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MDV

OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 "Argon": First Impressions after Install

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MDV

Please do not misinterpret me. I do not mean that I under appreciate the hard work of the OpenMandriva developers and community in making sure that everything under the hood of this distro functions smoothly; it's quite the opposite. I, for one, truly value their commitment and effort. However, I cannot pretend to grasp the technicalities. I am one of those users who do not understand what "Qt Framework 5.15.2, LLVM/clang 11.0.1, systemd 247, Java 15, Calamares 3.2.35, binutils 2.36.1, gcc 10.2." imply on the system.

My perspective is, then, one of a non-technical user and this is what I have seen so far...

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OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 is out now

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MDV

The OpenMandriva Team is pleased to announce the general availability of the latest stable version. Say hello to OpenMandriva Lx 4.2.

OpenMandriva Lx is a unique and independent distribution, direct descendant of Mandriva Linux and the first Linux distribution using the LLVM toolchain by default since 2015.

In the OpenMandriva Lx system the users can do anything they are used to doing with the proprietary systems, but it is free and already includes many pieces of software you have to pay for in the proprietary world, from office suites to video editors to games.

OMLx 4.2 is now even easier to use with improved OM Welcome, the brand-name tool which makes possible to install a range of well known applications with just one click.

This release comes with the latest and brightest KDE products (see below for technical details).
This version also includes:
LibreOffice suite 7.1.0, Krita 4.4.2, Digikam 7.2, SMPlayer 21.1.0, VLC 3.0.12.1, Falkon browser 3.1, SimpleScreenRecorder 0.4.3;
Desktop Presets (om-feeling-like) to customize the appearance of your OpenMandriva Plasma desktop to look and feel similar to other systems you may be used to;
Software Repository Selector (om-repo-picker) to enable additional repositories with thousands of additional Free Software packages.

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Test driving Mageia 8 RC

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MDV
Reviews

After learning that the Mageia 8 RC is available, I downloaded the live .iso and gave it a quick run.

I must say that, as a user that has been on the Mageia ship since the release of Mageia 1 back in 2010, one of the features that I appreciate from the project is its consistency and visual stability.

Please do not get me wrong: of course I appreciate innovation! However, non-technical users of Linux tend to get puzzled after becoming familiar with a distro just to find that developers, in subsequent releases, change the UI so much that they feel alienated by the OS.

Most of the changes in Mageia happen under the hood, so the UI has remained pretty stable from the beginning. In fact, upon booting Mageia 8 RC, my untrained eye sees no big difference other than the updated wallpaper: Mageia just feels familiar and keeps the consistent Mandriva PowerPack UI (license, country, language, etc). This is great as I will not feel lost when I decide to install it.

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Announcing Mageia 8 RC1

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MDV

We look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback so that we can continue workingto get Mageia 8 ready for release.

Mageia 8’s new artwork has also been integrated, the community has made some really nice images, here is the new signature background, as well as the additional backgrounds that will be included.

PHP was recently updated to 8.0.2, therefore, feedback on PHP applications will be helpful to check for issues. The NVIDIA drivers have been switched to gl-vendor-neutral-dispatch, so MESA applications can work on such systems, with 460 series on x86_64 and 390 series still available. Note that the NVIDIA 340 series is no longer supported. DrakX, our installer, will switch supported systems to NVIDIA 390 where possible, or use the nouveau driver if they are unsupported by the newer drivers.

For Amd graphic cards based on Southern Islands family (Tahiti, Pitcairn, Oland, Verde, Hainan) and Sea Islands family (Kaveri, Bonaire, Hawaii, Kabini, Mullins) we are now defaulting to the newer amdgpudriver instead of the older Radeon, and feedback, if it works properly or not on your hardware, would be helpful.

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Mageia Artwork Voting

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MDV

With the first release candidate due in the coming weeks, it’s time to get the artwork for Mageia 8 finished. Before we get down to choosing the images, it’s really great to see all of the submissions and how creative people are, they will definitely help make Mageia 8 look great, our thanks to everyone that has given their time for this.

