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Softpedia News / Linux
Updated: 2 hours 15 min ago

Linus Torvalds Releases the “Really Big” Linux Kernel 5.8

Monday 3rd of August 2020 05:30:00 AM
Linus Torvalds has recently shipped Linux kernel 5,8, nearly a month of a half after he announced this release as a “really big” update that reminds of the 4.9 version.

“I considered making an rc8 all the way to the last minute, but decided it's not just worth waiting another week when there aren't any big looming worries around,” Torvalds explains.

New in this fresh version of the kernel are the updated drivers that add support for a series of Adreno GPU chips like the 405, 640, and 650 versions, the new Spectre patches, as well as exFAT refinements.

Radeon drivers are also getting improved support in this release, and so is the POWER10 chip whose launch is currently projected to happen sometime next year.

Lots of smaller changes

But as Torvalds said back in June, Linux kernel 5.8 i... (read more)

Windows Grows as Linux Declines a Little in July 2020

Monday 3rd of August 2020 04:11:00 AM
While many still believe that Windows is the only desktop operating system that’s worth using, the adoption of Linux has improved substantially in the last few months.

And Linux grew so much that it finally became the Windows competitor that Microsoft never wanted, something that was impossible to see happening a few years ago.

Meanwhile, the ascension of Linux in the desktop market has taken a break, as the July 2020 data provided by NetMarketShare shows that the open-source world actually declined a little last month.

More specifically, Linux stepped back from a 3.61% market share in June to 3.57% a month later. This isn’t the end of the world, there’s no doubt about it, and the small decline is something that can totally be erased with bigger growth in August.

If this is something that can happen remains to be seen, but a... (read more)

Run Mac OS 8 on Linux Because What Else Do You Have to Do Today?

Thursday 30th of July 2020 07:15:00 AM
If staying home for long becomes way too boring, how about running some ancient software on your Linux PC to get a taste of the software that we used to work with back in the ‘90s?

An Electron app released by developer Felix Rieseberg allows us to install Mac OS 8 on pretty much any Windows, Linux, or Mac computer, and the GitHub page of the project guarantees you’re going to get the full experience.

It’s a 1991 Macintosh Quadra that we’re talking about here, with the virtual machine emulating the OS running on a Motorola CPU, which is the one that Apple itself used on its computers before making the migration to PowerPC.

IE and Netscape pre-loaded

The app comes equipped with some of the apps that users loved the most nearly 30 years ago, including Internet Explorer and Netscape, although it goes without saying that neither would work to browse the web given the old technology that’s av... (read more)

While Apple Downplays Physical Kill Switches, Linux Laptops Get More of Them

Wednesday 29th of July 2020 01:51:00 PM
Covering the webcam of the laptop with a small piece of tape is something that so many people do, so a number of PC manufacturers tried to respond to this growing trend with a physical kill switch.

This isn’t the case of Apple, who not only that doesn’t offer a kill switch for the webcam on its MacBooks, but it also recommends against using tape to block it. This is because it can damage certain features of the laptop, such as the sensors that are placed around the front-facing camera. Or at least, that’s what the Cupertino-based tech giant claims.

Meanwhile, Purism, one of the companies that are betting big on privacy for its Linux laptops, keeps investing in new physical kill switches, explaining that nothing beats such a solution when it comes to protecting user privacy.

And more recently, the company announced that ... (read more)

What’s Pushing More and More Windows Users to Linux?

Tuesday 28th of July 2020 04:55:00 PM
As everybody knows already, Linux has recently recorded massive growth, with its market share increasing pretty much every single month as more users decided to give the platform a shot.

This data pretty much speaks for itself. While Windows is more or less losing ground, Linux keeps growing, so at first glance, there’s a very obvious transition that’s happening from Microsoft’s operating system to the world of Linux.

The en-masse switch to Linux isn’t necessarily surprising when we look at the recent changes that happened for Windows users.

Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 in January this year, asking users still running the 2009 operating system to upgrade to Windows 10.

For many, however, Windows 7 was the only way to go as far as Microsoft’s operating system was concerned. And this happened for two reasons.

