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The latest articles from GamingOnLinux
Updated: 56 min 27 sec ago

Mayhem in Single Valley is apparently Stranger Things meets Zelda with radioactive squirrels

Tuesday 11th of February 2020 07:23:31 PM

Tags: Steam, Upcoming, Adventure, Action, RPG

After being teased last year which we picked up on, the action-adventure Mayhem in Single Valley has now seen a full announcement and a publishing partner.

Releasing sometime this year and being shown off at PAX East, developer Fluxscopic has teamed up with
tinyBuild to help bring it to its full potential. Mayhem in Single Valley is a "thoughtful" top-down action adventure, mixing in exploration with combat and puzzles which they claim will give an "emotional" gameplay experience. Also something about a radioactive spillage which gets into the local river and it all goes to hell. Check out their brand new trailer below:


Watch video on YouTube.com

What tinyBuild said it will feature:

  • Mayhem in a Single Valley is a thoughtful top-down action-adventure of an epic scale
  • From downtown to the underground caves, from secret labs to the broken version of reality... and many more locations in gorgeous pixel art
  • Dozens of unique puzzles, based on physics, light and more
  • A twisted story, full of weird and wonderful fleshed-out characters
  • Enemies and NPCs have a variety of motivations and fears, use them to your advantage
  • Plane crashes, car chases, making clones of yourself...
  • Oh, did we already mention radioactive squirrels?

Additionally, Fluxscopic said to expect "JJ Abrams-esque secret stuff I can't speak about right now". Looks and sounds both weird and amusing. The developer confirmed to us in our previous article that it should release for Linux, today they indicated (Twitter) that's still the case too.

You can wishlist/follow it on Steam.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

The Steam Soundtrack Sale is now live to celebrate the new dedicated Soundtrack feature

Tuesday 11th of February 2020 07:08:53 PM

Tags: Steam, Music

What was originally supposed to launch last month, the Steam Soundtrack Sale is now live as Valve celebrate the new feature of the Steam store and client dedicated to Soundtracks.

As a brief reminder, for developers who do upgrade their DLC to a Soundtrack it means that people can purchase it and download without needing the whole game. It's a nice touch and a much better way to do it, might even give developers a boost in sales. Having a dedicated music folder is nice so you don't need to hunt down inside each game to find the files. Anyway, it's a massive improvement on the old system and shows how Valve keep improving for the benefit of users.

There's an issue with the new system though if you're on the Linux Beta client, as the Play Album button doesn't work which might be linked to a recent issue I reported where the Manage Screenshots button doesn't work. If you see that issue, reverting to the normal Steam client will fix it. Hopefully Valve will fix that before the current Beta updates go live for everyone.

What are some of your favourite game soundtracks? Give your fellow GOL readers some suggestions on what to pick up in the comments. Steam already has well over 900 DLC converted to this new format, so there's a huge amount to pick from.

If you want to just play around with it soundtracks from multiple Valve games are free including Portal, Portal 2, Half-Life, Half-Life 2 and more.

You can see the deciated sale page here.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Godot Engine enters new territory with Vulkan API support merged in for the upcoming 4.0 release

Tuesday 11th of February 2020 04:25:13 PM

Tags: Game Engine, Vulkan, Godot Engine

While not actually released yet and not due until later this year with Godot Engine 4.0, the Vulkan parts have now been merged into the main Godot project.

In a new blog post on the official site written by Godot's Project Manager, Rémi Verschelde, it goes over what this means. In short: it's all highly unstable but now it's in the main branch, they can continue pushing Vulkan forwards and updating all parts of Godot required for it.

We plan to rework a lot of Godot's internals (core) to allow fixing long-standing design issues and improving performance (including GDScript performance improvements). Moreover, our long-awaited port to C++14 will also happen now that the vulkan branch is merged into master, and many other codebase-wide changes were waiting for this: code style changes, Display/OS split, renaming of 3D nodes to unify our conventions, etc.

Rémi Verschelde

Having the Vulkan code in a separate branch could only work for so long, before it would cause too many issues. Going forward, they're going to remove the GLES3 support and port GLES2 to the new RenderingDevice API as the backup for devices that don't support Vulkan. If you missed why they're using GLES2 instead of GLES3 that was explained a while ago—terrible driver support being the main issue.

