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Ubuntu

Ubuntu Linux 16.10 'Yakkety Yak' Beta 1 Now Available For Download (betanews.com) 47

An anonymous reader quotes a report from BetaNews: Today, the first beta of Ubuntu Linux 16.10 sees release. Once again, a silly animal name is assigned, this time being the letter "Y" for the horned mammal, "Yakkety Yak." This is also a play on the classic song "Yakety Yak" by The Coasters. Please be sure not to "talk back" while testing this beta operating system! "Pre-releases of the Yakkety Yak are not encouraged for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage. They are, however, recommended for Ubuntu flavor developers and those who want to help in testing, reporting and fixing bugs as we work towards getting this bos grunniens ready. Beta 1 includes a number of software updates that are ready for wider testing. These images are still under development, so you should expect some bugs," says Set Hallstrom, Ubuntu Studio project lead. He adds: "While these Beta 1 images have been tested and work, except as noted in the release notes, Ubuntu developers are continuing to improve the Yakkety Yak. In particular, once newer daily images are available, system installation bugs identified in the Beta 1 installer should be verified against the current daily image before being reported in Launchpad. Using an obsolete image to re-report bugs that have already been fixed wastes your time and the time of developers who are busy trying to make 16.10 the best Ubuntu release yet. Always ensure your system is up to date before reporting bugs." Here are the following download links: Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio.
Operating Systems

How (And Why) FreeDOS Keeps DOS Alive (computerworld.com.au) 211

FreeDOS was originally created in response to Microsoft's announcement that after Windows 95, DOS would no longer be developed as a standalone operating system, according to a new interview about how (and why) Jim Hall keeps FreeDOS alive. For its newest version, Hall originally imagined "what 'DOS' would be like in 2015 or 2016 if Microsoft hadn't stopped working on MS-DOS in favor of Windows" -- before he decided there's just no such thing as "modern DOS". An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: No major changes are planned in the next version. "The next version of FreeDOS won't be multitasking, it won't be 32-bit, it won't run on ARM," Hall said. "FreeDOS is still intended for Intel and Intel-compatible computers. You should still be able to run FreeDOS on your old 486 or old Pentium PC to play classic DOS games, run legacy business programs, and support embedded development."
By day, Hall is the CIO for a county in Minnesota, and he's also a member of the board of directors for GNOME (and contributes to other open source projects) -- but he still remembers using DOS's built-in BASIC system to write simple computer programs. "Many of us older computer nerds probably used DOS very early, on our first home computer..." he tells ComputerWorld. Even without John Romero's new Doom level, "The popularity of DOS games and DOS shareware applications probably contributes in a big way to FreeDOS's continued success." I'd be curious how many Slashdot readers have some fond memories about downloading DOS shareware applications.
GNOME

Fedora 24 Featuring GNOME 3.20, Tons Of Improvements Released (betanews.com) 174

After several delays, the Fedora Project on Tuesday released Fedora 24 (download link), the latest version of its Linux-based operating system. Fedora 24 brings with it a number of interesting features and changes, including the GNOME 3.20 desktop environment. The latest version of GNOME comes with media-player controls in the notification panel, and improved search feature in the Files application. New GNOME will also let you easily upgrade to Fedora 25, by simply using its Software application. There's also improved font-rendering. Among other things Fedora 24 has an upgraded version of glibc, or GNU C Library, which comes with improved performance and bug fixes across the entire operating system. You can learn more about the features at TechRepublic..
GNOME

Fedora Project Releases Fedora 24 Beta; Stable Version Comes Next Month (betanews.com) 78

A month ahead of its final release, Fedora Project on Tuesday released Fedora 24 beta for users and enthusiasts to try. An anonymous reader writes: The workstation version -- the one most home users will target -- offers GNOME 3.20 preview as a desktop environment. The GNOME environment has improved leaps and bounds over the years, becoming one of the best UIs of any operating system. Wayland is available as preview, but not default. The display server protocol is still poised to replace X, but it will not yet be ready for Fedora 24. The team explains that it should be ready for 'future versions'. Whether that means version 25 is something that remains to be seen."We're pleased to announce that Fedora 24, the latest version of the Fedora operating system, is now available in beta. The Fedora Project is a global community that works together to lead the advancement of free and open source software. As part of the community's mission the project delivers three editions, each one a free, Linux-based operating system tailored to meet specific use cases: Fedora 24 Cloud Beta, Fedora 24 Server Beta, and Fedora 24 Workstation Beta," said Matthew Miller, Fedora Project Leader.
Ubuntu

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Final Beta Released 69

prisoninmate writes: Canonical pushed the first-ever public Beta ISO images of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), which the company calls "Final Beta" builds, and it looks like they ship with Linux kernel 4.4.6 LTS, the ability to move the Unity Launcher to the bottom of the screen, though, the option remains hidden, for now, the LibreOffice 5.1.1 office suite, GNOME Software as the default package manager, and GNOME Calendar as default calendar app, which supports Google Calendars as well. Official flavors like Ubuntu Studio, Kubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu GNOME, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, and Unbuntu Kylin had also participate in the Beta 2 release. Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and its official flavors are currently scheduled for release on April 21, 2016. (Xenial is kind of a cool word, too.)
GNU is Not Unix

