Welcome to the 25th issue of Softpedia Linux Weekly!
I would like to start this weekly by wishing Merry Christmas to all our readers, and... below is a nice Christmas gift for you, which I hope you will enjoy. After that, the weekly continues with the usual news released last week. The 64-bit Slackware, Bluewhite64 12.2, was announced by Attila Craciun and it introduces new and exciting features. Clement Lefebvre proudly presented the final version of Linux Mint 6, dubbed Felicia and based on Intrepid Ibex, which brings many powerful and requested features. Patrick Verner released Parted Magic 3.3 with support for NFS (network file systems). Sad news for openSUSE 10.2 users, as Marcus Meissner announced the distribution's official end-of-life. Also based on Intrepid Ibex, Kiwi Linux 8.12 brings OpenOffice.org 3.0 to its users. After months and months of testing, the final release of openSUSE 11.1 is finally here... better, prettier, smarter. After the Flash Player 10 for the 64-bit architecture surprise, Adobe decided to release a stable version for its AIR for Linux technology. Lastly, the second alpha of Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) arrived and we have the first screenshot tour. The weekly concludes, as always, with the video clip of the week, the latest Linux distributions released/updated last week and the development releases, at the end of the article!
On December 14th, Attila Craciun announced the immediate availability of Bluewhite64 12.2, based on Slackware 12.2. Bluewhite64 Linux is a port of the Slackware distribution, to the x86_64 architecture, that offers advanced features and improved performance. Just like Slackware 12.2, the new version of Bluewhite64 is now powered by version 184.108.40.206 of the Linux kernel, which offers features such as encrypted and journaling filesystems, support for RAID (ATA and S-ATA) volumes, Software RAID, support for S-ATA drives and LVM (Logical Volume Manager).
A large number of packages have been updated and new features made their way into this release. Among them we can notice the ability to install Bluewhite64 via Samba shares, power management utilities, SQlite 220.127.116.11, a wireless and wired network manager, K Desktop Environment (KDE) 3.5.10, XFCE 4.4.3 desktop environment, Mozilla Firefox 3.0.4, Mozilla Thunderbird 18.104.22.168, Seamonkey 1.1.13, KMail 1.9.9 and many more.
Bluewhite64 12.2 also includes better support for LVM (Logical Volume Manager), RAID and cryptsetup; enhanced HAL support, which will allow system administrators to add users to the plugdev and cdrom groups; support for NFS, FTP and HTTP installations. Bluewhite64 12.2 can be deployed on multi-core or single 64-bit AMD64 Sempron, Opteron, Turion, Athlon, Phenom and Intel EM64T based servers and workstations.
Download Bluewhite64 12.2 right now from Softpedia.
On December 15th, Clement Lefebvre and the Linux Mint community proudly announced the final release of Linux Mint 6 (dubbed Felicia), a popular Linux distribution based on the Ubuntu operating system. Linux Mint 6 is a new and important step in the evolution of the Linux Mint OS, it is based on Intrepid Ibex (Ubuntu 8.10), and it includes all the latest technologies, such as Linux kernel 2.6.27, GNOME 2.24 or X.Org 7.4. Why is Linux Mint 6 so important? Because it now offers a new, in-house tool called mint4win, which will allow everyone to install the Linux Mint operating system directly from Microsoft Windows! Highlights of Linux Mint 6:
· mint4win allows you to install Linux Mint from the Microsoft Windows operating system;
· mintInstall 5 with a new offline interface, software versions information and support for multiple portals;
· mintUpdate 3 with a revamped GUI, proxy support, updates history;
· mintUpload 2 with support for FTP transfers;
· mintNanny, a useful parental control tool;
· Giver, a LAN (Local Area Network) transfer tool;
· Gufw, a Graphical User Interface (GUI) frontend for the ufw firewall;
· Flegita, a utility for scanners.
Download Linux Mint 6 (Felicia) right now from Softpedia.
Download Linux Mint 6 (Felicia) Universal Edition right now from Softpedia.
On December 15th, Patrick Verner announced the third maintenance release of Parted Magic 3, a Slackware-based Linux distribution designed to help users with partitioning tasks. Parted Magic 3.3 contains a few new applications, brings improved support for video drivers, adds NFS support, and updates various packages. On top of that, the USB edition of Parted Magic 3.3 was drastically cleaned up (see the following quote for details). Changes since Parted Magic 3.2 release include:
· Improved support for video drivers by downgrading the xorg-server package to version 1.4.2;
· Included all the extensions and drivers, such as GLX and DRI, from the standard build;
· udhcpc is no longer used for obtaining DHCP leases;
· NFS daemons will automatically start at boot. To cancel them use the nonfs boot parameter.
· NTFS-3G 1.5130
· Udev 135
· GParted 0.4.1
· Busybox 1.13.1
· hdparm 9.3
· XArchiver 0.5.2
· gFTP 2.0.19
· dhcp 3.0.7
· dhcpcd 2.0.8
· Portmap 6.0
· nfs-utils 1.1.2
Parted Magic 3
Download Parted Magic 3.3 right now from Softpedia.