They're also going to be doing some cleaning up, closing all current pull requests and asking the authors to make sure it's still needed and approved by their Godot Improvement Proposals staging area. Well, that's one way to clean up hundreds of lingering pull requests.

Learn more about Godot Engine on the official site. It's free to use to make games and applications, with no need to pay royalties to Godot like some other game engines require.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Prepare for another run as Dead Cells: The Bad Seed is out

Tuesday 11th of February 2020 03:34:39 PM

Tags: Steam, Indie Game, Humble Store, Action, DLC, GOG, Rogue-lite, New Release

Fusing elements of a rogue-lite metroidvania and a serious action-platformer, Dead Cells, today has the first paid DLC expansion out with Dead Cells: The Bad Seed. Cutting right to the chase here, The Bad Seed has totally pulled me back in.

Check out the sweet animated trailer:


Watch video on YouTube.com

New areas you will be fighting through:

  • The Arboretum: A relaxing and peaceful greenhouse inhabited by a peaceful clan of mushrooms, with an understandable desire to murder the Beheaded.
  • The Morass of the Damned: A noxious environment ruled by a band of tree dwelling mutans with pointy sticks, sneaky dart shooting frogmen and a bunch of deadly bloodsuckers.
  • The Heart of the Swamp: Domain of mama tick, if you’ve seen StarShip Troopers, you get the idea...

Dead Cells is a game made for repetition as you repeat runs, collect Cells and then gradually feed them to The Collector to unlock more. Thankfully, this new content is aimed at expanding the earlier part of the game as alternatives to the second and third stages which means your future runs with this DLC will be a lot more varied. It's not just new areas that have been added though, there's a wider variety of weapons too with the introduction of two-handed weapons including a massive scythe.

Since the developer provided us with an early DLC key, we've been playing through the different areas and it definitely does help to mix it up and provide some more variety. More areas and new enemies to continue hacking and slashing—I certainly didn't need much convincing with how ridiculously satisfying the combat in Dead Cells is and more of that is extremely welcome.

I was not ready to fight the above, at all. It sprung up out of nowhere, smashing into me and honestly it startled me! It's fast, it jumps around and definitely keeps Dead Cells tough. A good way to describe all the new stuff really—tough. Adding to the challenge that Dead Cells already was and complimenting it well.

Also changed recently is how the livestream integration works. If you plan on livestreaming it on Twitch (follow GamingOnLinux here!), then it will be done through a dedicated Twitch extension rather than chat spam which is quite a bit nicer. This actually came in the 1.7 patch which prepared the game for the DLC.

As a reminder, Motion Twin now have another company named Evil Empire who will be continuing development on Dead Cells going forward to give it a dedicated focus. This is great and as a big fan of Dead Cells for both awesome action and the supremely stylish art I hope to see plenty more come to it. After getting plenty of free updates and it feels like an actual finished game, having a few DLC to enable them to keep working on it seems fine.

You can pick up Dead Cells from Humble Store, GOG and Steam. Currently, only Steam has the DLC for Linux. Overall, highly recommended and if you'll excuse me I'm off to play more. Good luck? I'm really going to need it.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

FS2 Open for playing Freespace 2 on modern systems had a big update

Tuesday 11th of February 2020 12:34:35 PM

Tags: Action, Simulation, New Release, Space

One I'm genuinely surprised I missed (Hat tip to Timo) is a big update to FS2 Open, the project that continues updating the game engine for Freespace 2 - one of the best space action games ever. While it's not technically open source, Volition did give the code to the community to keep it alive.

Version 19.0.0 went up in January and it's quite a big one too. It pulls in various OpenGL optimisations with animations now using texture arrays and "model uniforms get sent to the GPU using uniform buffers for less overhead" plus other apparently minor graphics changes. There's also now full Unicode text support, pilot files now use JSON instead of the old custom binary format, support for the Discord Rich Presence API, they added support for displaying decals on the surface of an object and loads more. Wonderful to see it alive and well!

Along with the update to the FS2 Open game engine, they also put up a refresh of their MediaVPs. These are the extra files you can download and enable, which contain all of the enhanced artwork and graphics that take advantage of the new capabilities of the FS2 Open. The MediaVPs update includes new animations, new sound effects and even more high-resolution art. If you've never played it with the MediaVPs, it really does make Freespace 2 look a lot better.

