Fresh Wayland Experiences With Weston, GNOME, KDE and Enlightenment 6

jones_supa writes: Software developer Pavlo Rudyi has written a blog post about his experiences with the various desktop environments currently supporting Wayland. The results are not a big surprise, but nevertheless it is great to see the continued interest in Wayland and the ongoing work by many different parties in ensuring that Wayland will eventually be able to dominate the Linux desktop. To summarize, Pavlo found Weston to be "good," GNOME is "perfect," KDE is "bad," and Enlightenment is "good." He also created a video from his testing. Have you done any testing? What's your experience?

Project Neon Will Bring Users Up-to-Date KDE Packages ( 42

sfcrazy writes: [Kubuntu founder Jonathan Riddell] is going to announce a new project at FOSDEM that brings the KDE experience to users. There is Fedora that offers latest from Gnome, but there is no such distro that offers the same level of integration with KDE software; yes, there is openSUSE but it offers KDE as an option. So Kubuntu based KDE Neon is a project to give KDE users and contributors a way to get KDE's desktop software while it's still fresh. It'll be providing packages of the latest KDE software so users can install it and stay up to date on a stable base.

Tracking Protection In Wi-Fi Networks Coming Soon To Linux 112

prisoninmate writes: Fedora contributor and NetworkManager developer Lubomir Rintel explains how your devices are being identified on a network by a unique number that most of us know by the name of MAC address. Same goes for mobile networking, as your laptop's or mobile phone's MAC address is, in most cases, broadcasted everywhere you go before you even attempt a connection to a wireless network. And that's a problem for your privacy. The solution? Randomization of the MAC address while scanning for Wi-Fi networks. Apple is already using this method on iOS 8 and later mobile operating systems, and so is Microsoft in Windows 10, so Linux users will ["likely"] get it in the upcoming NetworkManager 1.2 release.

GNOME Settings Area Getting a Refurbishment ( 151

jones_supa writes: Allan Day has written a blog post today about some of the improvements that are being worked on for GNOME's settings area. The new GNOME Settings area is working toward a model that uses a list sidebar for navigation. The window is now resizable, and overall should be a nice upgrade. The new GNOME settings area certainly bears some resemblance to the Windows 10 settings app. Work is also ongoing specifically around improving GNOME's network settings, redesigned sound settings, experiments around improved display support, and various other enhancements to GNOME's settings area. For now, this work is considered experimental and all may not be completed in time for the GNOME 3.20 release in March.

BBC Confirms 50% Bitrate Savings For H.265/HEVC Vs H.264/AVC ( 110

An anonymous reader writes: A research team from the BBC has done a series of tests to confirm earlier computations showing a ~50% savings in bit rate for H.265/HEVC compared to video using H.264/AVC at comparable quality. "The subjective tests used a carefully selected set of coded video sequences at four different picture sizes: UHD (3840x2160 and 4096x2048), 1080p (1920x1080), 720p (1280x720) and 480p (832x480), at frame rates of 30Hz, 50Hz, or 60Hz. The video content was chosen to represent diverse spatial and temporal characteristics, and then coded using HEVC and AVC standards at a wide span of bit rates producing a variety of quality levels." Here is the full published analysis. "The tests confirmed the significant compression efficiency improvements achieved in HEVC, verifying the results previously reported using objective quality metrics (PSNR based methods)." The team did not test against VP9, which is shaping up to be an impressive standard as well.

Porting Ubuntu For Raspberry Pi 2 Just Got a Lot Easier ( 32

prisoninmate writes: Ubuntu Pi Flavour Maker is an open source tool, a shell script that lets anyone port any of the official or unofficial Ubuntu Linux flavors for the Raspberry Pi 2. Ubuntu Pi Flavour Maker is officially supported on the Ubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu and Ubuntu GNOME flavors, and uses the traditional apt and dpkg package management systems from Debian GNU/Linux.

OpenSUSE Leap 42.1 Released ( 31

MasterPatricko writes: In what they're calling the first "hybrid" distribution release, the openSUSE project have announced the availability of openSUSE Leap 42.1. Built on a core of SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 SP1 packages but including an up-to-date userspace (KDE Plasma 5.4.2, GNOME 3.16, and many other DEs), Leap aims to provide a stable middle ground between enterprise releases which are quickly out of date, and the sometimes unstable community distros. DVD/USB or Network Install ISOs are available for download now. For those who do prefer the bleeding edge, the openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling-release distribution is also available.
Open Source

Fedora 23 Released ( 57

An anonymous reader writes: Today marks the release of Fedora 23 for all three main editions: Workstation, Cloud, and Server. This release brings GNOME 3.18, Libre Office 5.0, and Fedora Spins — alternate desktops that provide a different experience. Fedora 23 also includes a version optimized for running on ARM-based systems. You can read the full release notes on their website. "Fedora 23 also has important under-the-hood security improvements, with increased hardening for all compiled software and with insecure SSL3 and RC4 protocols disabled. We've also updated all of the software installed by default in Fedora Cloud Base Image and Fedora Workstation to use Python version 3, and the Mono .NET compatible framework is now at version 4. Perhaps most importantly, Unicode 8.0 support now enables the crucial U1F32D character."