On December 16th, Marcus Meissner posted a reminder on the openSUSE announce list that openSUSE 10.2 reached its end-of-life on December 16th, 2008, and it is now officially discontinued and no longer supported. The end of life actually means that openSUSE 10.2 users will not receive security/critical fixes and software updates any longer.
Two years ago, Michael Loeffler announced, a nice Christmas gift at that point in time, the release of openSUSE 10.2, on December 7th, 2006. But this was not a usual release of the openSUSE project, and all Linux users should know that, with version 10.2, the project was renamed from SUSE Linux to openSUSE.
openSUSE 10.2 Christmas boot loader
December 17th brought us the final release of Kiwi Linux 8.12, based on Intrepid Ibex. The new version of Kiwi Linux brings many updated packages, new features, new languages and, on top of that, it includes the OpenOffice.org 3.0 open source office suite. Kiwi Linux 8.12 is also packed with support for restricted multimedia formats (MP3 and DVD playback), the Speedtouch 330 USB ADSL modem and it is available in the following languages: English, Romanian, German, French and Hungarian. However, the German and French languages are only partially supported on the Live CD.
Highlights of Kiwi Linux 8.12:
· OpenOffice.org 3.0.0 (with Romanian translation);
· Compiz Fusion Configuration Panel;
· Wubi, the Ubuntu installer for Microsoft Windows;
· Support for Speedtouch 330 USB ADSL modem (Romtelecom);
· PPPoE Configuration Panel;
· GRUB boot loader restore utility;
· Adobe Flash Player 10;
· Microsoft Fonts;
· Archiving utilities (7z, rar);
· Multimedia codecs (MP3 and DVD playback);
· Includes all updates released as of December 15th, 2008.
Kiwi Linux 8.12
Download Kiwi Linux 8.12 right now from Softpedia.
The openSUSE team proudly announced on December 18th the final release of openSUSE 11.1, a version injected with more than 230 new features and improvements, KDE 4.1.3, GNOME 2.24.1, OpenOffice.org 3.0, a brand new license, Liberation fonts, openJDK and many more. Judging from the included applications and technologies, we can say that openSUSE 11.1 is indeed a bleeding-edge Linux distribution. Without further introduction, let's take a look at the major changes since openSUSE 11.0:
· A brand new license that allows redistribution;
· YaST improvements;
· The proprietary Agfa fonts were replaced by the Liberation fonts;
· Mozilla Firefox 3.0.4 award-winning web browser;
· OpenOffice.org 3.0, open source office suite;
· K Ddesktop Environment 4.1.3 and 3.5.10;
· GNOME 2.24.1 desktop environment;
· Xfce 4.4.3 desktop environment;
· Sun Java was replaced with openJDK;
· Amazing 3D desktop effects using Compiz Fusion;
· Adobe Flash Player 10;
· Bluetooth and 3G support;
· External monitor support;
· Docking stations support;
· Fingerprint recognition support.
Also on December 18th, Adobe announced the first stable release of Adobe AIR for Linux, a new technology that allows AIR applications to be deployed on computers and devices powered by the Linux operating system. Adobe AIR 1.5 comes packed with support for custom effects and filters, extensible rich text layout, native 3D animation and transformation, features that were previously introduced in Adobe Flash Player 10.
Moreover, the powerful WebKit HTML engine will now power and accelerate the performance of all AIR applications, and a new encrypted database will store customer's data more securely. This being said, developers can now deploy AIR applications on all three major platforms: Linux, Windows and Macintosh. Wonder how to install Adobe AIR on your Linux machine? Take a look at our step-by-step installation instructions.
Originally scheduled to be released on December 18th, the second alpha version of the upcoming Ubuntu 9.04 (codename Jaunty Jackalope), which is scheduled for release in late April next year, was made available on December 19th. As usual, we've downloaded a copy of it in order to keep you up-to-date with the latest changes in the Ubuntu 9.04 development.
Our Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 2 Screenshot Tour shows the same wallpaper and applications as Ubuntu 8.10. Under the hood, it appears that the GNOME desktop environment has been updated to version 2.25.3 (latest development release), but many of its components are still at version 2.24.2, the kernel packages are based on the latest release candidate of Linux kernel 2.6.28 and the X.Org server is now at version 1.6. Among other updated applications, we can notice: The GIMP 2.6.3, Brasero 0.8.3, Transmission 1.40 or Mozilla Firefox 3.0.5. And... no, there's still no OpenOffice.org 3.0.
Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 2
Download Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 2 right now from Softpedia.
Video Clip of the Week:
· Because openSUSE 11.1 is quite popular these days, we decided to post a professional video review of it. The video is 6:31 minutes long and it was posted by Jupiter Broadcasting. Enjoy!