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Ubuntu

Debian vs. Ubuntu

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Debian
Ubuntu

For the last four years, Debian and Ubuntu have been in the top three Linux distributions on Distrowatch. Since 2005, neither has been out of the top six. But which Linux distro is right for you? You can't go seriously wrong either way, but a useful answer depends upon what you want in a distribution.

You may have heard that Debian is a distribution for experts, and Ubuntu for beginners. That is true, so far as it goes. However, that distinction is more historic than contemporary.

It is true that after Ubuntu burst on to the scene in late 2004, it spent several years making the desktop easier to use, especially for non-English speakers. However, thanks to free licenses, Ubuntu's improvements have spread to most desktop environments.

Moreover, Ubuntu's days of interface innovations are largely in the past. Today, Ubuntu development is focused largely on convergence -- the development of its Unity desktop into a common interface for phones, tablets, and desktops. But since Ubuntu phones and tablets have limited availability, convergence is largely irrelevant to many users. Similarly, Canonical, Ubuntu's parent company, seems more focused on its successful OpenStack division than on desktop development.

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Ubuntu GNOME 17.04 to Be Based on the GNOME 3.22 Stack, Now Ships Linux 4.9

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GNOME
Ubuntu

While the first Alpha development release of the upcoming Ubuntu GNOME 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) operating system was skipped, we'd like to tell you a little bit about what you should expect from the next Alpha build.

First things first, we recommend reading our initial report if you want to familiarize yourself with the new or upcoming features of Ubuntu 17.04, but in this article we'd like to tell you all about the Ubuntu GNOME 17.04 flavor, which is now proudly based on the GNOME 3.22 Stack.

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Also: Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' Xfce Edition Beta operating system available for download

Ubuntu Phone Updates

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Ubuntu
  • Canonical Clarifies the Current State of Ubuntu Phones and Ubuntu Touch Updates

    In December 2016, a bunch of worried folks using various Ubuntu-based devices started an "Ubuntu Crickets" riot to force Canonical to reveal its upcoming plans for new Ubuntu Phone and Ubuntu Touch models/versions.

    It didn't take long, and Canonical's Pat McGowan joined the discussion earlier to inform the concerned community about general progress. Long story short, as many have already guessed, it would appear that there are no plans for an OTA-15 update of the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system, for now.

    "We do not plan to land any features to the current stable PPA, although we will provide security updates as they are available for example for the webrowser/oxide," said Pat McGowan in the mailing list statement, where he also confirmed the fact that there won't be any new Ubuntu Phone models released until there's a Snap image.

  • No New Ubuntu Phones on the Horizon, And No Major Updates for Existing Ones, Either

    If you were hoping to see a new Ubuntu phone released sometime soon, we’ve some bad news for you.

    And if you already own an Ubuntu phone and were hoping to see a new update released soon, we’ve some bad news for you too.

    Bad news for everybody, it seems — or is there some silver lining in the grey clouds casting over the project?

  • uNav 0.64 Turn-by-Turn GPS Navigation App Now Available for Ubuntu Phones

    Marcos Costales, the developer of the very popular uNav map viewer and turn-by-turn GPS navigator for Ubuntu Phone devices, released a new version of his application, uNav 0.64.

    uNav 0.64 comes four months after version 0.63, which was a minor update improving the simulator, adding support for skipping confirmation of routes, rounding off the distance to the nearest turn in guidance mode, fixing the '¿¿¿' string in POI names, adding CartoDB layers, as well as a bash script to generate translations.

Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 Daily Builds Are Now Available to Download, Screenshot Tour

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Ubuntu

The Ubuntu Budgie devs are back from the Christmas and New Year's break with a vengeance, and they've just announced the availability of daily build ISO images for the upcoming Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) operating system.

At the end of 2016, they promised us that we'd be able to get our hands on the daily build ISO images of Ubuntu Budgie 17.04, and here they are, available for download as we speak for 64- and 32-bit hardware architectures from Canonical's download servers, along with all the other official flavors.

For your viewing pleasure, and ours, we downloaded the latest 64-bit Live ISO image to make a quick screenshot tour of the distribution, which is built around the lightweight Budgie desktop environment developed by the Solus Project (yes, the people behind the popular Solus distro).

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Canonical Clarifies Ubuntu Phone State: Nothing Really Until Snap-Based Image Ready

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Ubuntu

For those that shared your hopes for Ubuntu Phones in 2017, some of you were right: those that guessed nothing or very little. There isn't going to be any new Ubuntu Phone releases or major OTA updates until there is a Snap-based image down the road.

From all the frustrated Ubuntu Phone users begging for answers on the Ubuntu-Phone mailing list, Canonical's Pat McGowan has responded to some of the comments.

Pat shares that the Click-based Ubuntu Phone images are indeed on the way out, there will be no new Ubuntu Phone models until there is a "Snap image", and they don't plan to do an OTA-15 feature release. Canonical doesn't plan to land any new features to the current stable PPA, but they will be providing security updates for important components.

