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PCLinuxOS/Mageia: Mageia 6 End of Life and PCLinuxOS Screenshots, Interview

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  • Mageia 6 End of Life – Time to Upgrade

    As you know, Mageia 7 was released this summer, followed shortly after by Mageia 7.1. It is time to say goodbye to Mageia 6 – updates have stopped, including security updates.
    As usual, before the upgrade, do a backup of your data and documents.

  • [PCLinuxOS] Screenshot Showcase
  • PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: Revoluz

    Why and when did you start using Linux?
    2006 Open-Suse, 6 Months later PCLinuxOS my only distro.

    What specific equipment do currently use with PCLinuxOS?
    Office, Graphics, Multimedia - Jack-Audio, HTML Website build and not so often anymore, 3D CAM

    Do you feel that your use of Linux influences the reactions you receive from your computer peers or family? If so, how?
    Trying to make people curious by talking about it.

    What would you like to see happen within PCLinuxOS that would make it a better place. What are your feelings?
    That Mini Live CD correspond to the Sinn Mini, only for the wide hardware compatibility and peripherals such as printers and scanners.

OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 Alpha available for testing

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The first OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 release cycle milestone is available for download and testing.

Testing is a critical step during development as all bug fixing will take place during this lapse of time. Therefore we exhort all OpenMandriva users to test our system and report any issue you may find at our forum or at our bug tracking system.

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Also: OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 Alpha Released With Toolchain Upgrade, Clang-ed Kernel Option

OpenMandriva Can Now Clang Its Linux Kernel Build For This LLVM Focused Distribution

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OpenMandriva is one of the few Linux distributions (and arguably the only prominent one) that uses LLVM Clang as its default compiler toolchain over GCC for building its packages and the preferred C/C++ compiler exposed to its users. One of the last hold outs for this Clang'ed Linux distribution has been the kernel build but that is now no longer a blocker.

With the new LLVM Clang 9.0 release, it's now possible to use LLVM Clang to compile the mainline Linux kernel for x86_64 and Arm without needing any out-of-tree patches. In my testing of Clang 9 + Linux 5.3 it's worked out well with a few exceptions like the AMDGPU driver having issues, but those few remaining headaches are being worked out so Clang'ing the Linux kernel works well for users and helps ensure code/compiler portability of the kernel.

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An Easy Fix for a Stupid Mistake

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I waited a long time for Mageia 7 and for OpenMandriva Lx 4. When both distros arrived, I was very happy.

But new distros bring changes, and sometimes it is not easy to adapt. Mageia 7 has been rock-solid: it is doing a great job in my laptop and both in my daughter's desktop and in mine. There is one thing, though. I have been avoiding a strange mesa update that wants to remove Steam.

OpenMandriva is also fantastic, but this new release provided options like rock, release, and rolling. When I first installed the distro, I chose rock because I was shying away from the rolling flavor. Eventually, I had to move to rolling because that was the only way in which I could manage to install Steam in both my laptop and desktop machines.

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Mageia 7.1, Mageia 7 with Ryzen 3000 hardware support

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The timing for Mageia 7, just prior to the recent release of the new AMD Ryzen 3000 series of CPU’s, didn’t play nicely. Namely, there was an issue with the system starting up on these new CPU’s that prevented any type of installation, except for a net install. So, the only solution was to release a new set of installation media, which are available to download here.

It’s very important to note that if you have a working system, there is nothing that you need to address. This release is primarily to fix installation on systems with the above CPU’s.

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Also: Mageia 7.1 Released With Systemd Fix For AMD Ryzen 3000 Systems

Mageia 7 Pushes Linux Desktop Boundaries

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Reviews

Linux dispels the notion that one universal computing platform must define the features and functionality for all users. That is why so many distributions exist.

The Mageia distro is a prime example of how freedom and choice are the hallmarks of open source operating systems. Mageia 7 pushes the limits of personal choice and usability definitions.

What gives Mageia Linux its edge is its independence. Mageia 7 is not based on a predefined Linux family of distributions.

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Review: Mageia 7

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Mageia is a user friendly, desktop-oriented Linux distribution. The project originally grew out of the Mandriva family of distributions and is independently developed. The project's latest release is Mageia 7 which, according to the project's release notes, offers 18 months of support. Mageia 7 drops support for the ARMv5 architecture while adding support for 64-bit ARM (Aarch64) and improving support for ARMv7. While ARM packages are being built, ARM installation media is not yet featured on the project's download page. The new release includes the DNF command line package manager and features the ability to play MP3 files - MP3 support was not included by default in previous releases due to patent restrictions.

The release notes mention that GNOME users can enjoy their desktop running on a Wayland session by default with X.Org available as an alternative. KDE Plasma users will have the opposite experience with their desktop running on X.Org and a Wayland session available through a package in the distribution's repositories. The documentation also mentions that when running a GNOME on Wayland session some graphical administrator tools will not work when run through su or sudo. The user can run these tools with their regular user privileges and the system will prompt for an admin password when necessary.

