Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 61

The weekly roundup for Linux users

By Marius Nestor on September 7th, 2009 14:12 GMT
Welcome to the 61st issue of Softpedia Linux Weekly!

The following Linux distributions have been announced last week: Lubuntu 9.10 Beta 14, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4, Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 5, Tiny Core Linux 2.3, Zenwalk 6.2 and Frugalware 1.1. In other news: the KDE Community announced the first maintenance release of the KDE 4.3 desktop environment. An in-depth review of the Gnote 0.6.2 application is also present in this edition. The weekly ends with the video clip of the week, the latest Linux distributions released/updated last week and the development releases.

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Summary:
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LubuntuOn August 31st, Mario Behling told the world about the availability of the first Lubuntu test images, based on Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala). The upcoming operating system already proves to be a serious contender to Xubuntu, the ISO weighing in at a meager 342 MB. The image is based on the work of David Sugar, with added patches by the community.

Highlights of Lubuntu 9.10 Beta 14:

· Linux kernel 2.6.31 RC8;
· Openbox 3.4.7.2;
· Firefox 3.5.2;
· Pidgin 2.5.8;
· Aqualung R-1061;
· xfBurn 0.4.2.
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Lubuntu 9.10 Beta 14
Download Lubuntu 9.10 Beta 14 right now from Softpedia. Remember that this is a beta release and it should not be installed on production machines. It is intended for testing purposes only.

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RHELOn September 2nd, Red Hat announced that its flagship business-oriented Linux distribution, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, received an update, raising its version number to 5.4. This operating system is available for the following architectures: x86, AMD64/Intel 64, Itanium Processor Family, Power Systems and IBM's System z for the Advanced Platform and Server editions, and x86, AMD64/Intel 64 platforms for the Desktop edition.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 sports the 2.6.18-164 Linux kernel and brings support for 10 Gigabit Ethernet with optimized Ethernet header comparison support, Fibre Channel over Ethernet for the standard network cards and Single Root Input/Output Virtualization support. The custom kernel features tracepoints that can be used with the systemtap utility, per process I/O accounting and FIEMAP (the extent mapping ioctl call) support.
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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 boot screen
Download Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 right now from Softpedia.

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UbuntuOn September 3rd, the Ubuntu development team unleashed the fifth alpha version of the upcoming Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) operating system, due for release in late October this year. As usual, we've downloaded a copy of it in order to keep you up-to-date with the latest changes in the Ubuntu 9.10 development.

What's new in Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 5? Well... first of all we should let you know that the new Ubuntu installer slideshow that we presented a couple of weeks ago has become a reality. Moreover, the popular OpenOffice.org office suite 3.1.1 is present and it starts faster than before. The desktop environment in Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 5 is now powered by GNOME 2.28 Beta 2 (2.27.91) and the kernel packages are now at version 2.6.31-9.29, based on Linux kernel 2.6.31 RC8. The X-based boot screen that appears right after the old boot splash and before the desktop environment is also present.

Other than that, there is a new panel applet now that replaces both the Log Out/Shutdown options from the System menu and the User Switcher applet. It is called indicator-applet-session and it's developed by Canonical.
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Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 5
Download Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 5 right now from Softpedia. Remember that this is an alpha release and it should not be installed on production machines. It is intended for testing purposes only.

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Tiny CoreOn September 4th, Robert Shingledecker released Tiny Core Linux 2.3, a new update to the popular minimal Linux Distribution. Probably the most important change in the new release is the switch from Joe's Window Manager (JWM) to the Fast Light Window Manager (FLWM). This window manager switch causes a lot of changes, like the inclusion of flit, a FLTK notification area that allows for battery and date display and sound control right on the desktop. Users that are updating from Tiny Core 2.2 should update their ".profile" file, otherwise the new window manager will fail to start.

As a new security feature, Tiny Core 2.3 allows the users to turn off the autologin function, which was enforced by default until now. However, the users will need to have their passwords properly set up before enabling this function, since failure to do so may cause an incapacity to log in.