First, it’s because Windows 7 was just running smoothly on their devices, and these users don’t want to spend extra on new hardware to enjoy the ful... (read more)

Mozilla Firefox 79 Is Now Available for Download on Windows, Linux, Mac

Monday 27th of July 2020 02:10:00 PM
Mozilla Firefox 79 is projected to officially launch on July 28, but the parent company has already updated its FTP servers with the new version.

In other words, while the official announcement will be made tomorrow, you can already download Firefox 79 for Windows, Linux, and macOS.

The first beta build of Firefox 79 was published on June 30, 2020, and while Mozilla hasn’t announced any major changes in this build, it still comes with a series of changes that are worth highlighting.

For example, Mozilla warns that older macOS versions are no longer supported by Firefox, so version 79 won’t be shipped to these releases.

“macOS versions 10.9, 10.10 and 10.11 are no longer supported by Firefox. Users of these macOS versions are recommended to switch to Firefox ESR 78.x in order to continue receivi... (read more)

Linux Hardware Company Blasts Apple for Webcam Security Advice

Wednesday 22nd of July 2020 05:11:00 PM
Apple has recently told users not to use webcam covers on MacBooks because this approach would eventually damage the device and prevent certain features from working.

The company says MacBook users can simply rely on the camera indicator light, whose role is to help determine whether the camera is active or not.

On the other hand, hardware kill switches are very often the preferred choice in terms of webcam security, and it’s all simply because such a method can’t be hacked in case a malicious actor breaks into the device.

This is why Purism, a company that’s building Linux computers promising uncompromised security, says Apple’s security advice is “discouraging,” explaining that the Cupertino-based tech giant actually wants to go for a “just trust us” kind of... (read more)

A Closer Look at the Pinebook Pro $199 Linux Laptop

Monday 20th of July 2020 05:47:00 PM
The number of Linux laptops that you can buy today is growing, as more and more companies notice the opportunity of investing in a platform whose adoption keeps improving.

On the other hand, PINE64 is one of the companies that have always been very committed to Linux, so its device portfolio currently includes several models that customers can purchase at really good prices.

More recently, the firm announced a new super-affordable Linux laptop that will begin shipping in August.

It’s the Pinebook Pro, a new $199 laptop that comes with specs which for the casual user could be more than enough. But on the other hand, it’s important to have a closer look at everything, especially if you’re a power user that expects top performance from your next computer.

First and foremost, it’s the processor. PINE64 has equipped the Pinebook Pr... (read more)

KaOS Linux 2020.07 Now Available for Download

Monday 20th of July 2020 01:58:00 PM
KaOS Linux has just received another substantial stable update, two months after the previous release labeled as version 2020.05.

Needless to say, this new update brings KaOS Linux to version 2020.07, and the main highlight this time is the introduction of Plasma 5.19.

So the Linux distro is getting all the goodies that are part of this Plasma update too, including refinements to the system tray applets, notifications, and system monitor widgets.

Very important to know is that this new update for KaOS also includes firmware revisions that are available in the pre-loaded repositories. The dev team explains the following:

“A few new firmwares/modules have been added to the repositories, this include sof-firmware (needed for newer sound-cards, will move to linux-firmware soon according to upstream reports) and two new rtl wifi modules (rtl8723de & rtl8821ce). New applications added include Photoflare, the musicplayer VVave (the successor of Babe) and Kdiff3.”

read more)

Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine Is Now Dead for Good

Sunday 19th of July 2020 07:47:00 AM
Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) has officially reached the end of support on July 17, which means that devices still running this version would no longer be provided with security patches and any other updates.

Running unsupported software is something that’s certainly not recommended, and security experts across the world advise users to upgrade to versions that still receive patches.

Malicious actors could use vulnerabilities discovered in outdated software to break into computers and access unauthorized data, and without security patches, these flaws would just stay unfixed.

As far as Ubuntu users are concerned, those running version 19.10 are recommended to update to 20.04 as soon as possible to deal with the risks mentioned above.

“No more package updates will be accepted to 19.10, and it will be archived to in the coming weeks,” Canonical warns.

“Ubuntu 20.04 continues to be actively supported with security updates and select high-impact... (read more)

Google Considering Dual-Screen Chromebook as Microsoft Surface Neo Rival

Sunday 19th of July 2020 07:15:00 AM
The world of dual-screen devices will definitely expand beyond Android and Windows, and of course, Apple will certainly join this evolving trend at some point in the near future.

