelho. Jason shares his experience of using Ubuntu for a solid fortnight on a swanky Dell XPS 13 laptop. He says he was spurred into “ditching” Windows by yet another ill-timed and infuriating wait while the OS opted to install updates. “After two decades of relying on Windows I finally decided it was time for the nuclear option,” he writes. Read more

A Fresh Look At The PGO Performance With GCC 8

It's been a while since we last ran some GCC PGO benchmarks, the Profile Guided Optimizations or feedback-directed optimization technique that makes use of profiling data at run-time to improve performance of re-compiled binaries. Here are some fresh benchmarks of GCC PGO impact on a Xeon Scalable server while using the newly-released GCC 8.2 release candidate. With it being a while since our last roundabout with GCC PGO benchmarking and also a reader recently inquiring about PTS PGO testing, I ran some new tests. For those not familiar with PGO, it basically involves first compiling the code with the relevant PGO/profiling flags, running the workload under test to generate the profiling data, and then re-compiling the software while feeding that profiling data into the compiler so it can make better optimization choices. This profile-guided feedback can be quite beneficial to the compiler for making wiser code generation choices based upon that run-time data. Firefox, Chrome, and other popular software packages have been relying upon PGO-optimized release binaries for a while to offer greater performance. Read more Also: A 3.3x Performance Improvement For FLAC Audio Encoding On POWER 64-bit

Graphics: Intel/DRM-Next, ATI/AMD, and NVIDIA

  • Intel Squeezes Final Batch Of Linux 4.19 DRM Changes, Lands Icelake Display Compression
    Last week Intel sent in a "final" batch of i915 DRM driver feature updates to DRM-Next for the upcoming Linux 4.19 kernel cycle but it turns out there is one more batch of changes now focused on landing. Intel open-source graphics driver developer Rodrigo Vivi submitted their final pull request of new material for Linux 4.19.
  • 2018 Brings A New Linux X.Org Display Driver Update For The ATI RAGE 128
    Last month I wrote about a new attempt at improving the ATI RAGE 128 X.Org driver... Yes, for the for the Rage graphics cards from the late 90's in the days of AGP and PCI where core/memory clock speeds were commonly in the double digits... If you are a hobbyist fond of these vintage graphics cards and are still running with these OpenGL 1.1~1.2 capable GPUs, there is a new X.Org driver update.
  • AMDGPU Gets More Features For Linux 4.19 Kernel
    On top of AMDGPU improvements/features already staged for Linux 4.19, the AMD folks on Thursday sent in their seemingly last set of feature updates to DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 4.19 kernel merge window. There is certainly a lot of new DRM material queuing for Linux 4.19: if you are behind on your Phoronix reading, there will be a DRM recap next week or so on Phoronix with the cutoff for new DRM-Next material hitting its end for the upcoming 4.19 window. Thursday's Radeon/AMDGPU update just adds to this big list of changes.
  • AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Plumbs New Extensions, Lands A Number Of Fixes
    The AMD folks maintaining their official Vulkan driver code have done their common end-of-week code dump into the open-source AMDVLK Linux Vulkan driver repository across the PAL, XGL, LLVM, and SPVGEN code-bases.
  • NVIDIA 396.45 Linux Driver Fixes Vulkan Direct-To-Display & Multi-Threaded EGL Apps
    The NVIDIA Unix developers have released the 396.45 binary display driver today with just two listed bug-fixes. The NVIDIA 396.45 Linux driver has improved recovery for Vulkan direct-to-display applications (such as VR compositors or other use-cases where the Vulkan application is taking directly control of the display output) when the application hangs or crashes. This is good news in case of a problematic Linux VR experience that the display should be restored more gracefully.
  • NVIDIA pushed out two new Linux drivers recently with 396.45 and 390.77
    NVIDIA are pushing forward with improving their Linux driver in many areas, with two driver series seeing updated in the past week. The first is the 390.77 driver, part of their "long-lived branch release".

How Linux Makes Your Life Easier

There is a popular myth that Linux is complicated and hard to use by a non-techie. While there are distros and advanced Linux functionality that do require tech skills, this doesn’t mean Linux is hard to use. On the contrary, there are lots of things in the philosophy and functionality of Linux that make a user’s life easier. Read more