Welcome to the 91st issue of Softpedia Linux Weekly!
The following Linux-based operating systems were announced last week: Jolicloud 0.9 Pre-Final, Zenwalk 6.4 Beta, PC/OS 10.1.1, SimplyMEPIS 8.5, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5, Vyatta 6.0, Linux Mint 8 Xfce Community Edition, Linux Mint 8 LXDE Community Edition and Mandriva Linux 2010.1 Beta 1. In other news: Ubuntu 8.10 reaches end of life on April 30th; SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 Service Pack 1 was slated for Q2 2010; the KDE Project releases KDE Software Compilation 4.4.2; Novell wins in the Unix copyright case, against SCO; the GNOME Project releases GNOME 2.30 desktop environment; Sony doesn't support Linux on its PlayStation 3 console; Mark Shuttleworth announced Ubuntu 10.10 a.k.a. Maverick Meerkat. The weekly ends with the video clip of the week, the latest Linux distributions released/updated and the development releases.
On March 29th, the makers of the Jolicloud netbook operating system launched Jolicould 0.9 "Robby" Pre-Final. It's not quite production-ready, but it is the de facto release candidate. Jolicloud 0.9 Pre-Final comes with several big changes and updates, so, if you haven't tested it in a while, you might be surprised. A few days ago, the entire web app platform got an overhaul as the underlying technology was switched to Chromium.
Jolicloud 0.9 Pre-Final
Download Jolicloud 0.9 Pre-Final right now from Softpedia. Remember that this is a development release and it should NOT be installed on production machines. It is intended to be used for testing purposes only.
Also on March 29th, Jean-Philippe Guillemin announced the availability of Zenwalk 6.4 Beta, which brings cutting-edge packages and improved performance. The Slackware-based distro continues its pursuit of efficiency and speed and boasts noticeable improvements in many areas. The emphasis on performance doesn’t come at the expense of the ease of use, as Zenwalk 6.4 Beta can be installed in a few minutes by simply selecting the default options during the install process.
Highlights of Zenwalk 6.4 Beta:
· Linux kernel 220.127.116.11 - with the BFS scheduler; · The XFCE desktop environment was updated to XFCE 4.6.1; · Udev 151 - faster boot time; · OpenOffice.org 3.2.0 - a performance optimized version; · X.Org 7.5; · Gstreamer 0.10.28; · New artwork; · Better internationalization; · Most packages updated since the previous release.
Download Zenwalk 6.4 Beta right now from Softpedia. Remember that this is a beta release and it should NOT be installed on production machines. It is intended to be used for testing purposes only.
Also on March 29th, Roberto Dohnert announced the immediate availability of the first maintenance release of PC/OS 10.1, a/an Ubuntu/Xubuntu-based Linux OS. PC OS 10.1.1 is a minor release focusing on stability and bug fixing, but also comes with a decent list of new or updated packages. The Linux kernel now has physical address extensions to allow users to access more memory. This release is also the first to be shipped in a ZIP format for compatibility.
Highlights of PC/OS 10.1.1:
· Linux kernel 2.6.31 – with PAE (physical address extensions) users of 32-bit PC/OS can access more RAM on 64-bit machines; · pyNeighborhood is now included – replaces Gigolo as the Samba browser; · The FileZilla FTP client is now included; · Empathy 2.29.93; · All security and bugfixes have been added to all releases; · New PC/OS themes, PC/OS Daylight, PC/OS Midnight and PC/OS Dusk; · Empathy has been removed from WebStation and replaced with Meebo; · Gnome Games has been removed from WebStation and replaced with FlashCHESS3; · An eBook reader has been introduced; · GNOME-ppp has been added to the GNOME release.
On March 30th, Warren Woodford announced the final and stable release of the SimplyMEPIS 8.5 operating system. No new features have been introduced since RC3, but SimplyMEPIS 8.5 has plenty to offer users who want a great Linux experience right out of the box. SimplyMEPIS 8.5 is based on Debian Lenny, the latest stable release, but also comes with newer packages when the developers believed they were stable enough or offered enough improvements to justify their inclusion. The fresh release also marks the transition from the KDE 3.5 desktop environment to the newer KDE 4 software compilation.
Highlights of SimplyMEPIS 8.5:
· Linux kernel 2.6.32 – for recent hardware support; · KDE 4.3.4 – the MEPIS/KDE look and feel has been maintained to make for an easier transition to the new version of the desktop environment; · Mozilla Firefox 3.5.6; · OpenOffice.org 3.1.1.
Download SimplyMEPIS 8.5 right now from Softpedia.
Also on March 30th, Red Hat announced the release of the latest update to its current Linux operating system for the business environment. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.5 comes with broader hardware support, including for some of the latest server processor lines from the biggest players on the market, Intel, AMD and IBM. It also supports some newer products from its hardware vendor partners. Virtualization capabilities got some improvements and RHEL 5.5 plays nice with Windows 7, which was launched after RHEL 5.4 was released.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 graphical installer
Download Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 right now from Softpedia.
Also on March 30th, Vyatta released the latest version of its router/firewall Linux operating system. Vyatta 6.0 is now ready for networking experts and businesses looking for an open-source alternative to put it through its paces. A big feature in this release is the new Remote Access API, which allows developers to create tools for controlling the router or include functionality in their existing applications.
