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Confirmed! Microsoft Edge Will be Available on Linux

Friday 8th of November 2019 06:28:26 AM

Microsoft is overhauling its Edge web browser and it will be based on the open source Chromium browser. Microsoft is also bringing the new Edge browser to desktop Linux however the Linux release might be a bit delayed.

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer once dominated the browser market share, but it lost its dominance in the last decade to Google’s Chrome.

The rise and fall of #opensource web browser Mozilla Firefox.

— Abhishek Prakash (@abhishek_foss) March 22, 2017

Microsoft tried to gain its lost position by creating Edge, a brand new web browser built with EdgeHTML and Chakra engine. It was tightly integrated with Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana and Windows 10.

However, it still could not bring the crown home and as of today, it stands at the fourth position in desktop browser usage share.

Lately, Microsoft decided to give Edge an overhaul by rebasing it on open source Chromium project. Google’s Chrome browser is also based on Chromium. Chromium is also available as a standalone web browser and some Linux distributions use it at as the default web browser.

The new Microsoft Edge web browser on Linux

After initial reluctance and uncertainties, it seems that Microsoft is finally going to bring the new Edge browser to Linux.

In its annual developer conference Microsoft Ignite, the session on Edge Browser mentions that it is coming to Linux in future.

Microsoft confirms that Edge is coming to Linux in future

The new Edge browser will be available on 15th January 2020 but I think that the Linux release will be delayed.

Is Microsoft Edge coming to Linux really a big deal?

What’s the big deal with Microsoft Edge coming to Linux? Don’t we have plenty of web browsers available for Linux already? I think it has to do with the ‘Microsoft Linux rivalry’ (if there is such a thing). If Microsoft does anything for Linux, specially desktop Linux, it becomes a news.

I also think that Edge on Linux has mutual benefits for Microsoft and for Linux users. Here’s why.

What’s in it for Microsoft?

When Google launched its Chrome browser in 2008, no one had thought that it will dominate the market in just a few years. But why would a search engine put so much of energy behind a ‘free web browser’?

The answer is that Google is a search engine and it wants more people using its search engine and other services so that it can earn revenue from the ad services. With Chrome, Google is the default search engine. On other browsers like Firefox and Safari, Google pays hundreds of millions to be kept as the default web browser. Without Chrome, Google would have to rely entirely on the other browsers.

Microsoft too has a search engine named Bing. The Internet Explorer and Edge use Bing as the default search engine. If Edge is used by more users, it improves the chances of bringing more users to Bing. More Bing users is something Microsoft would love to have.

What’s in it for Linux users?

I see a couple of benefits for desktop Linux users. With Edge, you can use some Microsoft specific products on Linux. For example, Microsoft’s streaming gaming service xCloud maybe available on the Edge browser only.

Another benefit is an improved Netflix experience on Linux. Of course, you can use Chrome or Firefox for watching Netflix on Linux but you might not be getting the full HD or ultra HD streaming.

As far as I know, the Full HD and Ultra HD Netflix streaming is only available on Microsoft Edge. This means you can ‘Netflix and chill’ in HD with Edge on Linux.

What do you think?

What’s your feeling about Microsoft Edge coming to Linux? Will you be using it when it is available for Linux? Do share your views in the comment section below.

Budget-friendly Linux Smartphone PinePhone Will be Available to Pre-order Next Week

Thursday 7th of November 2019 07:40:01 AM

Do you remember when It’s FOSS first broke the story that Pine64 was working on a Linux-based smartphone running KDE Plasma (among other distributions) in 2017? It’s been some time since then but the good news is that PinePhone will be available for pre-order from 15th November.

Let me provide you more details on the PinePhone like its specification, pricing and release date.

PinePhone: Linux-based budget smartphone

The PinePhone developer kit is already being tested by some devs and more such kits will be shipped by 15th November. You can check out some of these images by clicking the photo gallery below:

The developer kit is a combo kit of PINE A64 baseboard + SOPine module + 7″ Touch Screen Display + Camera + Wifi/BT + Playbox enclosure + Lithium-Ion battery case + LTE cat 4 USB dongle.

These combo kits allow developers to jump start PinePhone development. The PINE A64 platform already has mainline Linux OS build thanks to the PINE64 community and the support by KDE neon.

