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Debian Isn't Difficult, Fedora Elections Winners, Fav Distro

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Prospective users still avoid Debian initially because it's difficult to install, or so they believe. It turns out they're not basing their opinions on real life. Keith Curtis wrote up his experience installing Arch on his new Lenovo laptop, after a fairly complete hardware review as well. Jamie Watson got a new notebook too and today shared a bit on getting it ready for Linux. Part of that was booting Mint 18.1 which gave him something to smile about. Elsewhere, the Fedora committee elections results are in and Dominique Leuenberger posted a review of this week in Tumbleweed. Gary Newell test drove Elementary OS 0.4 and OpenSource.com asked, "What is your favorite Linux distribution?"

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Debian Updated, Mint KDE Beta, GIMP Preview

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Debian 8.7 was made available this last weekend to address the security and major bugs since 8.6 announced August 2016. As usual, those updating regularly don't need to do anything as they're already current. Elsewhere, Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre announced a beta for Mint 18.1 KDE, something I'm looking forward to testing. Alexandre Prokoudine, graphics engineer known for Inkscape and GIMP, posted a preview of new features coming in GIMP 2.10. Dominic Humphries recently revelled in the joy of Linux that just works and Jiri Eischmann compiled a list of the latest Fedora accolades, some I've missed.

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New User Distros, Powered By Linux, No Opera for You

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There are many companies who use or offer Linux and today Linux and Ubuntu rounded up 10 of the biggest. Elsewhere, Jack Wallen offered his suggestions for which distros might suite particular users of certain other operating systems. From Windows 7 to Mac, he found an Ubuntu-derivative for each. Yep, "there's a distribution for everyone," as long as it's Ubuntu. OMG!Ubuntu! reported today that Opera won't be providing new conceptual browser to Linux users, because they claim it's being developed "just for fun." Remember who else once said that? In other news, Canonical today plugged Dell's new Ubuntu laptops, Ubuntu Budgie announced a wallpaper contest, and MakeUseOf made use of Linux versus Windows today to illustrate how easy it can be to switch.

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More Raspberry Pi, Linux Pressure, Plasma 5.9

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Jonathan Riddell announced the latest KDE Plasma today to "kick off 2017 in style." While announcing Plasma 5.9 Beta, Riddell assured users that 5.8 LTS would continue to receive bug fixes. Weird thing to say for a developmental release. Relatedly, neon 20170112 was uploaded but not announced. In other news, Mint 18.1 took another one on the chin today at The Reg mainly for it's old base and Update Manager. Jamie Watson tested other distributions on his Raspberry Pis, this time Fedora, Manjaro, and Ubuntu MATE and Robin "Roblimo" Miller said Windows users should be grateful to Linux. That followed a similar themed story from the other day where a developer claims Valve Linux choice forced Microsoft to beef up Windows gaming support. It was another interesting day in the land of The Penguin.

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Why Mint's Not Best, Tumbling Tumbleweed, Fedora Elections

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It's that time of year again when all good blue hatters rush to the virtual polls to vote for their trusted leaders. The 2017 January Fedora elections are in full swing and Fedora account holders are urge to vote in the three categories this term. Elsewhere, Scott Gilbertson felt the need to explain his best distribution of the year choice and Douglas DeMaio is back from holiday with a report from Tumbleweed development. M.Hanny Sabbagh summarized Red Hat, SUSE, and Canonical today and VAR Guy contributor Christopher Tozzi concluded that the lines between Windows and Linux are blurring. Cynthia Harvey points out areas in everyday life that are already run by artificial intelligence and a cookie campaign convinced developers to bring Civilization 6 to Linux.

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SUSE Pi, Newest Linuxes, openSUSE on GPD Win

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There were several articles on portable Linux and devices today. Jamie Watson test drove the openSUSE, SUSE, and Tumbleweed for the Raspberry Pi. Unfortunately, he didn't have as much fun as anticipated with those tests. Speaking of openSUSE, Adrien Plazas is working on getting openSUSE installed and operative on the GPD Win gaming handheld that looks like a tiny laptop. Joey Sneddon reported today on the availability and price of the newest Dell Ubuntu mobile workstation and Scott Gilbertson reviewed the XPS 13. Finally, Brian Fagioli reported on System76's latest Superfan contest where users can win a trip to company headquarters in Denver.