Highlights of Vyatta 6.0:
· Netflow / sFlow logging and analysis; · 802.11 wireless LAN – (access point + base station); · Binary image installation – (version mgmt); · IPv6 readiness (core routing and firewall); · Firewall enhancements: IPv6 firewall, P2P firewall, time-based and zone-based firewall rules; · QoS Enhancements; · Vyatta Remote Access API; · TACACS+; · Simplified VPN Client Management; · VyattaGuard Web Filtering.
On March 31st, Clement Lefebvre and the Linux Mint community proudly announced the immediate availability of the final versions for the Linux Mint 8 Xfce Community Edition and Linux Mint 8 LXDE Community Edition operating systems. Being based on the main Helena release, the new editions are powered by Linux kernel 2.6.31 and X.Org 7.4. Both are created for people who want a fast, lightweight and good-looking OS for their antique hardware.
Highlights of Linux Mint 8 Xfce Community Edition:
· Based on Linux Mint 8 (Helena); · Linux kernel 2.6.31; · X.Org 7.4; · Improvements to Software Manager; · Improvements to Update Manager; · Xfce mintDesktop gets new settings; · New Upload Manager utility; · New themes!
Highlights of Linux Mint 8 LXDE Community Edition:
· Based on Linux Mint 8 (Helena); · Linux kernel 2.6.31; · X.Org 7.4; · Openbox 18.104.22.168 window manager; · PCManFM 0.5.2 file manager; · Exaile music player; · Improved Linux Mint Menu.
Linux Mint 8 Xfce Community Edition - Image courtesy of Clement Lefebvre
Linux Mint 8 LXDE Community Edition - Image courtesy of Clement Lefebvre
Download Linux Mint 8 Xfce Community Edition right now from Softpedia.
Download Linux Mint 8 LXDE Community Edition right now from Softpedia.
On April 2nd, Mandriva announced the first Beta release of the upcoming Mandriva Linux 2010.1 (Spring) operating system, due for launch in early June this year. Once again, bleeding-edge packages are present in Mandriva Linux 2010.1 Beta 1, such as Linux kernel 22.214.171.124, KDE Software Compilation 4.4.2, GNOME 2.30.0, Mozilla Firefox 3.6.2, OpenOffice.org 3.2, Deluge 1.2.3, and many more (see the highlights for details). As everyone expected, this release is now available as a GNOME and KDE4 Live CDs, for anyone to test and report bugs!
Highlights of Mandriva Linux 2010.1 Beta 1:
· Linux kernel 126.96.36.199; · X.Org 7.5; · Xorg Server 1.7.5; · KDE SC 4.4.2; · GNOME 2.30.0;
Download Mandriva Linux 2010.1 Beta 1 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.
· Steve Langasek announced on March 29th that one month from that day, on April 30th, the Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) operating system would reach end of life. This means that, starting with April 30th, 2010, Canonical will stop "feeding" Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) with security/critical fixes and software updates! Therefore, we strongly recommend upgrading your Ubuntu 8.10 system to a fresher version (see the quote below for details and upgrade information). Or you could wait one more month for the brand-new and amazing Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx), which will be supported for 3 years on desktop and 5 years on server. Read more about it here.
· On March 30th, enterprise software giant Novell put a date on the release of the first service pack for its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 (SLES). The first major update since its launch a year ago doesn't bring any big new features and focuses on bug fixes and stability. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 Service Pack 1 is slated for release at the end of the second quarter. Still, it will come with a relatively modern Linux kernel, 2.6.32 with support for kernel-based mode setting (KMS). It also adds official support for the KVM virtualization scheme, which is being spearheaded by rival Red Hat. Read more about it here.
· The KDE developers announced on March 30th the launch of the second maintenance release of KDE Software Compilation (KDE SC) 4.4.0. Dubbed Colibri, KDE SC 4.4.2 brings only updated translations and fixes a great number of bugs. KDE SC 4.4.2 is composed of the KDE Plasma Workspace, the KDE Applications and the KDE Development Platform. Read more about it here.
· Starting with March 30th, the Linux world can breathe a collective sigh of relief, as a US federal jury finally ruled on the long-running legal battle between Novell and SCO over the rights of the Unix operating system. The jury found that the rights belonged to Novell, meaning that SCO's threats of going after Linux vendors for allegedly shipping proprietary Unix code had absolutely no legal basis. This on top of the fact that Linux doesn't actually incorporate any Unix code, a small detail SCO chose to ignore. Read more about it here.
· April Fools’ turned out to be a great day for Linux enthusiasts, as GNOME developers decided to offer them something to look forward to except for getting punked and do a proper launch, and a pretty big one at that. GNOME 2.30 is now available for everyone and the final release of the 2.xx series is packing some serious punch and plenty of goodies for even the most demanding user. Read more about it here.
· On April 1st, Sony dropped support for Linux-based operating systems, by removing the "Other OS" option from XMB (XrossMediaBar) in its PlayStation 3 gaming console. As announced on the PlayStation official blog on March 28th, this was supposed to happen with the next firmware update, version 3.21, scheduled for April 1st. Read more about it here.
· On April 2nd, Mark Shuttleworth officially announced the goals for the next version of Ubuntu. Yes, we are talking about Ubuntu 10.10, dubbed Maverick Meerkat, and scheduled for release on October 28th, 2010. For the Maverick Meerkat, the development team will focus their efforts on lightness and fastness! Read more about it here.
Video Clip of the Week: Quick Mockup of Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat
· For this week we decided to show you a 720p HD video clip that presents a third-party mockup of how the Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) operating system should look like. The video has 21 seconds and was posted by UbuntuJunkie. Enjoy!