Undoubtedly, Google doesn’t want to be left behind either, so the Mountain View-based search giant has already started the work on a dual-screen Chromebook, according to a recent report.

Featuring two separate touchscreens, this Chromebook prototype is codenamed “Palkia” and is supposed to be a direct rival to dual-screen Windows devices, including Microsoft’s very own Surface Neo powered by Windows 10X.

On the other hand, Palkia is still in its very early days, and for the time being, it’s just a concept with very small chances to make it behind this stage.

Limited clamshell-based approach

For now, however, there’s a lot we don’t know about this mysterious Google Chromeboo... (read more)

The Final Debian 9 “Stretch” Update Is Now Available for Download

Sunday 19th of July 2020 06:54:00 AM
Debian 9.13 is now available for the download as the last update for version 9, also known as Stretch, and as it happens every time, the changelog includes software improvements and security fixes.

Needless to say, this is a point release, and the Debian team emphasizes this is the final update in the entire series, which means that you are recommended to upgrade to Debian 10 as soon as possible.

“After this point release, Debian's Security and Release Teams will no longer be producing updates for Debian 9. Users wishing to continue to receive security support should upgrade to Debian 10, or see for details about the subset of architectures and packages covered by the Long Term Support project,” the team explains.

Of course, those who have already updated their devices using the mirror are almost up-to-date, so today’s release doesn’t change much.

However, it does include important bug fixes and security improvement... (read more)

The New Features Coming to Skype for Windows, Linux, and Mac

Thursday 16th of July 2020 07:59:00 PM
While the entire world has migrated to apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams to work from home during these difficult times, Skype continues to be a rather popular choice for all those who just want to stay in touch with friends without the need for any other productivity features.

So yes, Microsoft has no reason to kill off Skype, as some people predicted, but what’s more, the company even keeps improving it with additional features released on a regular basis.

More recently, Microsoft has shipped Skype 8.62, and this new update brings several improvements to the desktop client.

First and foremost, this new update includes additional goodies for those who want to set up a custom background during a video call.

As we learned already, sometimes the hard way, having a custom background during a video call is a must, especially because, you know, we’re staying home together with kids and the rest of the family. So to prevent accidents, a custom background actually come... (read more)

Google Chrome 84 Released for Linux, Windows, macOS

Wednesday 15th of July 2020 05:03:00 PM
Google has recently released a new version of Chrome browser on all supported desktop platforms, and the changelog includes several security fixes, as well as improvements under the hood.

First and foremost, Google Chrome 84 packs no less than 38 security fixes, including for a critical heap buffer overflow bug in background fetch. The search giant says the issue was reported by Leecraso and Guang Gong of 360 Alpha Lab working with 360 BugCloud earlier this month.

There are no less than seven different security vulnerabilities with a high severity rating, and Google says it paid thousands of dollars in bounties to researchers who discovered them.

As for what’s new for the casual user, probably the biggest change happening in Chrome 84 is the new behavior that automatically mutes notifications from websites that are labeled as abusive. In other words, if you previously ended up on websites that bombarded you with notifications, this should no longer happen after in... (read more)

Mozilla Officially Launches VPN Service, Linux Version Coming Too

Wednesday 15th of July 2020 04:52:00 PM
Mozilla has officially launched its VPN service in a total of six different countries, and the company says that it plans to expand it to more regions and platforms in the coming months.

At this point, Mozilla VPN is available for users in the US, the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia, running Windows, Android, and iOS (still in beta). Mozilla says it’s already working on macOS and Linux clients for its VPN service, but an ETA hasn’t been shared.

Mozilla explains that what sets its own VPN product apart from the rest of its competitors is the actual speed that users are provided with after enabling the client.

“The first thing you may notice when you install the Mozilla VPN is how fast your browsing experience is. That’s because the Mozilla VPN is based on modern and lean technology, the WireGuard protocol’s 4,000 lines of code, is a fraction in size of legacy protocols used by other VPN service providers,” the company explains.

Available fo... (read more)

Linux Is Becoming the Windows Alternative Microsoft Never Wanted

Monday 13th of July 2020 03:31:00 PM
While many believe that Windows was, is, and will continue to be the preferred choice on the desktop, the most recent market share statistics show that Microsoft’s operating system is slowly but surely losing ground in the PC world.