Mageia is available for the 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x86_64) architectures. We can either download an install DVD with multiple desktop packages bundled or we can download live media with the Plasma, GNOME, or Xfce desktops. There are smaller net-install disc images available too. I decided to try the KDE Plasma live disc which is a 2.8GB download.

Booting from the live media brings up a menu which gives us the option of immediately loading the project's system installer or launching a live desktop environment. Choosing the live desktop brings up a series of graphical screens asking us to select our language from a list, confirm the distribution's license agreement, and we are offered a chance to read the release notes. We are then asked to select our time zone from a list and confirm our keyboard's layout.

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Mageia Magical (lucky?) release number 7 has arrived

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Everyone at Mageia is very happy to announce the release of Mageia 7. We all hope that the release works as well for you as it has during our testing and development.

There are lots of new features, exciting updates, and new versions of your favorite programs, as well as support for very recent hardware. The release is available to download directly, or as a torrent from here.

There are classical installer images for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, as well as live DVD’s for 64-bit Plasma, GNOME, Xfce, and 32-bit Xfce.

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Also: Mageia 7 Sets Sail With Linux 5.1, KDE Plasma 5.15.4 Desktop

Review: OpenMandriva Lx 4.0

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OpenMandriva is a desktop-oriented distribution that originally grew from the Mandriva family of Linux distributions. Like other community projects which rose from the ashes of Mandriva, OpenMandriva places a focus on providing a polished desktop experience that is easy to install. Unlike most other community distributions in the Mandriva family, OpenMandriva uses the Calamares installer, its own custom settings panel for managing the operating system, and builds packages using the Clang compiler instead of the GNU Compiler Collection.

OpenMandriva 4.0 introduces some other changes too, including using Fedora's DNF command line package manager and switching from using Python 2 to Python 3 by default. Python 2 is still available in the distribution's repositories for people who need to use the older version of the language.

The project's latest release is available in two builds and both of them feature the KDE Plasma desktop and run on 64-bit (x86_64) machines. One build (called "znver1") is for modern CPUs while the other is a generic 64-bit build. I was unable to find any precise information on what the minimal requirements were for running "znver1" and so used the generic build for my trial. There are mentions of ARM support in the project's release notes, but at the time of writing there is just one tarball for an ARM build on the distribution's mirrors.

Curiously, on release day, the release notes also mentioned a LXQt build of OpenMandriva and a minimal desktop build. Neither of these were available on release day and it seems the release notes are out of date (or premature). The release announcement also offers a link to torrent downloads, but there were no torrents available on the server, even a week after OpenMandriva 4.0 was launched. (The following week torrent files were made available.) All of this is to say the documentation did not match what was actually available when version 4.0 became available.

The generic 64-bit build of OpenMandriva was a 2.4GB download. Booting from the project's ISO seemed to get stuck for a minute after passing the boot menu, but eventually a splash screen appeared, followed by a welcome window. The welcome screen offers us information on package versions and displays links to on-line resources. The welcome window also offers to help us change settings, which we can probably skip until after the distribution has been installed.

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OpenMandriva Is Also Making Plans To Move Away From 32-Bit Support

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In addition to Ubuntu planning to drop 32-bit packages with their 19.10 release, the OpenMandriva development team is another high profile Linux distribution drafting plans to eliminate their 32-bit support.

OpenMandriva's plans to drop 32-bit are much more conservative than Canonical with planning for these changes by the October release of Ubuntu 19.10. In the case of OpenMandriva, they will gradually reduce their exposure to 32-bit in hopes of weening users to 64-bit where possible.

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Also: OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 released, here are the new features

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More in Tux Machines

KDE's December 2019 Apps Update

The release of new versions for KDE applications is part of KDE’s continued effort to bring you a complete and up-to-date catalog of fully-featured, beautiful and useful programs for your system. Available now are new versions of KDE’s file browser Dolphin; Kdenlive, one of the most complete open source video editors; the document viewer Okular; KDE’s image viewer, Gwenview; and all of your other favorite KDE apps and utilities. All of these applications have been improved, making them faster and more stable and they boast exciting new features. The new versions of KDE applications let you be productive and creative, while at the same time making use of KDE software easy and fun. We hope you enjoy all the novel features and improvements worked into all of KDE’s apps! Read more Also: KDE Applications 19.12 Open-Source Software Suite Released, Here's What's New KDE Applications 19.12 Released With Big Improvements To Kdenlive + Other KDE Programs

Games: Feral Interactive, Fantasy Strike, GNU/Linux as Gaming Platform

  • Seems like Feral Interactive may have a few surprises for Linux in 2020

    Porting studio Feral Interactive [Official Site] have already given Linux a lot of games and it sounds like more are coming. While this year they've already released Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, a Vulkan beta for Shadow of Mordor, Total War: THREE KINGDOMS and DiRT 4 plus plus big updates/expansions to Company of Heroes 2 and Total War: WARHAMMER II. Still to come is Life is Strange 2, which Feral previously teased to arrive sometime soon.