GNOME 3.20 Officially Released (softpedia.com) 193

prisoninmate writes: After yet another six months of hard work, the highly anticipated GNOME 3.20 desktop environment for GNU/Linux operating systems has been officially released on March 23, 2016. Release highlights include support for operating system upgrades via GNOME Software, middle-click paste, kinetic scrolling, drag-and-drop support for Wayland, keyboard shortcuts and gestures overlay for most of the core apps, XDG-Apps technology for installing multiple versions of an app, and much more goodies.
Ubuntu

Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS Officially Released 61

prisoninmate writes: Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS (Long-Term Support) builds are available for download in the form of Live and Installable ISO images for Desktop, Server, Cloud, and Core products, on both 64-bit and 32-bit platforms, and that existing Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS users can now update their systems. But not only Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) users can update, as all the official flavors have been updated as well, so users of Kubuntu 14.04 LTS, Edubuntu 14.04 LTS, Xubuntu 14.04 LTS, Lubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu Studio 14.04 LTS, Mythbuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu Kylin 14.04 LTS can also update their systems today or grab the new ISOs.
GUI

Fresh Wayland Experiences With Weston, GNOME, KDE and Enlightenment 133

jones_supa writes: Software developer Pavlo Rudyi has written a blog post about his experiences with the various desktop environments currently supporting Wayland. The results are not a big surprise, but nevertheless it is great to see the continued interest in Wayland and the ongoing work by many different parties in ensuring that Wayland will eventually be able to dominate the Linux desktop. To summarize, Pavlo found Weston to be "good," GNOME is "perfect," KDE is "bad," and Enlightenment is "good." He also created a video from his testing. Have you done any testing? What's your experience?
GUI

Project Neon Will Bring Users Up-to-Date KDE Packages (cio.com) 42

sfcrazy writes: [Kubuntu founder Jonathan Riddell] is going to announce a new project at FOSDEM that brings the KDE experience to users. There is Fedora that offers latest from Gnome, but there is no such distro that offers the same level of integration with KDE software; yes, there is openSUSE but it offers KDE as an option. So Kubuntu based KDE Neon is a project to give KDE users and contributors a way to get KDE's desktop software while it's still fresh. It'll be providing packages of the latest KDE software so users can install it and stay up to date on a stable base.
Networking

Tracking Protection In Wi-Fi Networks Coming Soon To Linux 112

prisoninmate writes: Fedora contributor and NetworkManager developer Lubomir Rintel explains how your devices are being identified on a network by a unique number that most of us know by the name of MAC address. Same goes for mobile networking, as your laptop's or mobile phone's MAC address is, in most cases, broadcasted everywhere you go before you even attempt a connection to a wireless network. And that's a problem for your privacy. The solution? Randomization of the MAC address while scanning for Wi-Fi networks. Apple is already using this method on iOS 8 and later mobile operating systems, and so is Microsoft in Windows 10, so Linux users will ["likely"] get it in the upcoming NetworkManager 1.2 release.
GNOME

GNOME Settings Area Getting a Refurbishment (gnome.org) 151

jones_supa writes: Allan Day has written a blog post today about some of the improvements that are being worked on for GNOME's settings area. The new GNOME Settings area is working toward a model that uses a list sidebar for navigation. The window is now resizable, and overall should be a nice upgrade. The new GNOME settings area certainly bears some resemblance to the Windows 10 settings app. Work is also ongoing specifically around improving GNOME's network settings, redesigned sound settings, experiments around improved display support, and various other enhancements to GNOME's settings area. For now, this work is considered experimental and all may not be completed in time for the GNOME 3.20 release in March.
Media

BBC Confirms 50% Bitrate Savings For H.265/HEVC Vs H.264/AVC (bbc.co.uk) 110

An anonymous reader writes: A research team from the BBC has done a series of tests to confirm earlier computations showing a ~50% savings in bit rate for H.265/HEVC compared to video using H.264/AVC at comparable quality. "The subjective tests used a carefully selected set of coded video sequences at four different picture sizes: UHD (3840x2160 and 4096x2048), 1080p (1920x1080), 720p (1280x720) and 480p (832x480), at frame rates of 30Hz, 50Hz, or 60Hz. The video content was chosen to represent diverse spatial and temporal characteristics, and then coded using HEVC and AVC standards at a wide span of bit rates producing a variety of quality levels." Here is the full published analysis. "The tests confirmed the significant compression efficiency improvements achieved in HEVC, verifying the results previously reported using objective quality metrics (PSNR based methods)." The team did not test against VP9, which is shaping up to be an impressive standard as well.
Ubuntu