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Linux Mint 18.1 Xfce Edition Enters Beta, Based on Ubuntu 16.04 and Xfce 4.12

Filed under
Linux
Ubuntu

A few moments ago, the Linux Mint team happily announced the release and general availability of the Beta milestone of the upcoming Linux Mint 18.1 "Serena" Xfce operating system for personal computers.

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KDE Plasma 5.8.5 LTS Lands for Kubuntu 16.04 LTS and 16.10, Here's How to Update

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KDE
Ubuntu

The Kubuntu team proudly announced today, January 5, 2017, the general availability of KDE's Plasma 5.8.5 desktop on the backports repositories of the Kubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) and Kubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating systems.

This exciting announcement comes almost one month after users were invited to test drive the latest KDE Plasma 5.8.5 LTS desktop environment on their Kubuntu or Ubuntu installations by using the Backports Landing testing repository, as reported right here on Softpedia.

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Also: Plasma 5.8.5 bugfix release in Xenial and Yakkety Backports now

Snappy vs. Flatpak: Unified Linux Packaging Systems

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Red Hat
Ubuntu

Getting Linux applications to run on servers is not always as easy as it should be, thanks to the myriad software packaging formats that various Linux distributions use. Over the course of 2016, two efforts really ramped up to help solve that challenge in the form of Snappy and Flatpak.

The promise of both Snappy and Flatpak is to deliver an approach that enables software developers to build software once and then have it bundled in a package that can run on multiple distributions. Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu Linux, is a big advocate of Snappy.

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Overcoming Ubuntu Wi-Fi Not Working

Filed under
Ubuntu
HowTos

One of the biggest issues I still see cropping up for Ubuntu (and other distributions) are challenges connecting to Wi-Fi networks. This article will provide actionable solutions to overcome common Ubuntu Wi-Fi issues.

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Open spec router SBC offers 5x GbE, wireless, and SATA

Filed under
Android
Linux
Debian
Ubuntu

Sinovoip’s “Banana Pi BPI-R2” router SBC gives you 5x GbE, WiFi, BT, 2GB RAM, 8GB eMMC, SATA, and mini-PCIe, plus a quad-core -A7 MediaTek MT7623N.

The Banana Pi BPI-R2 updates Sinovoip’s earlier BPi-R1 router board, later called the Banana Pi BPI-R1. No pricing or availability information was provided, but full specs and schematics are posted. Like the R1 and other Banana Pi SBCs such as the recent Banana Pi M2 Ultra, this is an open spec board supported by the Banana Pi community. The Banana Pi BPI-R2 runs Android 5.1, OpenWrt, Debian, Ubuntu Linux, including MATE, and Raspbian

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Linux and FOSS Events

  • Debian SunCamp 2017 Is Taking Place May 18-21 in the Province of Girona, Spain
    It looks like last year's Debian SunCamp event for Debian developers was a total success and Martín Ferrari is back with a new proposal that should take place later this spring during four days full of hacking, socializing, and fun. That's right, we're talking about Debian SunCamp 2017, an event any Debian developer, contributor, or user can attend to meet his or hers Debian buddies, hack together on new projects or improve existing ones by sharing their knowledge, plan upcoming features and discuss ideas for the Debian GNU/Linux operating system.
  • Pieter Hintjens In Memoriam
    Pieter Hintjens was a writer, programmer and thinker who has spent decades building large software systems and on-line communities, which he describes as "Living Systems". He was an expert in distributed computing, having written over 30 protocols and distributed software systems. He designed AMQP in 2004, and founded the ZeroMQ free software project in 2007. He was the author of the O'Reilly ZeroMQ book, "Culture and Empire", "The Psychopath Code", "Social Architecture", and "Confessions of a Necromancer". He was the president of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), and fought the software patent directive and the standardisation of the Microsoft OOXML Office format. He also organized the Internet of Things (IOT) Devroom here at FOSDEM for the last 3 years. In April 2016 he was diagnosed with terminal metastasis of a previous cancer.
  • foss-gbg on Wednesday
    The topics are Yocto Linux on FPGA-based hardware, risk and license management in open source projects and a product release by the local start-up Zifra (an encryptable SD-card). More information and free tickets are available at the foss-gbg site.