Support for TCZ application packages was extended, allowing for these extensions to be loaded in RAM if the user wishes to. This behavior can be configured on an individual basis, by adding the desired modules to a "tcz2ram.lst" file and placing it in the extension directory, or globally, by creating a "tcz2ram.flg" file in that same directory. Still, not all the TCZ packages may work when loaded that way, at least until all of them are checked or updated.
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Tiny Core Linux 2.3
Download Tiny Core Linux 2.3 right now from Softpedia.

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ZenwalkOn September 6th, Jean-Philippe Guillemin announced the release of Zenwalk Linux 6.2. This fresh brew of Zenwalk will have a significantly smaller footprint on your bandwidth, because the new LZMA package compression takes the ISO size down to 490MB, while packing more applications and drivers than previous releases.

Among the other enhancements, Zenwalk 6.2 features the 2.6.30.5 Linux Kernel, it uses the EXT4 file system by default and XFCE 4.6.1 is the initial desktop. For an office suite, Zenwalk features an optimized version of OpenOffice 3.1.0 that boasts an improved speed, and it also provides better support for HP printers, since the drivers are now included by default. Netpkg, the distribution's package manager, received an overhaul to its user interface and it now features instant install with dependencies control and rollback support.
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Zenwalk Linux 6.2
Download Zenwalk Linux 6.2 right now from Softpedia.

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FrugalwareOn September 7th, the Frugalware Developer Team announced the release of Frugalware 1.1, the eleventh stable version in almost five years, which they dubbed "Getorin."

Highlights in Frugalware 1.1:

· Linux kernel 2.6.30.5;
· GNU C library 2.10.1;
· Xorg 7.4;
· xorg-server 1.6;
· GNOME 2.26.3;
· XFCE 4.6.1;
· GCC 4.4.0;
· Many more updates and improvements.
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Frugalware 1.1
Download Frugalware 1.1 right now from Softpedia.

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Other NewsOther News:

· On September 1st, we saw the release of KDE 4.3.1, announced exactly a month after the 4.3.0 milestone was given to the public. This new version features numerous bugfixes and performance improvements and, more importantly, it is now available in the Croatian language. Read more about it here.

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Review of the WeekReview of the Week: Gnote 0.6.2

From the review: It's time for another weekly review, and in this one we are going to look at another way to make the move to the paperless office: get rid of all those annoying post-it notes that you have around your computer's display. There are many programs that can aid in that transition, but we are going to concentrate on one of the free solutions, both as in speech and as in beer: Gnote. If you are expecting a show-down between Tomboy and Gnote, you are going to be disappointed, because we don't want to get on the Mono vs. Free Software battlefield yet.
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Gnote 0.6.2
For the regular Linux user, the difference between Gnote and Tomboy is pretty fuzzy, and they probably won't use the advanced functions. The patent-aware, anti-Microsoft crowd will probably lean towards Gnote.

Read the entire review here.

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Video Clip of the WeekVideo Clip of the Week: Native Multitouch support on Linux

· For this week, we've posted a video clip that shows some action made using a multitouch-capable tablet. These actions are handled natively by the new Linux kernel 2.6.30, meaning that you can now produce the same effects shown in proprietary systems. The video has one minute and 27 seconds and it was posted by boulabiar. Enjoy!


Download from SoftpediaNew Distributions:

· Xen Live CD 2.0
· Spri Linux Live Beta 1

Download from SoftpediaDistributions Updated Last Week:

· PLoP Linux 3.8.5
· KDE 4 Live CD 1.3.1
· Vinux 2.0
· GParted LiveCD 0.4.6-3
· CDlinux 0.9.4

Download from SoftpediaDevelopment Releases:

· Mythbuntu 9.10 Alpha 5
· Xubuntu 9.10 Alpha 5
· Kubuntu 9.10 Alpha 5
· Kubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 Alpha 5
· Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud 9.10 Alpha 5
· Ubuntu Server 9.10 Alpha 5
· Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 Alpha 5
· Elive 1.9.43
· Astaro Security Linux 7.490


See you again next Monday, September 14th, for another issue of Softpedia Linux Weekly.
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