Specifications of PinePhone PinePhone Prototype | Image by Martjin Braam
  • Allwinner A64 Quad Core SoC with Mali 400 MP2 GPU
  • 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM
  • 5.95″ LCD 1440×720, 18:9 aspect ratio (hardened glass)
  • Bootable Micro SD
  • 16GB eMMC
  • HD Digital Video Out
  • USB Type C (Power, Data and Video Out)
  • Quectel EG-25G with worldwide bands
  • WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n, single-band, hotspot capable
  • Bluetooth: 4.0, A2DP
  • Vibrator
  • RGB status LED
  • Selfie and Main camera (2/5Mpx respectively)
  • Main Camera: Single OV6540, 5MP, 1/4″, LED Flash
  • Selfie Camera: Single GC2035, 2MP, f/2.8, 1/5″
  • Sensors: accelerator, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, ambient light
  • 3 External Switches: up down and power
  • HW switches: LTE/GNSS, WiFi, Microphone, Speaker, USB
  • Samsung J7 form-factor 3000mAh battery
  • Case is matte black finished plastic
  • Headphone Jack
Production, Price & Availability Pinephone Brave Heart Pre Order

PinePhone will cost about $150. The early adapter release has been named ‘Brave Heart’ edition and it will go on sale from November 15, 2019. As you can see in the image above, Pine64’s homepage has included a timer for the first pre-order batch of PinePhone.

You should expect the early adopter ‘Brave Heart’ editions to be shipped and delivered by December 2019 or January 2020.

Mass production will begin only after the Chinese New Year, hinting at early Q2 of 2020 or March 2020 (at the earliest).

The phone hasn’t yet been listed on Pine Store – so make sure to check out Pine64 online store to pre-order the ‘Brave Heart’ edition if you want to be one of the early adopters.

What do you think of PinePhone?

Pine64 has already created a budget laptop called Pinebook and a relatively powerful Pinebook Pro laptop. So, there is definitely hope for PinePhone to succeed, at least in the niche of DIY enthusiasts and hardcore Linux fans. The low pricing is definitely a huge plus here compared to the other Linux smartphone Librem5 that costs over $600.

Another good thing about PinePhone is that you can experiment with the operating system by installing Ubuntu Touch, Plasma Mobile or Aurora OS/Sailfish OS.

These Linux-based smartphones don’t have the features to replace Android or iOS, yet. If you are looking for a fully functional smartphone to replace your Android smartphone, PinePhone is certainly not for you. It’s more for people who like to experiment and are not afraid to troubleshoot.

If you are looking to buy PinePhone, mark the date and set a reminder. There will be limited supply and what I have seen so far, Pine devices go out of stock pretty soon.

Are you going to pre-order a PinePhone? Let us know of your views in the comment section.

How To Update a Fedora Linux System [Beginner’s Tutorial]

Saturday 2nd of November 2019 10:55:31 AM

This quick tutorial shows various ways to update a Fedora Linux install.

So, the other day, I installed the newly released Fedora 31. I’ll be honest with you, it was my first time with a non-Ubuntu distribution.

The first thing I did after installing Fedora was to try and install some software. I opened the software center and found that the software center was ‘broken’. I couldn’t install any application from it.

I wasn’t sure what went wrong with my installation. Discussing within the team, Abhishek advised me to update the system first. I did that and poof! everything was back to normal. After updating the Fedora system, the software center worked as it should.

Sometimes we just ignore the updates and keep troubleshooting the issue we face. No matter how big/small the issue is – to avoid them, you should keep your system up-to-date.

In this article, I’ll show you various possible methods to update your Fedora Linux system.

Keep in mind that updating Fedora means installing the security patches, kernel updates and software updates. If you want to update from one version of Fedora to another, it is called version upgrade and you can read about Fedora version upgrade procedure here.

Updating Fedora From The Software Center Software Center

You will most likely be notified that you have some system updates to look at, you should end up launching the software center when you click on that notification.

All you have to do is – hit ‘Update’ and verify the root password to start updating.

In case you did not get a notification for the available updates, you can simply launch the software center and head to the “Updates” tab. Now, you just need to proceed with the updates listed.

Updating Fedora Using The Terminal

If you cannot load up the software center for some reason, you can always utilize the dnf package managing commands to easily update your system.