Ubuntu 15.10 'Wily Werewolf' Released ( 191

LichtSpektren writes: Ubuntu 15.10 "Wily Werewolf" is now released and available, along with its alternative desktop flavors (MATE, Xfce, LXDE, GNOME, KDE, Kylin). This release features Linux 4.2, GCC 5, Python 3.5, and LibreOffice 5. The default version is still using display server and Unity7; Mark Shuttleworth has said that Mir and Unity8 won't arrive until Ubuntu 16.04 "Xenial Xerus." Not much has changed beyond package updates, other than replacing the invisible overlay scrollbars in Nautilus with the GNOME 3 scrollbars.

Phoronix brings us the only bit of drama regarding this release: Jonathan Riddell, long time overseer of Kubuntu, has resigned with claims that Canonical has "defrauded donors and broke the copyright licenses."
Another reader adds a link to a Q & A session with Riddell.

Getting More Women Coders Into Open Source 696

Nerval's Lobster writes: Diversity remains an issue in tech firms across the nation, with executives and project managers publicly upset over a lack of women in engineering and programming roles. While all that's happening on the corporate side, a handful of people and groups are trying to get more women involved in the open source community, like Women of OpenStack, Outreachy (which is geared toward people from underrepresented groups in free software), and others. How much effort should be expended to facilitate diversity among programmers? Can anything be done to shift the demographics, considering the issues that even large, coordinated companies have with altering the collective mix of their employees?

What's New In GNOME 3.18 170

prisoninmate writes: In this release, GNOME improves the general user experience for users and new developers alike. GNOME 3.18 adds a feature called "Automatic Brightness," which, when enabled, it will make use of your laptop's light sensor to dim or increase the screen's brightness depending on the surrounding lighting. GNOME 3.18 also improves the touch screen experience, especially when selecting and modifying text, implements a new view in the Nautilus (Files) sidebar, which collects all the remote and internal locations in a single place.
GNU is Not Unix

Interviews: RMS Answers Your Questions 246

The Free Software Foundation will be celebrating its 30th anniversary on Oct. 3rd. Recently, you had a chance to ask its founder Richard Stallman about GNU/Linux, free software, and other issues of public concern. Below you'll find his answers to your questions. Learn more about how you can join the FSF here, and help fight the good fight.

New Release of the Trinity Desktop Environment 197

mescobal writes: A new release of the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) is out. TDE is "a computer desktop environment for Unix-like operating systems with a primary goal of retaining the function and form of traditional desktop computers" which translates into a fully functional KDE 3 style Desktop. Something is missing in the new generation of desktop environments, since some people (perhaps more than "some") feel at home with Gnome 2 or KDE i3. They have repositories for Debian and Ubuntu-based distros. I'm now using it on Ubuntu 15.04, amazed about how well-planned things were in the previous generation of DE. We may have gained some things with Gnome 3 and Plasma 5, but we lost a lot of good features too. TDE brings them back.

GNOME To Start Using Codenames 46

prisoninmate writes: A discussion between GNOME developers and users during the annual GUADEC conference lead to potential code names for the desktop environment, starting with the upcoming September release, GNOME 3.18, which might be dubbed Gothenburg. They decided to codename the September releases after the city where the GUADEC conference took place, as explained above, and the March releases after the city where the GNOME.Asia Summit will take place.
Open Source

FreeBSD 10.2 Released 103

moderators_are_w*nke writes with news that FreeBSD 10.2-RELEASE is now available. Here is the download page, the release notes, and release errata. Features highlights: The resolvconf(8) utility has been updated to version 3.7.0, with improvements to protect DNS privacy. The ntp suite has been updated to version 4.2.8p3. A new rc(8) script, growfs, has been added, which will resize the root filesystem on boot if the /firstboot file exists. The Linux® compatibility version has been updated to support Centos 6 ports. Several ZFS performance and reliability improvements. GNOME has been updated to version 3.14.2. KDE has been updated to version 4.14.3.
Open Source

