Tag Archives: Magazine

Dell is Adding a Much-Requested Feature to the… » Linux Magazine

To anyone who has spent any time researching companies that offer hardware with Linux pre-installed, chances are you know about the Dell XPS Developer edition. This began as project Sputnik in 2011, when Dell’s Barton George realized that no major OEM was building a fully-supported Linux laptop that included drivers and provided a great out of the box experience.

Fast forward nine years later, and the project is still going strong. In fact, the Dell XPS Developer Edition has been declared a best in show Linux laptop by numerous reviewers and outlets. Dell knows this and understands the audience for which this hardware is targeted. Dell also listens to the communities they serve.

Case in point, the Linux community.

One thing that has been sorely missing from Linux laptops is support for the fingerprint reader. This form of biometric security is not only superior to passwords, it’s more efficient. And Dell is finally bringing a finger reader to the 10th generation XPS 13″ Developer Edition.

Although details on the fingerprint reader are sparse, Dell has announced that support for the fingerprint reader will be available (as an over the air update) soon after the hardware is released in February 2020.

For those that are curious, the specs for the machine look like:

  • 10th Gen Intel® Core™ 10nm mobile processors
  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  • Fingerprint reader support (driver initially available via OTA update)
  • Up to 32GB memory
  • Up to 3x faster wireless with Killer™ AX1650 built on Intel WiFi 6 Chipset, supports up to 2TB PCIe SSD
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD+ (3840 x 2400) display

Cost for new XPS Developer Edition will start at $1199 USD.

Original announcement from Barton George’s website.

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Bonsai Promises to Make Syncing GNOME Devices M… » Linux Magazine

If you’re a GNOME user with multiple devices, and have longed for the day when those devices could easily be synced with one another, that wish may be coming true. Red Hat developer Christian Hergert has started developing a project called Bonsai, which will serve as a sort of personal cloud for all of your GNOME-based devices.

On his blog, Hergert stated, “I want access to my files and application data on all my computing devices but I don’t want to store that data on other peoples computers.” This idea led Herget to create Bonsai. And although this tool is very much in the experimental phase (which means it’s not an official GNOME project), it is being hosted on Hergert’s GNOME Gitlab repository.

The gist of Bonsai is simple – a daemon and shared library for providing personal cloud-like services specifically to the GNOME desktop. The goal of the project is to include services for the likes of:

  • File storage
  • Mail
  • Calendar
  • Todo/Checklist/Notes
  • Photo Albums
  • Music/Podcasts/Audiobooks/Radio
  • Videos
  • Search
  • Backup
  • System migration
  • VPN

At the moment there is no telling if Bonsai will become an official GNOME application/service, but considering this fills a much-needed hole in the Linux desktop landscape, it’s a safe bet that it (or something similar) will become a reality in the near future.

Original announcement: https://blogs.gnome.org/chergert/2020/01/01/introducing-bonsai/


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Elementary OS 5.1 Has Arrived » Linux Magazine

If you’ve not heard of Elementary OS, chances are you don’t know what Linux is. If, on the other hand, you have heard of Elementary OS, and you’ve yet to give it a try, now’s a great time. Why? The latest release, 5.1 (aka “Hera”) is available and it promises to be the best release yet.

Elementary 5.1 brings a number of new and exciting changes to what is often considered the most elegant desktop operating systems on the market. Some of the new changes to the platform include:

  • A new first-run experience that makes onboarding seamless and simple. The app is modular and includes introductions to: Location services, Night Light, Housekeeping, and the AppCenter.
  • A brand new login window that looks more refined and includes numerous bug fixes.
  • Sideload is a new app for installing Flatpak applications not found in the AppCenter.
  • Flatpak support in the Elementary AppCenter.
  • Major upgrades centered around accessibility and the System Settings tool.

Although it might seem like a minor release (going from 5.0 to 5.1), Hera should be considered a major upgrade. Elementary releases new platform versions every two years. However, this particular release is significant enough to warrant its own name and identity.

Download Elementary OS 5.1 here.  

Official announcement here.

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Linux Mint 19.3 Will be Released by Christmas » Linux Magazine

Just in time for the holidays, the developers behind Linux Mint have announced that version 19.3 (Tricia) will be released by December 25. The beta for the upcoming iteration has already been made available (download from one of the official mirrors here) for the public to test.

The latest iteration of Linux Mint contains a number of new features. One such features is the System Reports tool. This new tool detects potential issues on your computer (such as a missing language pack, multimedia codec, new firmware drivers, etc.).

Tricia is also the first release of Linux Mint to include High Dots Per Inch (HiDPI) support. This will be a boon to anyone running small screen laptops (such as 13”, high resolution displays), as it will allow them to run Mint in a resolution fitting of the high-end hardware.

Other features include:

  • Celluloid replacing Xplayer as the default multimedia player.
  • Gnote replacing Tomboy as the default note taking application.
  • Drawing replacing GIMP as the default image editor.
  • Panel zones can how have different text and icon sizes.
  • Nemo contextual menus can be configured.
  • Improved startup animation.
  • Window focus mode is now configurable in System Settings.
  • Simplified window settings.
  • Hardware Detection Tool was added to the BIOS menu of the ISO images.
  • Numerous artwork improvements.
  • Cinnamon 4.4, kernel 5.0, and an Ubuntu 18.04 package base. 

Make sure to check the official Linux Mint site for more announcements of this exciting new release.

Official announcement here.

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Linux Kernel 5.4 Released » Linux Magazine

Linux founder, Linus Torvalds, has announced the release of kernel 5.4. Included in this latest release are a number of additions and improvements that will certainly benefit desktop linux. What are the top features? Read on.

The most important addition to the Linux kernel 5.4 iteration is the new kernel lockdown mode. The goal of this new feature is a heightened level of security via the separation of UID 0 (also known as the root user) and the kernel. This feature includes both integrity and confidentiality modes. Integrity mode does not allow userland applications and services to modify the running kernel, while confidentiality mode does not allow the extraction of confidential information by userland applications and services.

As for graphics? Other important new features to the Linux kernel include support for AMD Navi 12 and 14 GPUs, as well as AMD Arcturus graphic cards and the AMD Dali and 2020 APU platforms. Intel Tiger Lake hardware now gets early support and the Nouveau open source driver sees improved display color management.

Finally, file systems are getting a couple of important additions. First off, an optional case-insensitive file and folder handling feature has been made available in F2FS. This will bring support for case-insensitive file-name lookups. With this feature, F2FS case folding can be set on a per-directory basis. Second, exFAT support is now available for Linux. With this new option, the transferring of files bigger than 4GB will be possible with drives formatted to the  exFAT file system.

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