Note: You do need to have the original data files for Freespace 2, you can pick up a copy easily on GOG.com.

See the FS2 Open update announcement here (plus GitHub). Thankfully they're using an AppImage now so running FS2 Open is reasonably easy across distributions. Also see the MediaVPs update post here.

To this day, the gameplay still holds up well. See one of our classic videos on it below:


Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Top-down Battle Royale 'Geneshift' has a new trailer and tutorial as it moves closer to F2P

Tuesday 11th of February 2020 10:49:34 AM

Tags: Steam, Indie Game, Humble Store, Action, Early Access, Battle Royale

Geneshift has been through an evolution over the last two years. It already had a single-player and co-op campaign, tons of online modes and then a Battle Royale mode was added which has been the newer focus. It's coming closer to completion now too.

Eventually, the plan still seems to be for the game to go free to play, with a DLC that unlocks everything. To get things going they have a new flashy website and trailer to explain it all a bit better:


Watch video on YouTube.com

It is a huge amount of fun, even when playing against bots which are still pretty good. Obviously a lot more fun with others though, nothing like being the last one standing amongst your friends. Being able to drive around and cause chaos is definitely my favourite part of Geneshift.

Also added is a newer tutorial flow, giving first-time players a self-hosted bot game with a checklist to go through to ease people into the unique flavour Geneshift offers up.

Feature Highlight:

  • Battle Royale Turbo: Be the last man standing in the new Battle Royale mode, where each round only lasts 2 minutes.
  • Singleplayer/Co-op Campaign: Play through the tongue-in-cheek storyline, either solo or with up to 4 friends online.
  • Tactical Multiplayer Combat: Fight players or bots online in modes like Capture the Flag, FFA Deathmatch, and Conquest.
  • Insane Vehicle Action: Ride with allies to do drive-by shootings, detonate car bombs and capture key objectives.
  • Over 30 Tactical Skills: Create complex skill builds as you gain experience and permanently level up your mutant.
  • Over 20 Brutal Weapons: Fire pistols, shotguns, snipers, explosives... or save up for the deadly superweapons.
  • Secret Base Building: Place hidden chemicals to gain secret benefits, like selling weapons and teleportation.

If you buy it now before it goes Free to Play, you get the DLC to keep everything. You can pick up a copy from Humble Store and Steam. Steam also has a demo that allows you to play online with some limits.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Open source sim 'OpenTTD' enters feature freeze for the next major version

Tuesday 11th of February 2020 10:30:55 AM

Tags: Free Game, Open Source, Simulation, Update

The classic free and open source sim OpenTTD, based upon the popular Microprose game "Transport Tycoon Deluxe" has now entered a feature freeze period with the first Release Candidate out for the upcoming major update.

OpenTTD 1.10.0-RC1 went out a few days ago and while they're now not including new features due to the freeze, this version does have plenty in it. Features like supplying a reason to people who get kicked/banned when playing online, item highlighting under the mouse cursor in the file browser, a separate window for taking screenshots, the ability to configure the game ending year, the ability to take a full mini-map screenshot, logic improvements for sharing industry production between 3 or more stations, a cargo filter for the industry directory window and there's plenty of crash-bugs that got solved.

It's shaping up to be a really big release now especially with all the modernisation going on with the code like the newer SDL 2 video driver added in a previous beta, multiple big performance improvements are in, more flexible docks and plenty more.

You don't need data files from anything else to enjoy OpenTTD, as it has plenty of free graphics sets available as well as sound/music too. However, you can use the Transport Tycoon Deluxe data files too. See more on the official OpenTTD website.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Humble Bundle introducing regional pricing for bundles - also running a Valentines sale

Tuesday 11th of February 2020 09:56:34 AM

Tags: Game Sale, Humble Store

Humble Bundle announced yesterday that they're bringing in regional pricing for their bundles to make their whole store more "consistent".

Before this change you would have the Humble Store in various currencies, Humble Choice was also in different currencies and then all their other bundles were in US Dollars. Their statement sent to us was short and to the point:

Today, Monday, February 10, 2020, we’re making purchasing more consistent across our store, bundles and Humble Choice by introducing regional pricing for all of our bundles. The following currencies are supported for bundles: EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, TRY, RUB, and PHP. 