There will be two votes, one for backgrounds and one for screensavers. The signature background will be chosen from the top 5, the runners up will be included as additional backgrounds. The screensavers will be taken from the top 20 images that are suitable.

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OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 RC available for testing

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MDV

The RC milestone of OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 release cycle has been released.

Warning: This is a development product, and it is not aimed to be used in a production environment.

Release Candidate has the potential to be a final product.
A short time ago we anticipated the release of Beta in December, and the product got an intensive internal testing. The testers reported that current quality is more close to RC than Beta.
Basically, RC will become the final OMLx 4.2 release very soon, unless we get serious bug reports.
On this regard we exhort all OpenMandriva users to test our system and report any issue you may find at our forum or at our Issues Tracker system.
You can get in touch real time with our developers at IRC channel #openmandriva-cooker on freenode and #openmandriva-cooker:matrix.org in matrix.

Please note development releases 'Update channel' is set to Rolling by default.

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Mageia 8 Artwork Contest, Take Two

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MDV

Sadly when we ran the first contest the translation and announcements into many of our communities didn’t happen so many submissions were missed out on, to solve this, we will run the contest again, from 2020/12/18 until 2021/1/1. It will use the same pool for submissions, so any artwork that has been previously submitted will be included automatically, but if there are additional pieces or new versions, please feel free to add them.

Below is the original announcement with the rules and guidelines, as well as the link to the collection pool.

As in previous years, we’re looking for your contributions and ideas, but not just images and photos – if you have icons and logos, or ideas on how login screens or animations should look, then it’s time to discuss or show them off.

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Mageia 8 in beta2

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GNU
Linux
MDV

We are happy to announce the release of Mageia 8 Beta 2. After a long time since the beta 1, we look forward to hearing your feedback and thoughts so that we can continue to get Mageia 8 ready for release.As we said in a previous post, a lot of work had to be done for the basesystem upgrade, java, kernel, and the graphical stack. These upgrades are now in a state that allows for the Beta 2 ISO’s to be built and tested.

[...]

A full list of included packages is available in the .idx file for the classical installation media or the .lst file for the live iso images.

For those that want to jump in and test straight away, the images can be downloaded here, as always with pre-release images, use your best judgement.

The set of available ISO images is the same as in Mageia 7, offering installation media for both 32 and 64 bit systems, 64bit live images for Plasma, GNOME and Xfce, as well as a 32bit live image for Xfce. Some of the major improvements in ISO are that our netinstall can now be used to install over WIFI connections with WPA encryption. Previously, only WEP encryption was available.

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Also: Mageia 8 Beta 2 Released With A Platter Of Updated Packages

Mageia 8 is on its way

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MDV

The road to get Mageia 8 is winding, slow but steady.

The current situation is that major packages have been updated to latest versions, such as:

– latest Linux kernel 5.9.6 built for x86_64, i586, arm7l and aarch64 architectures,which can recognize all new released hardware since Mageia 7.1. We intend to release Mageia 8 with a Long Term Support Kernel. 5.10 will be the new LTS one, just around the corner for a December release. We will ship with this version.

– basesystem with systemd 246, glibc 2.31, GCC 10.2, LLVM 10.0.1, urpmi 8.123, DNF 4.2.23 and rpm 4.16.0 ;

– Java stack updated to java-11-openjdk (11.0.9.6) and built against this version;- python 3.8.5, rust 1.47, ruby 2.7.2, Golang 1.15.3,…

We decided to stop supporting Java 8, and only have Java 11. This requires fixing the Java stack, as some applications have never been ported, and therefore have to be removed, while others have to be updated to the ported version.

On the desktop side, we have an updated x11-server to 1.20.9 stack. A Wayland session for GNOME is available on Intel, AMD and even NVIDIA (with nvidia-current nonfree drivers). KDE Plasma is based on QT 5.15.1 with Plasma-Workspace 5.20.2, which can permit a wayland session preview. All infrastructure is here for it to have a desktop running on modern technologies. By default, we still ship Plasma with an X11 session on all hardware.