Porting Ubuntu For Raspberry Pi 2 Just Got a Lot Easier (softpedia.com) 32

prisoninmate writes: Ubuntu Pi Flavour Maker is an open source tool, a shell script that lets anyone port any of the official or unofficial Ubuntu Linux flavors for the Raspberry Pi 2. Ubuntu Pi Flavour Maker is officially supported on the Ubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu and Ubuntu GNOME flavors, and uses the traditional apt and dpkg package management systems from Debian GNU/Linux.
SuSE

OpenSUSE Leap 42.1 Released (opensuse.org) 31

MasterPatricko writes: In what they're calling the first "hybrid" distribution release, the openSUSE project have announced the availability of openSUSE Leap 42.1. Built on a core of SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 SP1 packages but including an up-to-date userspace (KDE Plasma 5.4.2, GNOME 3.16, and many other DEs), Leap aims to provide a stable middle ground between enterprise releases which are quickly out of date, and the sometimes unstable community distros. DVD/USB or Network Install ISOs are available for download now. For those who do prefer the bleeding edge, the openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling-release distribution is also available.
Open Source

Fedora 23 Released (fedoramagazine.org) 57

An anonymous reader writes: Today marks the release of Fedora 23 for all three main editions: Workstation, Cloud, and Server. This release brings GNOME 3.18, Libre Office 5.0, and Fedora Spins — alternate desktops that provide a different experience. Fedora 23 also includes a version optimized for running on ARM-based systems. You can read the full release notes on their website. "Fedora 23 also has important under-the-hood security improvements, with increased hardening for all compiled software and with insecure SSL3 and RC4 protocols disabled. We've also updated all of the software installed by default in Fedora Cloud Base Image and Fedora Workstation to use Python version 3, and the Mono .NET compatible framework is now at version 4. Perhaps most importantly, Unicode 8.0 support now enables the crucial U1F32D character."
Ubuntu

Ubuntu 15.10 'Wily Werewolf' Released (omgubuntu.co.uk) 191

LichtSpektren writes: Ubuntu 15.10 "Wily Werewolf" is now released and available, along with its alternative desktop flavors (MATE, Xfce, LXDE, GNOME, KDE, Kylin). This release features Linux 4.2, GCC 5, Python 3.5, and LibreOffice 5. The default version is still using X.org display server and Unity7; Mark Shuttleworth has said that Mir and Unity8 won't arrive until Ubuntu 16.04 "Xenial Xerus." Not much has changed beyond package updates, other than replacing the invisible overlay scrollbars in Nautilus with the GNOME 3 scrollbars.

Phoronix brings us the only bit of drama regarding this release: Jonathan Riddell, long time overseer of Kubuntu, has resigned with claims that Canonical has "defrauded donors and broke the copyright licenses."
Another reader adds a link to a Q & A session with Riddell.
Businesses

Getting More Women Coders Into Open Source 696

Nerval's Lobster writes: Diversity remains an issue in tech firms across the nation, with executives and project managers publicly upset over a lack of women in engineering and programming roles. While all that's happening on the corporate side, a handful of people and groups are trying to get more women involved in the open source community, like Women of OpenStack, Outreachy (which is geared toward people from underrepresented groups in free software), and others. How much effort should be expended to facilitate diversity among programmers? Can anything be done to shift the demographics, considering the issues that even large, coordinated companies have with altering the collective mix of their employees?
GUI

What's New In GNOME 3.18 170

prisoninmate writes: In this release, GNOME improves the general user experience for users and new developers alike. GNOME 3.18 adds a feature called "Automatic Brightness," which, when enabled, it will make use of your laptop's light sensor to dim or increase the screen's brightness depending on the surrounding lighting. GNOME 3.18 also improves the touch screen experience, especially when selecting and modifying text, implements a new view in the Nautilus (Files) sidebar, which collects all the remote and internal locations in a single place.
GNU is Not Unix

Interviews: RMS Answers Your Questions 246

The Free Software Foundation will be celebrating its 30th anniversary on Oct. 3rd. Recently, you had a chance to ask its founder Richard Stallman about GNU/Linux, free software, and other issues of public concern. Below you'll find his answers to your questions. Learn more about how you can join the FSF here, and help fight the good fight.
GUI

New Release of the Trinity Desktop Environment 197

mescobal writes: A new release of the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) is out. TDE is "a computer desktop environment for Unix-like operating systems with a primary goal of retaining the function and form of traditional desktop computers" which translates into a fully functional KDE 3 style Desktop. Something is missing in the new generation of desktop environments, since some people (perhaps more than "some") feel at home with Gnome 2 or KDE i3. They have repositories for Debian and Ubuntu-based distros. I'm now using it on Ubuntu 15.04, amazed about how well-planned things were in the previous generation of DE. We may have gained some things with Gnome 3 and Plasma 5, but we lost a lot of good features too. TDE brings them back.

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