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Polished Elementary, neon Goes Wayland, Most Popular OS

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Bertel King, Jr. tried to accentuate the positive over at MakeUseOf today in his review of Elementary OS, but rough edges did show through. Elsewhere, Jesse Smith liked SimpleMEPIS-based MX Linux 16, even if it isn't recommended for newbies, and Neil Rickert found Solus OS to be "congenial." Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols discussed operating system market share based on Website usage and Gary Newell summarized the top distros of 2016.

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Mint 18.1 Xfce Nearing, Weird Names, Die Linux Myths

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Clement Lefebvre today announced a beta release of Mint 18.1 Xfce with updated software, refinements, and "many new features." MakeUseOf chuckled at some of the crazy names folks pin on Linux distributions and Jan Vermeulen picked up on a Reddit conversation discussing Linux myths that "need to die." Elsewhere in Linux news, Bruce Byfield compared and contrasted Debian and Ubuntu while Mark Shuttleworth discussed Snappy vs. Flatpak.

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Not a OpenMandriva Review, Integrated Steam, Endless Linux PCs

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Neil Rickert today shared his experiences with OpenMandriva Lx 3.01 leading to another account indicating 3.01 wasn't quite soup yet. Elsewhere, Rajat Kabade reported that "Intel is all set to integrate Steam into its Clear Linux to make the existing gaming experience even better." Endless Computers is bringing its Mission One and Mini Linux boxes to the US market and Michael Larabel reported today on the latest on DRM moving to user space.

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Linux Calculated, Faint Shadow of OpenMandriva, Big Bother Absolutely

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Today in Linux news Blogger DarkDuck said that OpenMandriva has become a faint shadow of its namesake. That was despite getting it to work fairly well. Elsewhere, Techphylum offered a brief overview of Calculate Linux and Jack Germain said Absolute Linux was "the equivalent of driving a stick shift automobile with a crank-to-start mechanism." OMG!Ubuntu! reported on that 13 foot robot, that was said to be the "soldier of the future" somewhere, is programmed using Ubuntu and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols warned Linux will become more and more a target of hackers.

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Security News

  • Reproducible Builds: week 90 in Stretch cycle
    The F-Droid Verification Server has been launched. It rebuilds apps from source that were built by f-droid.org and checks that the results match.
  • 6 Week Progress Update for PGP Clean Room
    One of the PGP Clean Room’s aims is to provide users with the option to easily initialize one or more smartcards with personal info and pins, and subsequently transfer keys to the smartcard(s). The advantage of using smartcards is that users don’t have to expose their keys to their laptop for daily certification, signing, encryption or authentication purposes.
  • New Kali Linux Professional Information Security Certification to debut at Black Hat USA, 2017
    First Official Kali Linux book release will coincide with launch of the new information security training program as the Penetration Testing platform celebrates its 10th anniversary.
  • The flatpak security model – part 1: The basics
    This is the first part of a series talking about the approach flatpak takes to security and sandboxing. First of all, a lot of people think of container technology like docker, rkt or systemd-nspawn when they think of linux sandboxing. However, flatpak is fundamentally different to these in that it is unprivileged.
  • Newly discovered Mac malware found in the wild also works well on Linux [Ed: Only if fools are stupid enough to actually INSTALL malware.]
    The malware, which a recent Mac OS update released by Apple is detecting as Fruitfly, contains code that captures screenshots and webcam images, collects information about each device connected to the same network as the infected Mac, and can then connect to those devices, according to a blog post published by anti-malware provider Malwarebytes. It was discovered only this month, despite being painfully easy to detect and despite indications that it may have been circulating since the release of the Yosemite release of OS X in October 2014. It's still unclear how machines get infected. [...] Another intriguing finding: with the exception of Mac-formatted Mach object file binary, the entire Fruitfly malware library runs just fine on Linux computers.

Solus Goes Flatpak for Better, Reliable Distribution of Third-Party Applications

In an unexpected turn of events, Ikey Doherty, the founder and lead developer of the Solus Project announced a few moments ago that he's adopting the well-known Flatpak application sandboxing and distribution framework for the Solus operating system. Read more

Latest LibreELEC 8.0 Beta Updates Linux Kernel Support Patches for Raspberry Pi

A new development release of the LibreELEC open-source operating system for Raspberry Pi and similar embedded devices has been unveiled recently, versioned 7.95.1 Beta. LibreELEC lets you transform a Raspberry Pi into a HTPC. Read more