I've looked at specialty distributions that were created for engineers and biologists in previous articles, but these aren't the only scientific disciplines that have their own distributions. So in this article, I introduce a distribution created specifically for astronomers, called Distro Astro. This distribution bundles together astronomy software to help users with tasks like running observatories or planetariums, doing professional research or outreach.
From the very first moment of booting up Distro Astro, you will notice that this distribution is aimed at astronomers. The look and feel of items, from the boot splash screen to wallpapers and screensavers, have all been given an astronomical theme. Even the default wallpaper is a slideshow of Hubble images.
Linux Kernel 3.18 is still used in numerous distributions of GNU/Linux, despite that fact that Linus Torvalds announced the final release of Linux 3.19 kernel on February 8, 2015, so it is time to update it to version 3.18.7, which was announced by Greg Kroah-Hartman a few hours ago, on February 11.
After releasing the first GNU/Linux distribution with Linux 3.18 kernel a couple of days after its launch back in December 2014, Arne Exton did it again, as he just announced today on Twitter that the his Exton|OS with MATE has been updated to version 150211 and includes a custom 3.19.0-5-exton kernel package based on the upstream Linux kernel 3.19.
Dejan Petrovic, the developer of the recently introduced ChaletOS computer operating system informed us today, February 12, that he just pushed a February 2015 release on his servers, urging users to update to it as soon as possible. The new ISO images are available for download right now (see link at the end of the article) for 32 and 64-bit PCs, bringing assorted bugfixes and improvements.
The PowerPC architecture updates for the Linux 3.20 kernel, including some improvements for the Sony PlayStation 3 game console.
While Sony long ago removed the "Other OS" functionality from the PlayStation 3, it seems some open-source developers are still working on the PS3 support for Linux.
Geoff Levand landed a few PS3 kernel patches for mainline Linux kernel integration via the 3.20 POWER pull request.
In terms of what these new PS3 patches allow, Geoff explained recently, "It will allow a kexec based bootloader (petitboot for example) to pre-allocate a highmem region and store things like an initrd or other large data needed to boot an OS. With some PS3 configurations the boot memory region is not large enough to fit all the boot data."
The open-source Docker application virtualization container project has become a defacto standard for applications containers over the course of the last year. But it's a defacto standard that isn't a real specification and is one that is being challenged by Linux distribution vendor CoreOS.
Trusted Platform Module 2.0 (TPM 2.0) is to be supported by the Linux 3.20 kernel.
While many Linux users and free software advocates are opposed to TPM, TPM 2.0 is going to be supported by the next version of the mainline Linux kernel. Trusted Platform Module technology has already been supported by the mainline Linux kernel but TPM 2.0 breaks backward compatibility with TPM 1.2. TPM 2.0 supports many more alogirhtms, crypto primitives, root keys, and authorization differences. For those learning about TPM for the first time or are just unfamiliar with the differences to TPM 2.0, see the Wikipedia page for a basic overview and the Trusted Computing Group's TPM 2.0 FAQs.
The TPM 2.0 support for the Linux kernel is being pulled in through the security subsystem changes for the 3.20 kernel.