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Why The Linux Desktop Still Rocks

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For most of us in Africa, a feeling of owning a computer was always a fantasy. It seemed so far, and our wishes seemed impossible because Santa was a myth we only see in movies. The quick advancements in computing resulted in cheaper prices of computers, I got my first during my second year at the National University.

The feeling was captivating, I learned a few things and ultimately got to the point where I could install Window XP, but what about Linux? I did not hear of Linux until a year and half later and the worst part, I was misinformed about it. They said, "It is expensive and you cant get applications for Linux very easily", then about five years ago when I gave one of the Fedoras a try, it was weird but something I saw was worth exploring. Then I learned about Ubuntu and that is when the real exploration started.

I installed it without any audio or video, but I held on. I later got Real Player to work which allowed me to play some mp3s. That was one of my best days ever, doing something on my own without other people's intervention. From that day till now I have been distro hopping from one Ubuntu derivative to another and back. I can't believe I learned so much in so little time with such little resources.

Then a thought crossed my mind,

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systemd and DebConf16

  • systemd backport of v230 available for Debian/jessie
    At DebConf 16 I was working on a systemd backport for Debian/jessie. Results are officially available via the Debian archive now. In Debian jessie we have systemd v215 (which originally dates back to 2014-07-03 upstream-wise, plus changes + fixes from pkg-systemd folks of course). Now via Debian backports you have the option to update systemd to a very recent version: v230. If you have jessie-backports enabled it’s just an `apt install systemd -t jessie-backports` away. For the upstream changes between v215 and v230 see upstream’s NEWS file for list of changes. (Actually the systemd backport is available since 2016-07-19 for amd64, arm64 + armhf, though for mips, mipsel, powerpc, ppc64el + s390x we had to fight against GCC ICEs when compiling on/for Debian/jessie and for i386 architecture the systemd test-suite identified broken O_TMPFILE permission handling.)
  • DebConf16 low resolution videos
    If you go to the Debian video archive, you will notice the appearance of an "lq" directory in the debconf16 subdirectory of the archive. This directory contains low-resolution re-encodings of the same videos that are available in the toplevel.

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