Please note, for live bundles launched before today, the currency is still in USD.

When asking on how they're working out the pricing for each currency, they said it will depend on exchange rates and provided this link.

Additionally, ahead of Valentines Day on February 14 they're running a big Lovers x Fighters sale and of course there's some wonderful (and some weird) Linux games on sale. Some fun picks:

Plus a bunch more. The Lovers x Fighters sale runs until February 17, 6PM UTC.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

A note on using Steam Play Proton and counting the sales for Linux

Monday 10th of February 2020 11:01:21 PM

Tags: Steam, Valve, Steam Play

Back in August 2018, Valve announced their new Steam Play feature with the Proton software in the Linux Steam client to play Windows-only Steam games on Linux. A little note about what platform is counted for sales.

When we spoke to Valve originally back then (shown in an update to our original article), we asked about how the sales would show up for developers and this was the response:

Hey Liam, the normal algorithm is in effect, so if at the end of the two weeks you have more playtime on Linux, it'll be a Linux sale. Proton counts as Linux.

It seems that there might be some issues where it's not correctly counted, so it shows up as a normal Windows sale as a user noted on Reddit. Since reaching out to Valve, developer Pierre-Loup Griffais has released this quick and simple statement on Twitter for all to read:

That doesn't seem like intended behavior, we'll look into it. At this early stage, the team's focus is still on compatibility and performance, so it might take a little bit.

As with anything new and in constant development there's going to be teething issues. Hopefully this hasn't been too widespread though.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

System Shock 3 development has been left in limbo with lots of people leaving OtherSide Entertainment

Monday 10th of February 2020 12:56:23 PM

Tags: Misc

Were you excited about System Shock 3? Not to be confused with the remake of System Shock in development by Nightdive, this was the follow-up being made by OtherSide Entertainment that now looks less likely to be released.

The situation had been a little uneasy for a while, and it was likely to come to Linux at some point but now we've heard that more and more people have left OtherSide. Something that's not really a good look, is that on OtherSide's own forum there's a thread detailing layoffs since June last year. In the last few months the Design Director, Senior Environment Artist, Senior UI Developer and more have all left. According to a post from an anonymous developer on RPG Codex (given some legitimacy from OtherSide's former Community Manager who linked to it) "the team is no longer employed there." which doesn't sound good.

You can see some footage from System Shock 3 from last year below:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Always a shame but considering they were already stretched thin with their budget across last year, as mentioned numerous times in weekly updates for Underworld Ascendant (the Linux version eventually released) by their former community manager, it was surprising they had enough to continue on with System Shock 3 at all.

OtherSide have remained quiet on any official word, with their Discord seeing very little official activity and it's the same across their other social networks like Twitter. Their official site doesn't even have anything posted since October last year.

Thankfully, the remake of System Shock from Nightdive is starting to really look good and should be out sometime later this year.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

RPG and Visual Novel mix 'Planet Stronghold 2' enters full Beta and looks great

Monday 10th of February 2020 11:47:56 AM

Tags: Steam, Indie Game, RPG, Itch.io, Visual Novel, Beta

Probably one of the most interesting mixes of a Visual Novel and an RPG (and some dating sim stuff), Planet Stronghold 2 is full-steam ahead in production and a full Beta is now up.

You're tasked with saving your colony, Planet Stronghold, from various threats that will appear as you explore more across the isometric map. As you progress you capture resources, do a little crafting and engage in turn-based battles against both hostile aliens and other humans too. Overall, it certainly is a unique blend.

The planet you're on also might be on the verge of a big change, with a series of earthquakes worrying scientists that all life could be about to get wiped-out. I'm definitely curious on what happens here.

Feature Highlight:

  • Play as male or female with full skills customization and various romance options
  • Branching plot featuring some tough and mutually exclusive choices
  • Use non-combat skills to advance in the plot outside combat
  • Along and satisfying story of over 350,000 words!
  • Eleven different endings based on your choices!

