Welcome to the 64th issue of Softpedia Linux Weekly!
We'll start this edition of our weekly with a fine overview of the newly released GNOME 2.28 desktop environment. The following Linux distributions were announced last week: Ultimate Edition Gamers 2.3, Network Security Toolkit 2.11.0 and Moblin 2.0. In other news: Mark Shuttleworth announced the codename and goals for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS; Ubuntu 9.10 gets new artwork; Canonical announces Ubuntu Moblin Remix and the release schedule for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS; Ubuntu 9.10 final artwork unveiled. An in-depth review of the WinFF 1.1.1 application is also present in this edition. The weekly ends with the video clip of the week, the Linux distributions updated last week and the development releases.
From the article: If you're an Ubuntu buff, you'll have a pretty good idea about the subject of this article, since you already know that the Ubuntu releases are in sync with a certain graphical environment's development cycle. So, this October, there is a pretty high chance of GNOME 2.28.0 arriving on a desktop near you, because the developers kept a tight watch on the schedule and delivered this next incrementation of our favorite GTK-based desktop environment, as promised. Enough introductions, let's see what has been cooking for the last five months or so in the GNOME kitchen.
Another interesting addition is the support for geolocation through the Personal Eventing Protocol and Geoclue, for XMPP chat networks. If your contacts choose to share that kind of information, it will be displayed in the tooltip that appears when you hover your mouse above their contact, with a more or less accurate location depending on their privacy settings. Also, you can get a better look at that data in the contact information dialogue or in the Map View. However, Google Talk users will only be able to receive that kind of information, not publish theirs, because Google doesn't use the Personal Eventing Protocol as defined by the XMPP specification.
On September 21st, TheeMahn announced Ultimate Edition Gamers 2.3, a popular Linux distribution based on Ubuntu that brings to Linux users lots of pre-added games in a 3.8GB, downloadable DVD ISO image. Being built off Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) by hand, Ultimate Edition Gamers 2.3 is definitely one of the most awaited and fun Linux operating systems. Besides the above-mentioned games, the Ultimate Edition Gamers 2.3 also includes lots of useful applications and many desktop environments, such as KDE, GNOME or XFCE.
Ultimate Edition Gamers 2.3 - Image courtesy of TheeMahn
Download Ultimate Edition Gamers 2.3 right now from Softpedia.
On September 22nd, Paul Blankenbaker announced the release of Network Security Toolkit 2.11.0, a completely redesigned and engineered version of this Linux distribution that provides tools for system administrators and security experts. Since this process of adding applications required a new set of capabilities from the live distribution, its root file system has been modified to support a writable ramdisk overlay over the read-only DVD media.
Also, to allow the users to make their changes persistent, one can now choose to install Network Security Toolkit to a USB drive, or even to a computer's hard drive. A boot CD has been created for computers that lack a DVD drive, which installs a minimal distribution and then builds the rest of the operating system on top, with packages retrieved from the Internet.
Network Security Toolkit 2.11.0
Download Network Security Toolkit 2.11.0 right now from Softpedia.
On September 24th,
Intel announced that Moblin 2.0 was finally stable and available for download. The community preview of the next version, Moblin 2.1, was also released on the same day, and, on top of that, there are now two new software projects for users to test: Moblin Garage and Moblin Application Installer.
It looks like the developers have been targeting a common goal of most Linux distributions lately, an easy application installation, and Moblin Garage together with Moblin Application Installer were envisioned to serve this purpose. However, they did it a little bit differently than, say, Ubuntu.
They don't just rely on the existing application repository to provide the user with a list of software, the developers of open-source applications just add their stuff to the Moblin Garage, a web-based software catalog. When the user wants to see the available alternatives to a certain application, they start up Moblin Application Installer, which fetches data from the Moblin Garage and presents it to the user locally.
· Mark Shuttleworth, the father of the popular Ubuntu operating system and CEO of Canonical, officially announced on September 22nd the goals for the next version of Ubuntu. Dubbed Lucid Lynx, Ubuntu 10.04 will be the third LTS (Long Term Support) release and it will ship on April 29th, 2010. For the Lucid Lynx, the development team will focus their efforts on quality and stability! Read more about it here.
· On October 1st, Canonical added in the Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 6 development release 9 wallpapers with planets and stars. The wallpapers are combined into a single entry that will be automatically changed every 30 minutes. This is part of the new artwork in the upcoming Karmic Koala release. Read more about it here.
· During the Intel Developer Forum, which took place in San Francisco on 22nd-24th of September, Canonical, Dell and Intel took the opportunity to unveil the Ubuntu Moblin Remix Developer Edition. This operating system uses software from Ubuntu Linux, on top of which the core Moblin 2.0 interface, libraries, and applications are set. While this distribution is highly optimized for a single computer, the Dell Inspiron Mini 10v netbook, which sports an Intel Atom processor, the main motivation of the two companies is to provide a platform for the development and testing of Moblin-specific applications. Read more about it here.
· Announced by Mark Shuttleworth on the 22nd of September, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (codename Lucid Lynx) will be released next year, on April 29th. As you will notice, this is the first time in the history of Ubuntu when the development team changes the release cycle... from six Alphas and one Beta as we were used with, to three Alphas and two Beta releases. This also means that there will be fewer releases in the development cycle of Ubuntu, only six, compared with eight releases until the final version. Read more about it here.
· On September 25th, Canonical uploaded the default wallpaper(s) and artwork for the upcoming Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) operating system. The default theme is still Human, but the Window Border has a different color and the default icons are Humanity. The big surprise is that there are now 17 new wallpapers, except that compilation of "astronomical" backgrounds we announced a couple of days ago. However, the orange wallpaper you see in the screenshots below is the default one and it's also set as the background for GDM (the login screen). Read more about it here.
Review of the Week: WinFF 1.1.1
From the review: Handheld devices like mobile phones, PDAs and ultra-mobile PCs are getting more and more ubiquitous, as almost everyone has in their pocket a device that can do multimedia playback at various levels of quality. The problem that most owners face is getting the audio or video content that they want to enjoy into the proper format for the device. Some of them require specific video and audio codecs, fixed bitrates and framerates, while others are more lax in their requirements, but they still represent a problem for less tech-inclined users. Simply, you can't hope that a mobile phone will play DVD-quality media off of its memory card, or at least not yet. The way to go: transcoding the media into a format that is appropriate for the device.
WinFF is an FFmpeg front-end that strives to make life as easy as possible for users that have simple media encoding needs, and it largely achieves its goals.
Video Clip of the Week: Moblin 2.0 Beta for Netbooks and Nettops Introduction
· For this week, we've posted a video clip that showcases the new user experience for Moblin 2.0 for netbooks and nettops. The video has one minute and 40 seconds and it was posted by the Moblin Project. Enjoy!