There's no doubt that Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman is on a roll, as he announced yet another point release to the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel series.
The new version, Linux 4.4.43 LTS, comes only four days after the release of Linux kernel 4.4.42 LTS, but this time the patch is much smaller. According to the appended shortlog, it changes a total of 24 files, with 236 insertions and 89 deletions. We remind you that the Linux 4.4 LTS kernel series are currently used in many popular GNU/Linux distributions that want to provide their users with a long-term supported kernel, such as Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, Alpine Linux, and even Arch Linux.
Mesa 17, the next stable release of the open source graphics drivers on Linux has been a bit delayed, due to so much last minute work going on.
Originally, the first release candidate of Mesa 17 (originally Mesa 13.1, using yearly numbering now) was due on the 13th of this month (original schedule here), but they are running a bit behind.
Zorin OS 12 "Core"
Zorin 12 Core is available in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds and the ISO we download is 1.5GB in size. Booting from this downloaded image launches a graphical environment. A window appears and asks if we would like to try Zorin's live desktop environment or launch the project's system installer. We can select our preferred language at this time from a list of languages on the left side of the window. At the bottom of the window is a link to the project's release notes and clicking this link opens a web browser to display the on-line document.
Something I found odd was that when I clicked the link to display Zorin's release notes, the web browser worked. It opened as expected and brought up the desired information. However, when I opted to try exploring Zorin's live desktop environment, I found the one application which did not launch was the Chromium web browser. When attempting to open the browser from the application menu, nothing would happen. When trying to launch Chromium from a virtual terminal, the terminal would hang, neither opening the browser nor returning me to a command prompt and no errors were displayed.
Debian Updated, Mint KDE Beta, GIMP Preview
Debian 8.7 was made available this last weekend to address the security and major bugs since 8.6 announced August 2016. As usual, those updating regularly don't need to do anything as they're already current. Elsewhere, Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre announced a beta for Mint 18.1 KDE, something I'm looking forward to testing. Alexandre Prokoudine, graphics engineer known for Inkscape and GIMP, posted a preview of new features coming in GIMP 2.10. Dominic Humphries recently revelled in the joy of Linux that just works and Jiri Eischmann compiled a list of the latest Fedora accolades, some I've missed.
A Switch for Your Pi
Thanks to the size of the Raspberry Pi, it's possible to build a project like this into just about anything. I don't have an NES case anymore, but if I did, I'd probably build it inside one for added nostalgia.
I decided to use RetroPie as the distribution for my project. The great thing about using RetroPie is that it basically solves all the issues on my list. It has the "Emulation Station" front end built right in (Figure 1), which supports navigation via controller. It also has emulators already installed, waiting for ROMs to be added. Truly, using RetroPie as my base saved at least one article on software alone!