You can pick it up right now while it's in Beta on itch.io and also wishlist/follow on Steam. The full version is expected in the first half of this year.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Mixing 2D and 3D gameplay together - the platformer Neko Ghost, Jump! has a demo up

Monday 10th of February 2020 11:17:39 AM

Tags: Steam, Indie Game, Upcoming, Platformer, Demo

Platformers have come a very long way since the days of the Amiga and the Sega Mega Drive and while I still love them, I'm always keen to see how developers can tweak the basic idea. Neko Ghost, Jump! seems like it hits the sweet spot for this.

Combing gameplay from 2D and 3D platformers, enabling you to tap a button and switch between modes. It's a wonderful way to blend the two together. Not just for show though and more than a gimmick, as you will need to switch between the two to overcome obstacles.

Certain things can only be done in 2D while others in 3D and it's actually good fun. A little rough in places as expected from a demo with a few texture issues, plus the controls feel a bit too slack with your character sliding and floating a bit too far. Other than that, it could be a great platformer when finished.

Feature Highlight:

  • 2D and 3D perspective switching to get through puzzles in each level
  • Unique enemies and bosses in each biome (7 at launch)
  • Leaderboards in every level (and a 100% completion one), are you number one yet?
  • Character customization at your home

Originally made for a Game Jam, the team at Burgos Games decided they had something there and so they're pushing it forwards into a full game. You can see a comparison on how far it's come in this linked video.

There's a demo up on Steam now with a release "Coming Soon". Also, the developer mentioned to us on Twitter that they're looking for beta-testers, if you're interested in helping you can ask on their Discord Channel.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Brilliant and unique Metroidvania 'Dandara' getting a Trials of Fear Edition - free update

Monday 10th of February 2020 10:24:57 AM

Tags: Steam, Upcoming, Adventure, Humble Store, Action, Update, Metroidvania

Publisher Raw Fury recently announced that Dandara, a unique gravity-defying Metroidvania from developer Long Hat House, is getting a Trials of Fear Edition.

It's going to be a free update to everyone who owns it which will include a new "Hidden Realms" area full of new places to explore, a new big boss, new powers for Dandara, a new ability, new music and a "secret" ending plus some extra quality of life updates to make the game smoother. Something they're also doing is adding a whole new focus on the story, expanding the lore of the world of Salt and the inhabitants. This includes new descriptions, dialogue, cut-scenes and an expanded soundtrack too.


Watch video on YouTube.com

There's no exact date for when Trials of Fear will release other than "Soon", with Raw Fury confirming the Linux version will see the update too (and they were very clear on it). Hopefully we won't be left waiting a while like last time though, as Dandara is an absolutely brilliant experience and more of it is absolutely welcome and I look forward to making my head spin with it again.

You can grab a copy from Humble Store and Steam.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Recover a barren wasteland in the city-builder puzzler 'Terra Nil' - currently free

Monday 10th of February 2020 10:08:16 AM

Tags: Indie Game, Free Game, Unity, Puzzle, Itch.io, City Builder

Currently free as it was originally made during a Game Jam, Terra Nil is a city-builder with a difference. It's not about building a huge city or getting a big population but rather you helping nature to recover.

That's definitely an unusual setting, reminding me somewhat of Surviving Mars: Green Planet only with pixel-art and a much smaller and focused setting. While it's somewhat a city-builder, it's also a strategy/puzzle hybrid game all in one too due to the way the levels are made requiring you to plan your steps to beat it.

A brilliant idea too and it does look fantastic! I've been keeping an eye on it and they recently put up an expanded version which has improved it dramatically.

A whole new tier of buildings is in giving it a bit more depth, there's 4 different biomes now, it's had an overhaul of the art, plenty of little quality of life features to make it easier to play, waterfalls were added and new music.

They're not entirely sure what they will be doing with it but this writer hopes they continue developing it, as it's just such a wonderful idea. Especially on-point with all the talk of climate change. Quite a good game for bite-sized sessions too, as levels don't take a particularly long time. However, it could be expanded in many ways with bigger maps and new mechanics that I can see so much potential here it's exciting.

You can try it free on itch.io right now with builds for Linux, macOS and Windows.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Inspired by Master of Orion, free and open source 'FreeOrion' has a new release up

Monday 10th of February 2020 09:40:29 AM

Tags: Free Game, Open Source, Strategy, Simulation

The free and open source space strategy sim FreeOrion has a new release out, the first in quite some time.