  • Fighting game Fantasy Strike adds full cross-platform online play with PC and Consoles

    The very pretty fighting game Fantasy Strike from Sirlin Games just got a great update, enabling cross-platform online play between Linux/macOS/Windows and the Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4 consoles. Apply to all online modes including Casual and Ranked, find a match should be a lot easier now. You can also challenge or spectate others from your in-game friends list, which also works across all platforms too as you can add people from any platform based on tags.

  • Looking towards other operating systems

    Learning a new operating system from scratch is a daunting experience for many people. Fortunately, there are a few Linux distributions that come with a Windows-like desktop environment such as a form of a star bar at the bottom. However, Windows and Linux operating on vastly different philosophies, to the way that they are organized to the way that the files are handled. Linux employs the traditional monolithic kernel and it provides a hierarchical view of the files. Because it is modular, most of the necessary drivers can be loaded and unloaded dynamically. One of the major appeals of Linux is that it is open-source, compared to Microsoft which is a closed and inaccessible environment. Windows is made for simple and out of the box use and directed toward inexperienced users, a reason why the OS has been adopted by so many people. Linux puts more emphasis on the user, who has the possibility of customizing the desktop environment to suit their needs. Windows also offer a few, but fairly limited customization options. The main reason why people avoid switching to Linux is their gaming habits. Linux is known for not playing well with most PC games. Most PC games are being developed with Windows as the main platforms with some companies providing Linux support sometime after the original release. Games that do not have a Linux release require third party compatibility applications to run Windows games. The major application that is used to play Windows games on Linux is Wine. The developers of Wine have specified that the software is not an emulator but more of a compatibility layer for Linux to run Windows programs, not just games. In the world of programming, Wine is considered a masterpiece and one of the greatest feats of open source development that allows most Windows binaries to run on Linux without relying on any of Microsoft’s dependencies. Most of the Wine resources are dedicated to running the complicated frameworks of various DirectX components. [...] Many people prefer to enjoy online gaming, especially casino games. The beauty of these games is that most are available and can be played directly in the browser. The default browser that Linux uses is Mozilla Firefox, which itself, is a powerful browser. Because online casinos are played directly in the browser, there is almost no difference between playing them on Linux and playing them in Windows. There are also casino games that can be downloaded with most of them being made to run only on Windows due to a large number of people using the OS. As mentioned before, to run most Windows software, players have the option to use WINE. However, since because playing the casinos using the browser, most people are better off sticking with that version. Many games from online roulette to poker, and other table games are available online. Almost all online casinos found online have the option to play instantly with no download required, which is why any OS that can run a browser is perfectly capable to run casino games. Linux has been around for a long time, but it was only in the last 10 years that people have started noticing the operating system becoming more friendlier and easy to learn. Besides the many desktop environments, customizability, community and growing compatibility of games, as well as more security, many have started the transition from Windows to Linux.

today's howtos

Servers: Kubernetes, SUSE and Red Hat

  • Creating Kubernetes distributions

    Making a comparison between Linux and Kubernetes is often one of apples to oranges. There are, however, some similarities and there is an effort within the Kubernetes community to make Kubernetes more like a Linux distribution. The idea was outlined in a session about Kubernetes release engineering at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2019. "You might have heard that Kubernetes is the Linux of the cloud and that's like super easy to say, but what does it mean? Cloud is pretty fuzzy on its own," Tim Pepper, the Kubernetes release special interest group (SIG Release) co-chair said. He proceeded to provide some clarity on how the two projects are similar. Pepper explained that Kubernetes is a large open-source project with lots of development work around a relatively monolithic core. The core of Kubernetes doesn't work entirely on its own and relies on other components around it to enable a workload to run, in a model that isn't all that dissimilar to a Linux distribution. Likewise, Pepper noted that Linux also has a monolithic core, which is the kernel itself. Alongside the Linux kernel is a whole host of other components that are chosen to work together to form a Linux distribution. Much like a Linux distribution, a Kubernetes distribution is a package of core components, configuration, networking, and storage on which application workloads can be deployed. Linux has community distributions, such as Debian, where there is a group of people that help to build the distribution, as well as a community of users that can install and run the distribution on their own. Pepper argued that there really isn't a community Kubernetes distribution like Debian, one that uses open-source tools to build a full Kubernetes platform that can then be used by anyone to run their workloads. With Linux, community-led distributions have become the foundation for user adoption and participation, whereas with Kubernetes today, distributions are almost all commercially driven.

  • The total cost of software-defined storage

    In the current economic climate, the cost of everything is often closely examined to be sure we’re not paying too much. However, many focus on just the cost of acquisition – the capital expenditure – as opposed to looking at the bigger picture – the total cost of ownership, or TCO. In the world of IT, it’s easy to forget that the cost of owning servers, networking and storage equipment is more than the purchase price of the hardware. The total cost also includes installation, software licenses, service, support, training and upgrades amongst other things.

  • Red Hat Gets NIST Recertification for ‘Enterprise Linux’ Operating System; Paul Smith Quoted

    A Red Hat operating system offering has earned recertification that validates the platform's capacity to process sensitive information in line with National Institute of Standards and Technology requirements. Red Hat said Tuesday it renewed Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 cryptography certification for the Enterprise Linux 7.6 software built to support agencies and organizations in government-regulated industries.