Simply launch the terminal and type in the following command to start updating (you should be prompted to verify the root password):

sudo dnf upgrade

dnf update vs dnf upgrade

You’ll find that there are two dnf commands available: dnf update and dnf upgrade.
Both command do the same job and that is to install all the updates provided by Fedora.
Then why there is dnf update and dnf upgrade and which one should you use?
Well, dnf update is basically an alias to dnf upgrade. While dnf update may still work, the good practice is to use dnf upgrade because that is the real command.

Updating Fedora From System Settings

If nothing else works (or if you’re already in the System settings for a reason), navigate your way to the “Details” option at the bottom of your settings.

This should show up the details of your OS and hardware along with a “Check for Updates” button as shown in the image above. You just need to click on it and provide the root/admin password to proceed to install the available updates.

Wrapping Up

As explained above, it is quite easy to update your Fedora installation. You’ve got three available methods to choose from – so you have nothing to worry about.

If you notice any issue in following the instructions mentioned above, feel free to let me know in the comments below.

Fedora 31 Released! Check Out The New Features

Wednesday 30th of October 2019 03:14:21 PM

After six months of Fedora 30 release, we have the next major version – Fedora 31 – available to download.

With this release, quite a few things have changed visually including several under-the-hood improvements

Changes and new features in Fedora 31

Here, I will highlight a few key changes so that you can decide whether you should upgrade to Fedora 31 or not. Also, we have a useful guide to help you upgrade your Fedora version – if you’re not sure how to do that.

Latest GNOME 3.34 Release

This is a big deal of Fedora Workstation users, with the latest and greatest GNOME update 3.34, you will find some visual changes and performance improvements.

It is easier to change the background or lock screen wallpaper with GNOME 3.34, the options are user-friendly and useful.

In addition to this, you can also create application folders in the overview to organize your app drawer.

Fedora Folder Icons

Basically, what’s new with GNOME 3.34 directly reflects here. You can check our coverage on GNOME 3.34 features to know more about. There’s also a separate blog post on covering the important changes with GNOME 3.34 for Fedora 31, you might want to check that as well.

Dropping 32-Bit Support

With Fedora 31, you will no longer find 32-bit bootable images. They have completely dropped the support for 32-bit i686 kernel.

Most popular 32-bit packages like Steam and Wine will continue to work, but do not expect great 32-bit support.

Docker Package Removed From Fedora 31

If you are using Docker, it is worth noting that with Fedora 31, they have enabled CGroups V2.

To highlight this, I would quote the official Fedora wiki page (the bug report page) addressing this particular change as follows:

The Docker package has been removed from Fedora 31. It has been replaced by the upstream package moby-engine, which includes the Docker CLI as well as the Docker Engine. However, we recommend instead that you use podman, which is a Cgroups v2-compatible container engine whose CLI is compatible with Docker’s. Fedora 31 uses Cgroups v2 by default.

Updated Packages

Of course, with a major release, several packages will be updated. Some of the notable upgrades are:

  • Glibc 2.30
  • NodeJS 12
  • Python 3 (Python 2 is reaching its end of life)
Updated Fedora Flavors & Improved Hardware Support

For desktop users, Fedora 31 Workstation matters. But, if you utilize other editions of Fedora, the new release will have a significant effect there as well.

For instance, Fedora Astronomy, Fedora IoT and so on.

They have also improved their support for certain SoCs like Rock64, RockPro 64 and several other chips.

Other Improvements

There’s actually a bunch of under-the-hood changes like disabling root password login in SSH.

Overall, it’s a good upgrade with a lot of positive changes for the users/developers. If you want more details, you can take a look at its official changelog.

Getting Fedora 31

Like any other Fedora release, Fedora 31 will also be supported for next thirteen months. This also means that Fedora 29 will reach end of life in a month. So if you are using Fedora 29, you should definitely plan upgrading.

Even if you are using Fedora 30, you should upgrade to the new release sooner or later. Abhishek’s advise is to wait for a couple of weeks for the bug fixes and then upgrade to the new version.

You can upgrade Fedora version from within your current Fedora install. You should be notified of the availability of the new release in the software center.

You can also download the ISO and install it afresh.

Get Fedora 31

Wrapping Up

Fedora 31 will be a new experience for me personally. I might share my experience with Fedora 31 as a follow up to this release post.

If you have already upgraded, what did you like the most about the new Fedora 31 release? Was it a smooth upgrade for you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below.

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