Inspired by the Master of Orion series (they say it's not a clone) there's plenty of obvious similarities but it does play quite differently. Good to see it alive and well too, the 0.4.9 release that went up yesterday was the first major build since 2018.

Since the last release, the multiplayer side of FreeOrion has seen some big advancements. You can now run a "hostless" server without anyone connected and leave it running for people to play their turns asynchronously, chat is shared between the lobby and the game, chat window will flash to show you have a message, previously joined servers are saved and appear in the servers list of the connection window, Empires in a game can be restricted to certain players based on username-password authentication, an optional turn timer is in and more. A big quality of life update for the online multiplayer and it sounds like it's a lot better.

As for the rest of the game, the changes there are pretty huge too. The AI got multiple improvements to make it smarter, the in-game encyclopedia was expanded, you get a situation report for weapon upgrades and detection upgrades, you now get informed on changing relations between Empires, the "Fulver" species was added, new graphics for various space features like the ion storm plus the usual balance changes and bug fixes.

You can see the full 0.4.9 changelog here.

The easiest way to install FreeOrion is by the Snap Package, especially as it still currently depends on Python2 which most distributions are phasing-out.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Steam hit another all-time high for concurrent users - as did Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Sunday 9th of February 2020 07:11:19 PM

Tags: Steam, Valve

Does this seem familiar? You would be right. In the last week, both Steam and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive hit new records for users online and they've been broken yet again today. Absolute madness.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive went from a record of 850,485 set in 2016 to a new record of 876,575 set on Saturday February 8. This was then smashed on Sunday, February 9 as CS:GO hit around 901,681 (SteamDB). Pretty damn good for a first-person shooter that's been around since 2012.

Then we have Steam itself which went from a record of 18,537,490 set in January 2018 up to 18,801,944 this month. Again, that record has been smashed with a new high of around 19,107,803 users on Sunday February 8 (SteamDB).

What do you think is driving all this sudden and repeating growth?

Shows that in the face of increasing competition, Valve is once again continuing to grow their Steam platform. Good news for us since Valve continue to try and improve Linux gaming with Proton for Steam Play, the ACO shader compiler for AMD, their new experimental Container system and also Gamescope. That's only the tip of the iceberg too—Valve do quite a lot it's just not often talked about outside Linux circles.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

More in Tux Machines

FreeBSD 11.4-RC2 Now Available

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA256

The second RC build of the 11.4-RELEASE release cycle is now available.

Installation images are available for:

o 11.4-RC2 amd64 GENERIC
o 11.4-RC2 i386 GENERIC
o 11.4-RC2 powerpc GENERIC
o 11.4-RC2 powerpc64 GENERIC64
o 11.4-RC2 sparc64 GENERIC
o 11.4-RC2 armv6 BANANAPI
o 11.4-RC2 armv6 BEAGLEBONE
o 11.4-RC2 armv6 CUBIEBOARD
o 11.4-RC2 armv6 CUBIEBOARD2
o 11.4-RC2 armv6 CUBOX-HUMMINGBOARD
o 11.4-RC2 armv6 RPI-B
o 11.4-RC2 armv6 RPI2
o 11.4-RC2 armv6 WANDBOARD
o 11.4-RC2 aarch64 GENERIC

Note regarding arm SD card images: For convenience for those without
console access to the system, a freebsd user with a password of
freebsd is available by default for ssh(1) access.  Additionally,
the root user password is set to root.  It is strongly recommended
to change the password for both users after gaining access to the
system.

Installer images and memory stick images are available here:

    https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/ISO-IMAGES/11.4/

The image checksums follow at the end of this e-mail.

If you notice problems you can report them through the Bugzilla PR
system or on the -stable mailing list.

If you would like to use SVN to do a source based update of an existing
system, use the "releng/11.4" branch.

A summary of changes since 11.4-RC1 includes:

o The wpa_supplicant.conf(5) file has been fixed in bsdinstall(8).

o An update to the leap-seconds file.

o An update to mlx5_core to add new port module event types to decode.

o SCTP fixes.

o LLVM config headers have been fixed to correctly add zlib support.

o The ena(4) driver has been updated to version 2.2.0.

o loader(8) fixes for userboot.

o Fixes for compliance with RFC3168.

o A ps(1) update to permit the '-d' and '-p' flags to be used mutually.

o A knob to flush RSB on context switches if the machine has SMEP has
  been added.

o A fix to Vagrant images requiring the shells/bash port.

