Important changes in the *Nix world – NixFAQ news roundup

I know why you are here, you want some NixFAQ news! Its time for some (finally) good news in this pandemic, so welcome to our weekly news roundup by NixFAQ. This week, we have compiled a list of important changes and updates for the *Nix world. So let’s start the roundup.

Unity joins Blender Development Fund

Just recently on 21st August, Unity joined the Blender development fund to accelerate the development of Blender. Blender is one of the most powerful open-source software. Also, it comes with no cost or licensing fee for all kinds of users.

“Today, Unity Technologies has joined the Blender Development Fund as a Patron Member. By joining as a top-level contributor – amongst AMD, Nvidia and Epic Games – Unity recognizes and supports Blender as an essential industry tool for creative and technical pipelines.”

Unity stated “At Unity, we believe the world is a better place with more creators in it. This has always been at the core of our business. As such, our values align with those of the Blender Foundation and it seems a natural fit to continue our support of an open ecosystem that enables millions of users to create 3D content with a free tool,” said Dave Rhodes, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Unity Create Solutions, Unity Technologies.”

Blender Development Fund now raises about a hundred thousand euros per month. They use this fund to allow developers to work full time. Currently, Blender has 24 employees.

KDE Apps Now Remember Their Window Positions when Closed & Re-Launched

KDE Apps will now remember the position of their windows when closed and relaunched. Developer Nate Graham finally brought this wonderful usability feature for all KDE apps in x11. Also, there are other smaller changes for the latest KDE application development such as:

Support for the Wayland input-method-unstable-v1 protocol for ultimately providing virtual keyboard support on Plasma Mobile and other similar benefits, Better handling of Samba issues and various crash fixes.

MX Linux now has released a KDE edition

MX Linux welcomes its new version with KDE desktop. Their official blog quoted:

“MX-19.2 KDE is an Advanced Hardware Support (AHS) enabled 64-bit only version of MX featuring the KDE/plasma-desktop. Applications utilizing Qt library frameworks are given preference for inclusion on the iso.

This will be the first officially supported MX/antiX family iso utilizing the KDE/plasma-desktop since the halting of the predecessor MEPIS project in 2013.

MX-19.2 KDE includes the usual MX tools, antiX-live-USB-system, and snapshot technology that our users have come to expect from our standard flagship Xfce releases. Adding KDE/plasma to the existing Xfce/MX-Fluxbox desktops will provide for a wider range of user needs and wants.

KDE/plasma 5.14.5 (current Debian buster version)

GIMP 2.10.12

MESA 20.0.7 (AHS)

MX AHS firmware package

Debian (AHS) 5.6 kernel

Browser: Firefox 79

Video Player: VLC 3.0.11

Music Manager/Player: Clementine 1.3.1

Email client: Thunderbird 68.11

Office suite: LibreOffice 6.1.5 (plus security fixes) (Debian-backports version available in MX-Packageinstaller->Popular Apps)”

You can download MX Linux KDE from here.

Armbian 20.08, the most popular OS for ARM-based SBCs has been released

“Armbian is a lightweight Debian or Ubuntu Linux-based operating system specialized for ARM development boards. It supports a wide variety of SBCs, such as Orange Pi, Banana Pi, Odroid, PINE64 including SoCs of Allwinner, Rockchip, and more.” – FOssbyte

Recently Armbian released a major update (version 20.08) with some important changes, features, and bug fixes. This version of Armbian includes :

  • Making the first login more user friendly
  • Unify/merging kernel configs
  • Introducing CI autotest facility
  • Move Espressobin current to K5.6
  • Ability to work in offline mode
  • Added initial support for Rockpi E
  • Added Rockchip RK322X SoC support
  • Meson64 moved current to 5.7.y
  • Switched sunxi dev target to kernel 5.7
  • Enable kernel bootsplash as an option
  • Improved patch making
  • Added Odroid N2+
  • Added Helios64

And some major bugfixes. Read the full changelog here. Download Armbian latest for your SBC from here.

Kali Linux 2020.3 has been released

“Recently, Kali Linux team switched from GNOME as a default desktop environment to Xfce, a much smooth, lightweight, and less resource consuming desktop environment. In this release, the team has implemented several important updates and that include the new shell ‘ZSH’, automating HiDPI that helps a lot, Win-Kex, new tool icons, Bluetooth arsenal for some very interesting use cases that I will discuss later in this article, and Nokia support for Kali NetHunter.” – Linux and Ubuntu

Paragon sends out their improved NTFS driver for review

Paragon sent the much improved NTFS driver they want to mainline to the reviewer. Recently Paragon sent out a single 27K lines of code for the improved NTFS driver. A Kernel maintainer quoted

“The way you submit the driver does not meet a significant number of

requirements documented in

so this may lead to ignoring the patch as this puts the burden on the

kernel community to make the merge somehow happen. I don’t see kernel

involvement from Paragon, so let me build our half of the bridge.”

So Paragon software recently sent their new driver split in ten patches. It is now waiting to be reviewed by the maintainers.

Seven new stable kernels have been released

These kernel versions including 5.8.3, 5.7.17, 5.4.60, 4.19.141, 4.14.194, 4.9.233, and 4.4.233 have been released as stable. Users should upgrade their kernel via a system update.

Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon is the lightest distro compared to Ubuntu 20 series and fedora 32

All three of these Linux distributions are in their latest stable release. They are also popular choices for the users as they contain shiny new features. A new report from Ubuntu Buzz, it is shown that, among these three distributions, Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon holds the lowest memory consumption record. Here is a chart shared by them.

System 76 unveiled its most powerful laptop with RTX 2060

Recently Linux PC Vendor System76 has finally launched its new Bonobo WS portable Linux laptop with high-end specifications, powerful and open source components. It features a 4K Matte display (1080p version is also available). This monster includes a 10th gen intel core Desktop processor. Secondly, they added a high-powered NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 Super GPU series that is available from 6GB RTX 2060 with 1920 CUDA Cores to 8GB RTX 2080 with 3072 CUDA Cores.

It will also feature 16GB of Quad Channel DDR4 RAM with the ability to upgrade up to 128GB. Also, the included 240GB m.2 NVME SSD is upgradable up to 24TB.

MozWire enables users to use Mozilla VPN with ease while Mozilla still trying to develop a native Mac and Linux version

A third party free and open-source software name Mozware, enables users to use Mozilla VPN in Mac and Linux. While it provides the ability to use Mozilla VPN from any device, it also adds some extra features which the official client does not have. Some features including :

  • Support for multihop servers (Not available on official clients)
  • Select custom remote port, bypassing firewalls (Not available on official clients)
  • Support for other operating systems (Not available on official clients)
  • Use “native” WireGuard clients with more customizability (Not available on official clients)
  • Works with socks5 multihop

You can follow this guide to use MozWire.

Conclusion: This week we got a lot of new interesting news. The release of Armbian, MX Linux KDE edition, Kali Linux 2020.03, and much more. We have seen many good changes and updates from the nix world. And we have also seen new cool hardware that came out. So far it’s been a great week, I hope we can expect some more in the next one. Thanks for reading.

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