GNOME is at 3.38.1. LXqt is 0.16. XFCE is at 4.15 preview and is a good candidate to move to the 4.16 release before we ship Mageia 8.

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Also: Mageia 8 Linux OS Is Inching Closer To Release

Distros: Absolute64, OpenMandriva, and Ubuntu

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GNU
Linux
MDV
Slack
Ubuntu
  • Absolute64-20201103 released

    Based on Slackware64-current.
    Keeping up with wholesale library changes (especially python) and kernels, etc...
    (Will there ever be a Slackware 15?)
    Edited some utilities to adjust to new libs.
    Tighten up the UI/mime/icons.

  • Progress on OMLx 4.2

    Work continues on OMLx 4.2. It is anticipated that Beta release should be happening in the next week or two.

  • Accessibility audit of Vanilla framework | Ubuntu

    The team behind the Vanilla Framework has a background in development, UX and Visual Design. We all care about accessibility, but none of us is an accessibility expert.

    We were interested in evaluating how well the framework complies with accessibility standards. We decided to start with an internal audit, fix any issues we find, then look for a third-party service to evaluate the framework from the perspective of real-world users with disabilities

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More in Tux Machines

Canonical Chooses Google’s Flutter UI SDK to Build Future Ubuntu Apps

For those not in the known, Flutter is an open-source UI SDK (software development kit) created by Google to helps those who want to build quick and modern applications for a wide-range of operating systems, including Android, Linux, Mac, iOS, Windows, Google Fuchsia, that work across desktop, mobile, and the Web. A year ago, Canonical teamed up with Google to make the Flutter SDK available on Linux as Snap, the universal software deployment and package management system for Ubuntu `and other GNU/Linux distributions, allowing those interested in building beautiful apps on the Linux desktop. Read more

Python: Security and NumPy 1.20 Release

  • Python Package Index nukes 3,653 malicious libraries uploaded soon after security shortcoming highlighted

    The Python Package Index, also known as PyPI, has removed 3,653 malicious packages uploaded days after a security weakness in the use of private and public registries was highlighted. Python developers use PyPI to add software libraries written by other developers in their own projects. Other programming languages implement similar package management systems, all of which demand some level of trust. Developers are often advised to review any code they import from an external library though that advice isn't always followed. Package management systems like npm, PyPI, and RubyGems have all had to remove subverted packages in recent years. Malware authors have found that if they can get their code included in popular libraries or applications, they get free distribution and trust they haven't earned. Last month, security researcher Alex Birsan demonstrated how easy it is to take advantage of these systems through a form of typosquatting that exploited the interplay between public and private package registries.

  • A pair of Python vulnerabilities [LWN.net]

    Two separate vulnerabilities led to the fast-tracked release of Python 3.9.2 and 3.8.8 on February 19, though source-only releases of 3.7.10 and 3.6.13 came a few days earlier. The vulnerabilities may be problematic for some Python users and workloads; one could potentially lead to remote code execution. The other is, arguably, not exactly a flaw in the Python standard library—it simply also follows an older standard—but it can lead to web cache poisoning attacks. [...] [Update: As pointed out in an email from Moritz Muehlenhoff, Python 2.7 actually is affected by this bug. He notes that python2 on Debian 10 ("Buster") is affected and has been updated. Also, Fedora has a fix in progress for its python2.7 package.]

  • NumPy 1.20 has been released

    NumPy is a Python library that adds an array data type to the language, along with providing operators appropriate to working on arrays and matrices. By wrapping fast Fortran and C numerical routines, NumPy allows Python programmers to write performant code in what is normally a relatively slow language. NumPy 1.20.0 was announced on January 30, in what its developers describe as the largest release in the history of the project. That makes for a good opportunity to show a little bit about what NumPy is, how to use it, and to describe what's new in the release. [...] NumPy adds a new data type to Python: the multidimensional ndarray. This a container, like a Python list, but with some crucial differences. A NumPy array is usually homogeneous; while the elements of a list can be of various types, an ndarray will, typically, only contain a single, simple type, such as integers, strings, or floats. However, these arrays can instead contain arbitrary Python objects (i.e. descendants of object). This means that the elements will, for simple data types, all occupy the same amount of space in memory. The elements of an ndarray are laid out contiguously in memory, whereas there is no such guarantee for a list. In this way, they are similar to Fortran arrays. These properties of NumPy arrays are essential for efficiency because the location of each element can be directly calculated. Beyond just adding efficient arrays, NumPy also overloads arithmetic operators to act element-wise on the arrays. This allows the Python programmer to express computations concisely, operating on arrays as units, in many cases avoiding the need to use loops. This does not turn Python into a full-blown array language such as APL, but adds to it a syntax similar to that incorporated into Fortran 90 for array operations.