A list of changes since 11.3-RELEASE is available in the releng/11.4
release notes:

    https://www.freebsd.org/relnotes/11-RC2/relnotes/article.html

Please note, the release notes page is not yet complete, and will be
updated on an ongoing basis as the 11.4-RELEASE cycle progresses.

=== Virtual Machine Disk Images ===

VM disk images are available for the amd64, i386, and aarch64
architectures.  Disk images may be downloaded from the following URL
(or any of the FreeBSD download mirrors):

    https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/VM-IMAGES/11.4-RC2/

The partition layout is:

    ~ 16 kB - freebsd-boot GPT partition type (bootfs GPT label)
    ~ 1 GB  - freebsd-swap GPT partition type (swapfs GPT label)
    ~ 20 GB - freebsd-ufs GPT partition type (rootfs GPT label)

The disk images are available in QCOW2, VHD, VMDK, and raw disk image
formats.  The image download size is approximately 135 MB and 165 MB
respectively (amd64/i386), decompressing to a 21 GB sparse image.

Note regarding arm64/aarch64 virtual machine images: a modified QEMU EFI
loader file is needed for qemu-system-aarch64 to be able to boot the
virtual machine images.  See this page for more information:

    https://wiki.freebsd.org/arm64/QEMU

To boot the VM image, run:

    % qemu-system-aarch64 -m 4096M -cpu cortex-a57 -M virt  \
	-bios QEMU_EFI.fd -serial telnet::4444,server -nographic \
	-drive if=none,file=VMDISK,id=hd0 \
	-device virtio-blk-device,drive=hd0 \
	-device virtio-net-device,netdev=net0 \
	-netdev user,id=net0

Be sure to replace "VMDISK" with the path to the virtual machine image.

=== Amazon EC2 AMI Images ===

FreeBSD/amd64 EC2 AMIs are available in the following regions:

  eu-north-1 region: ami-0e03245dc3ecc5d35
  ap-south-1 region: ami-0100269e4d1a56492
  eu-west-3 region: ami-04d69369363a0d91f
  eu-west-2 region: ami-054fee32718b85ae0
  eu-west-1 region: ami-0b4ed21ce2fcffb67
  ap-northeast-2 region: ami-0ab69ea831245c032
  ap-northeast-1 region: ami-014ed1c7002845dae
  sa-east-1 region: ami-0779883a279143da5
  ca-central-1 region: ami-03526c4e41fbc5c0c
  ap-southeast-1 region: ami-0a1526319c431a535
  ap-southeast-2 region: ami-07b5f0fabb533a3ca
  eu-central-1 region: ami-0538d62ee3be9f769
  us-east-1 region: ami-059d76ab6e6e4063a
  us-east-2 region: ami-0c46e32a6eb527e29
  us-west-1 region: ami-0d46479f45e84d1f2
  us-west-2 region: ami-04d001870b4236742

=== Vagrant Images ===

FreeBSD/amd64 images are available on the Hashicorp Atlas site, and can
be installed by running:

    % vagrant init freebsd/FreeBSD-11.4-RC2
    % vagrant up

=== Upgrading ===

The freebsd-update(8) utility supports binary upgrades of amd64 and i386
systems running earlier FreeBSD releases.  Systems running earlier
FreeBSD releases can upgrade as follows:

	# freebsd-update upgrade -r 11.4-RC2

During this process, freebsd-update(8) may ask the user to help by
merging some configuration files or by confirming that the automatically
performed merging was done correctly.

	# freebsd-update install

The system must be rebooted with the newly installed kernel before
continuing.

	# shutdown -r now

After rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to install the new
userland components:

	# freebsd-update install

It is recommended to rebuild and install all applications if possible,
especially if upgrading from an earlier FreeBSD release, for example,
FreeBSD 11.x.  Alternatively, the user can install misc/compat11x and
other compatibility libraries, afterwards the system must be rebooted
into the new userland:

	# shutdown -r now

Finally, after rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to remove
stale files:

	# freebsd-update install
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