Softpedia Linux Weekly, Christmas Special

The weekly roundup for Linux users

Welcome to the 76th issue of Softpedia Linux Weekly!

I would like to start this weekly by wishing Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our readers, and... check out the "Video Clip of the Week" section for a little nice present! The following Linux-based operating systems were announced last week: Linux Mint 8 x64, SimplyMEPIS 8.5 Beta 2, Tiny Core Linux 2.7 and Parted Magic 4.7. In other news: Nvidia releases new video driver with various enhancements; AMD unleashed new version of the ATI Catalyst suite for Linux systems; Mark Shuttleworth quits the Canonical CEO job; The Fedora 10 operating system is no longer supported. The weekly ends with the latest Linux distributions released and updated last week, and the development releases. Enjoy!




Linux MintOn December 14th, Clement Lefebvre and the developers behind the Linux Mint community announced the immediate availability for download of the Linux Mint 8 x64 Edition. This version is exactly like the main edition of Linux Mint 8 but compiled for 64-bit processors, such as Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Core 2 Quad or Athlon X2 64. Dubbed Helena, the new Linux Mint 8 operating system is based on the Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) operating system and it is powered by Linux kernel 2.6.31, X.Org 7.4 and the GNOME 2.28.1 desktop environment.

Highlights of Linux Mint 8 x64 Edition:

· Support for 64-bit processors;

· Based on Ubuntu 9.10;

· Linux kernel 2.6.31;

· EXT4 filesystem;

· X.Org 7.4;

· GNOME 2.28.1;

· Improvements to the Menu;

· Improvements to the software manager;

· Improvements to the update manager;

· New Upload manager tool;

· OEM installation;

· MintCast as the default podcast in Rhythmbox;

· Lots of bugs fixed.

Review image
Linux Mint 8 x64 - Image courtesy of Clement Lefebvre

Download Linux Mint 8 x64 right now from Softpedia.


SimplyMEPISOn December 15th, Warren Woodford announced the SimplyMEPIS 8.5 Beta 2 operating system. This beta contains KDE Software Compilation 4.3.4 and an important fix, the Python toolchain, in order to make the system-config-printer-kde utility work! SimplyMEPIS 8.5 Beta 2 is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures.

Highlights of SimplyMEPIS 8.5 Beta 2:

· Linux kernel 2.6.32-1;

· EXT4 filesystem;

· KDE SC 4.3.4;

· Mozilla Firefox 3.5.5;

· Google Gadgets 0.11.0;

· Kdenlive 0.7.6;

· KMPlayer 0.11.1b;

· JBidwatcher;

· Sun Java Runtime Environment 6;

· Adobe Flash Player 10;

· MEPIS Network Assistant;

· MEPIS X-Windows Assistant;

· MEPIS User Assistant;

· MEPIS System Assistant;

· New artwork!

Review image
SimplyMEPIS 8.5 Beta 2

Download SimplyMEPIS 8.5 Beta 2 right now from Softpedia. Remember that this is an alpha release and it should NOT be installed on production machines. It is intended to be used for testing purposes only.


Tiny CoreOn December 19th, Robert Shingledecker announced the immediate availability of the Tiny Core Linux 2.7 operating system, a version that brings lots of updated applications and scripts, various improvements and, of course, a couple of bug fixes.

Highlights of Tiny Core Linux 2.7:

· appbrowser was updated and it now features a single "Install" button, and the "Download Only" button was renamed to "OnDemand;"

· appsaudit was updated and it now features a new menu option, called "Install Options;"

· The tce-load script was updated (removed l,m,lm,ml testing, ldconfig is always called, depmod is based on /usr/local/lib/modules and the -r option was dropped);

· Updated the tce-setup and tce-update scripts with an "easy mode," in order to easily update extensions in the tce directory;

· The tce-update script was updated to include better NFS support;

· The rebuildfstab script was updated for block major eleven devices;

· The udev/rules.d/75-cd-dvd.rules was updated for sr[0-9] devices;

· The script was updated in order to be able to call the /opt/ script for showdown commands;

· libpopt and mbchk was removed;

· Added the cache-clear script;

· Added ab, a new tiny appbrowser in shell;

· Added ondemand to create right-click menu shortcuts for flwm;

· tcz2ram.flg, tcz2ram.lst were renamed to copy2fs.flg and copy2fs.lst;

· Added new boot code: xvesa=WxHxD (e.g. xvesa=800x600x32);

· Many libraries were stripped to make a smaller ISO image, now at 10.1 MB.