4 Best Free and Open Source Graphical MPD Clients

MPD is a powerful server-side application for playing music. In a home environment, you can connect an MPD server to a Hi-Fi system, and control the server using a notebook or smartphone. You can, of course, play audio files on remote clients. MPD can be started system-wide or on a per-user basis. MPD runs in the background playing music from its playlist. Client programs communicate with MPD to manipulate playback, the playlist, and the database. The client–server model provides advantages over all-inclusive music players. Clients can communicate with the server remotely over an intranet or over the Internet. The server can be a headless computer located anywhere on a network. There’s graphical clients, console clients and web-based clients. To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 4 best graphical MPD clients. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to listen to their music collection via MPD. Here’s our recommendations. They are all free and open source goodness. Read more

LWN on Kernel: 5.12 Merge, Lockless Algorithms, and opy_file_range()

  • 5.12 Merge window, part 1 [LWN.net]

    The beginning of the 5.12 merge window was delayed as the result of severe weather in the US Pacific Northwest. Once Linus Torvalds got going, though, he wasted little time; as of this writing, just over 8,600 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline repository for the 5.12 release — over a period of about two days. As one might imagine, that work contains a long list of significant changes.

  • An introduction to lockless algorithms [LWN.net]

    Low-level knowledge of the memory model is universally recognized as advanced material that can scare even the most seasoned kernel hackers; our editor wrote (in the July article) that "it takes a special kind of mind to really understand the memory model". It's been said that the Linux kernel memory model (and in particular Documentation/memory-barriers.txt) can be used to frighten small children, and the same is probably true of just the words "acquire" and "release". At the same time, mechanisms like RCU and seqlocks are in such widespread use in the kernel that almost every developer will sooner or later encounter fundamentally lockless programming interfaces. For this reason, it is a good idea to equip yourself with at least a basic understanding of lockless primitives. Throughout this series I will describe what acquire and release semantics are really about, and present five relatively simple patterns that alone can cover most uses of the primitives.

  • How useful should copy_file_range() be? [LWN.net]

    Its job is to copy len bytes of data from the file represented by fd_in to fd_out, observing the requested offsets at both ends. The flags argument must be zero. This call first appeared in the 4.5 release. Over time it turned out to have a number of unpleasant bugs, leading to a long series of fixes and some significant grumbling along the way. In 2019 Amir Goldstein fixed more issues and, in the process, removed a significant limitation: until then, copy_file_range() refused to copy between files that were not located on the same filesystem. After this patch was merged (for 5.3), it could copy between any two files, falling back on splice() for the cross-filesystem case. It appeared that copy_file_range() was finally settling into a solid and useful system call. Indeed, it seemed useful enough that the Go developers decided to use it for the io.Copy() function in their standard library. Then they ran into a problem: copy_file_range() will, when given a kernel-generated file as input, copy zero bytes of data and claim success. These files, which include files in /proc, tracefs, and a large range of other virtual filesystems, generally indicate a length of zero when queried with a system call like stat(). copy_file_range(), seeing that zero length, concludes that there is no data to copy and the job is already done; it then returns success. But there is actually data to be read from this kind of file, it just doesn't show in the advertised length of the file; the real length often cannot be known before the file is actually read. Before 5.3, the prohibition on cross-filesystem copies would have caused most such attempts to return an error code; afterward, they fail but appear to work. The kernel is happy, but some users can be surprisingly stubborn about actually wanting to copy the data they asked to be copied; they were rather less happy.