Leftovers: OSS

  • When Open Source Meets the Enterprise
    Open source solutions have long been an option for the enterprise, but lately it seems they are becoming more of a necessity for advanced data operations than merely a luxury for IT techs who like to play with code. While it’s true that open platforms tend to provide a broader feature set compared to their proprietary brethren, due to their larger and more diverse development communities, this often comes at the cost of increased operational complexity. At a time when most enterprises are looking to shed their responsibilities for infrastructure and architecture to focus instead on core money-making services, open source requires a fairly high level of in-house technical skill. But as data environments become more distributed and reliant upon increasingly complex compilations of third-party systems, open source can provide at least a base layer of commonality for resources that support a given distribution.
  • EngineerBetter CTO: the logical truth about software 'packaging'
    Technologies such as Docker have blended these responsibilities, causing developers to need to care about what operating system and native libraries are available to their applications – after years of the industry striving for more abstraction and increased decoupling!
  • What will we do when everything is automated?
    Just translate the term "productivity of American factories" into the word "automation" and you get the picture. Other workers are not taking jobs away from the gainfully employed, machines are. This is not a new trend. It's been going on since before Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. Industry creates machines that do the work of humans faster, cheaper, with more accuracy and with less failure. That's the nature of industry—nothing new here. However, what is new is the rate by which the displacement of human beings from the workforce in happening.
  • Want OpenStack benefits? Put your private cloud plan in place first
    The open source software promises hard-to-come-by cloud standards and no vendor lock-in, says Forrester's Lauren Nelson. But there's more to consider -- including containers.
  • Set the Agenda at OpenStack Summit Boston
    The next OpenStack Summit is just three months away now, and as is their custom, the organizers have once again invited you–the OpenStack Community–to vote on which presentations will and will not be featured at the event.
  • What’s new in the world of OpenStack Ambassadors
    Ambassadors act as liaisons between multiple User Groups, the Foundation and the community in their regions. Launched in 2013, the OpenStack Ambassador program aims to create a framework of community leaders to sustainably expand the reach of OpenStack around the world.
  • Boston summit preview, Ambassador program updates, and more OpenStack news

Proprietary Traps and Openwashing

  • Integrate ONLYOFFICE Online Editors with ownCloud [Ed: Proprietary software latches onto FOSS]
    ONLYOFFICE editors and ownCloud is the match made in heaven, wrote once one of our users. Inspired by this idea, we developed an integration app for you to use our online editors in ownCloud web interface.
  • Microsoft India projects itself as open source champion, says AI is the next step [Ed: Microsoft bribes to sabotage FOSS and blackmails it with patents; calls itself "open source"]
  • Open Source WSO2 IoT Server Advances Integration and Analytic Capabilities
    WSO2 has announced a new, fully-open-source WSO2 Internet of Things Server edition that "lowers the barriers to delivering enterprise-grad IoT and mobile solutions."
  • SAP license fees are due even for indirect users, court says
    SAP's named-user licensing fees apply even to related applications that only offer users indirect visibility of SAP data, a U.K. judge ruled Thursday in a case pitting SAP against Diageo, the alcoholic beverage giant behind Smirnoff vodka and Guinness beer. The consequences could be far-reaching for businesses that have integrated their customer-facing systems with an SAP database, potentially leaving them liable for license fees for every customer that accesses their online store. "If any SAP systems are being indirectly triggered, even if incidentally, and from anywhere in the world, then there are uncategorized and unpriced costs stacking up in the background," warned Robin Fry, a director at software licensing consultancy Cerno Professional Services, who has been following the case.
  • “Active Hours” in Windows 10 emphasizes how you are not in control of your own devices
    No edition of Windows 10, except Professional and Enterprise, is expected to function for more than 12 hours of the day. Microsoft most generously lets you set a block of 12 hours where you’re in control of the system, and will reserve the remaining 12 hours for it’s own purposes. How come we’re all fine with this? Windows 10 introduced the concept of “Active Hours”, a period of up to 12 hours when you expect to use the device, meant to reflect your work hours. The settings for changing the device’s active hours is hidden away among Windows Update settings, and it poorly fits with today’s lifestyles. Say you use your PC in the afternoon and into the late evening during the work week, but use it from morning to early afternoon in the weekends. You can’t fit all those hours nor accommodate home office hours in a period of just 12 hours. We’re always connected, and expect our devices to always be there for us when we need them.
  • Chrome 57 Will Permanently Enable DRM
    The next stable version of Chrome (Chrome 57) will not allow users to disable the Widevine DRM plugin anymore, therefore making it an always-on, permanent feature of Chrome. The new version of Chrome will also eliminate the “chrome://plugins” internal URL, which means if you want to disable Flash, you’ll have to do it from the Settings page.

Linux Mint 18.1 Serena - The glass is half full

Linux Mint 18.1 Serena is an okay distro. It has more merit than Sarah, but then, it's also had almost a year to work on polishing some of the issues, and while a few have been ironed out, big quality issues that were never the domain of Mint before still persist. The live session experience is underwhelming, the default theme is not vibrant enough and can lead to ocular exhaustion quickly, there were problems with stability, multimedia playback, and the promise of Spotify never came to be. On the other hand, most of the stuff works out of the box, the repos are rich, the distro can be tamed relatively easily, and at the end of the day, you have a supported, popular system full of goodies and shiny colors with only a slight aftertaste of betrayal in your proverbial mouth. Good, but only if you've just started playing around with Linux. This distro has no flair. It doesn't have the magic and fire of yore. No fire, no nothing. It's not super green. And it must pop pop pop. So I guess, grade wise, 6.5/10 or some such. All in all, 'tis Linux Mint all right, but not the best offering by a long shot. Read more Also: Linux Mint 18.2 Features – What’s Ahead In the Next Release