Review image
Tiny Core Linux 2.7

Download Tiny Core Linux 2.7 right now from Softpedia.


Parted MagicOn December 20th, Patrick Verner announced a new and improved version of his versatile Parted Magic, Slackware-based Linux distribution. Parted Magic 4.7 comes now with Linux kernel, Google Chrome, Partclone, and lots of updated applications, as well as bug fixes and improvements. Parted Magic is an operating system created to help users easily partition their hard drives or perform various recovery tasks.

Highlights of Parted Magic 4.7:

· Linux kernel with the squashfs-lzma compression;

· Added Partclone 0.1.9, due to popular demand;

· Replaced Xfburn and libburnia with simpleburn and cdrtools;

· Added LXMusic 0.4.0;

· Replaced util-linux with util-linux-ng;

· Replaced Mozilla Firefox with Google Chrome Beta;

· Repaired the Broadcom wireless drivers;

· Added lsof 4.78;

· Added workman 1.3.4;

· Added hddtemp 0.3 Beta 15;

· Fixed major issues in wireless scripts!

Review image
Parted Magic 4.7

Download Parted Magic 4.7 right now from Softpedia.


Other NewsOther news:

· The Nvidia Corporation announced on December 16th a brand-new and improved version of its video driver for Linux, FreeBSD and Solaris systems. The new Nvidia 190.53 graphics driver comes only with improvements and fixes, especially to VDPAU. Read more about it here.


· On December 17th, Mark Shuttleworth, father of the Ubuntu operating system, announced that, starting with March 2010, he would step down as CEO of Canonical, being replaced by Jane Silber, the current COO (Chief Operating Officer) and Director of Online Services. In the shocking announcement, Shuttleworth expressed his love for customers, partnerships and product design, areas that he thinks are perfect for him and in which he can shape the impact Canonical and Ubuntu have on the technology and open source markets. Read more about it here.


· Officially released on November 25th, 2008, the Fedora 10 (Cambridge) operating system reached end of life (EOL) on December 17th, 2009. This means that users of Fedora 10 will no longer receive security/critical fixes and software updates. Therefore, all Fedora 10 users are urged to upgrade to the most recent version, Fedora 12, as soon as possible. Read more about it here.


· On December 18th, Advanced Micro Devices announced a new version of its versatile ATI Catalyst proprietary display driver for Linux systems. The new ATI Catalyst 9.12 Display Driver updates the software to version 8.681 and introduces support for the SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP3 and RedFlag DT 6.0 SP3. Read more about it here.


Video Clip of the WeekVideo Clip of the Week: The Christmas Present!

· For this week, we've posted a tutorial about how to transform your GNOME/Ubuntu desktop into a veritable Christmas one! The video has 7 minutes and 44 seconds, and it was posted by the Softpedia Linux team. Merry Christmas everyone!

Download from SoftpediaNew Distributions:

· dwmarch 1.0

· Matriux 0.9.4

· Quirky 001

· ShepherdPup 09-25-09

· Simplicity Linux Origin Beta

· TOP Linux 4.2.1 SP1.1

Download from SoftpediaDistributions Updated Last Week:

· Greenie Linux 6.0.2K

· CacheGuard OS 5.5.3

· CRUX PPC 2.5a

· Absolute Linux 13.0.5

· Parsix Linux 3.0r1

· StartCom Enterprise Linux 5.0.4

Download from SoftpediaDevelopment Releases:

· Devil-Linux 1.4 RC2

· Nexenta OS 3.0 Alpha 2

· TinyMe 2010 Beta 1

· CRUX PPC 2.6 RC2

See you again next Monday, December 28th, for another issue of Softpedia Linux Weekly.

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