And while Apple’s macOS is still considered a solid but expensive (from a hardware perspective) alternative to Windows, 2020 is gradually turning out to be the year of Linux.

Linux has long been described as a rival to Windows, only that its adoption has more or less stagnated at a level that allowed Microsoft to always be sure that its desktop domination would survive in the long term.

In other words, the Linux install base, especially in the consumer market, has never improved at a pace that would have threatened Windows’ leading position in the operating system market.

And now everything’s changing, as Linux keeps growing and growing, and nothing seems to stop it from reaching new adoption records in the coming months.

As I’ve sai... (read more)

This Linux OS Looks Exactly Like Windows 10, Is Bad News for Microsoft

Monday 13th of July 2020 11:35:00 AM
If you’re currently running Windows 10 but recently started thinking about a potential switch to Linux, there’s a chance that you’re still undecided on what distro to install on your device.

While Ubuntu, Linux Mint, or elementary OS work just fine, there’s one Linux distro that makes former Windows 10 users feel like home.

It’s called Linuxfx and its purpose is to make the transition from Windows to Linux as smooth as possible.

As you can see in the screenshot here and in the video embedded at the end of the article, Linuxfx looks and feels exactly like Windows 10. You also get a Start menu with a Windows Start button – this one, however, could actually be an issue, as Microsoft might not like seeing its Windows logo in another OS.

Built-in Cortana-like assistant

Needless to say, this is just a skin on top of a Linux operating system, and the Linuxfx developing team explains that they... (read more)

Debian 8 "Jessie" LTS Is Now Dead for Good

Thursday 9th of July 2020 09:16:00 PM
If you’re still running Debian 8 on your device, you’d better update the system as soon as possible, as this particular release has officially reached the end of support.

Debian 8, also codenamed Jessie, is no longer supported as of June 30, 2020, which means that any computers still running it would no longer be provided with any security updates.

And it goes without saying that security updates are critical for the entire experience on Linux, so you should update to Debian 9 as soon as it goes live.

Debian 8 was released on April 26, 2015, and like all the other Debian LTS releases, it came with a total of five years of support. The deadline has now been reached, and the Debian team emphasizes it’s critical for everyone to update the operating system as soon as possible.

Next LTS release

Debian 9, also called Stretch, is projected to go live on July 18 for LTS devices.

“The LTS Team will prepare the transition to Debian 9 “Stretch,” which is ... (read more)

Linus Torvalds Says He’s No Longer a Programmer: My Job Is to Say No

Sunday 5th of July 2020 06:51:00 AM
Linus Torvalds, often called the father of Linux, discussed his role as a kernel maintainer in a conversation with Dirk Hohndel, VMware's vice president and chief open source officer, at the Open Source Summit and Embedded Linux Conference: Europe.

And while many people believe that Torvalds spends most of the time coding because, you know, this is what kernel updates are all about, this isn’t necessarily what he’s doing.

In fact, Torvalds reveals that he’s no longer coding at all, and he spends most of the time in the email app. This is also where he typically writes some code, but it’s not exactly what you think.

“I read email, I write email, I do no coding at all anymore,” he says.

“Most of the code I write, I actually write inside my mail reader. So somebody sends me a patch, or more commonly they send me a pull request or there's a discussion about the next pull request, and there's something I react to and say, 'No, this is fine, but...' And I send out pseu... (read more)

Librem Mini Linux Computer Now Available with Active Cooling

Sunday 5th of July 2020 06:01:00 AM
Purism has just announced that its mini PC, which is intuitively called Librem Mini, will now ship with active cooling enabled by default.

Last week, the company confirmed that the Librem Mini was ready to ship, only that it came across a problem that forced them to stick with passive cooling.

“As with any newly brought to market product, the Librem Mini running PureOS will have software updates to apply as we continue to refine the firmware. One forthcoming software update that we want to bring to your attention concerns the fan speed control, as currently the CPU is passively cooled and may throttle down under heavy load,” the company said.

Active cooling now available for everyone

Librem confirmed at that point that a firmware update would be released to enable active cooling on all Librem Mini computers, but the company decided to reach out to customers who ordered the device and let them choose between getting the system with passive cooling... (read more)