Kali Linux 2.0 Released 109

An anonymous reader writes: Kali Linux 2.0 has been released, together which an assortment of interesting new features. Most importantly, Kali is now a rolling distribution, using Debian Testing as their upstream source. (Download page.) There are also huge changes to the UI, including a fully fledged, custom GNOME 3 environment, as well as support for myriad other Desktop Environments. The maintainers describe the release this way: "If Kali 1.0 was focused on building a solid infrastructure then Kali 2.0 is focused on overhauling the user experience and maintaining updated packages and tool repositories." I'm enjoying 2.0 so far. What are your thoughts and comments?

Windows 10, From a Linux User's Perspective 321

Phoronix features today a review of Windows 10 that's a little different from most you might read, because it's specifically from the point of view of an admin who uses both Windows and Linux daily, rather than concentrating only on the UI of Windows qua Windows. Reviewer Eric Griffith finds some annoyances (giant start menu even when edited to contain fewer items, complicated process if you want a truly clean install), but also some good things, like improved responsiveness ("feels much more responsive than even my Gnome and KDE installations under Fedora") and an appropriately straightforward implementation of virtual workspaces. Overall? Windows 10 is largely an evolutionary upgrade over Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, rather than a revolutionary one. Honestly I think the only reason it will be declared as 'so good' is because Windows 8/8.1 were so bad. Sure, Microsoft has made some good changes under the surface-- the animations feel crisper, its relatively light on resources, battery life is good. There is nothing -wrong- with Windows 10 aside from the Privacy Policy. If you're on Windows Vista, or Windows 8/8.1, then sure, upgrade. The system is refreshing to use, it's perfectly fine and definitely an upgrade. If you're on Windows 7 though? I'm not so sure. ... Overall, there's really nothing to see here. It's not terrible, it's not even 'bad, it's just... okay. A quiet little upgrade.
Open Source

LibreOffice 5.0 Released 236

New submitter ssam writes: The Document Foundation has announced LibreOffice 5.0, the tenth major release since the launch of the project, bringing new features including Windows 10, Android and Ubuntu touch compatibility, superior interoperability features, an updated UI, and lots of under the hood improvements. For people still running OpenOffice it is probably time to move over.

What the GNOME Desktop Gets Right and KDE Gets Wrong 267

An anonymous reader writes: Eric Griffith at Phoronix has provided a fresh perspective on the KDE vs. GNOME desktop debate after exclusively using GNOME for the past week while being a longtime KDE user. He concluded his five-page editorial (which raises some valid points throughout) by saying, "Gnome feels like a product. It feels like a singular experience. When you use it, it feels like it is complete and that everything you need is at your fingertips. It feels like the Linux desktop. ... In KDE, it's just some random-looking window popup that any application could have created. ... KDE doesn't feel like cohesive experience. KDE doesn't feel like it has a direction its moving in, it doesn't feel like a full experience. KDE feels like its a bunch of pieces that are moving in a bunch of different directions, that just happen to have a shared toolkit beneath them." However, with the week over and despite his criticism, he's back to using KDE.

Speed-Ups, Small Fixes Earn Good Marks From Ars For Mint 17.2 69

Ars Technica reviews the newest release from Linux MInt -- version 17.2, offered with either the Cinnamon desktop, or the lighter-weight MATE, which feels like what Gnome 2 might feel in an alternate universe where Gnome 3 never happened. Reviewer Scott Gilbertson has mostly good things to say about either variety, and notes a few small drawbacks, too. The nits seem to be minor ones, though they might bite some people more than others: Mint, based on Ubuntu deep down, is almost perfectly compatible with Ubuntu packages, but not every one, and this newest version of Mint ships with the 3.16 kernel of Ubuntu 14.04, which means slightly less advanced hardware support. (Gilbertson notes, though, that going with 3.16 means Mint may be the ideal distro if you want to avoid systemd.) "This release sees the Cinnamon developers focusing on some of what are sometimes call "paper cut" fixes, which just means there's been a lot of attention to the details, particularly the small, but annoying problems. For example, this release adds a new panel applet called "inhibit" which temporarily bans all notifications. It also turns off screen locking and stops any auto dimming you have set up, making it a great tool for when you want to watch a video or play a game." More "paper cut" fixes include improved multi-panel options, graphics-refresh tweaks, a way to restart the Cinnamon desktop without killing the contents of a session, graphics-refresh tweaks, and other speed-ups that make this release "noticeably snappier than its predecessor on the same hardware."

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