Linux Enlightenment of the WEEK - LEW for Nov. 15 - 21

I remember a time, when I was still new to Linux and did not follow the whole world of Linux. I started off with Ubuntu and I only read the Ubuntu news and knew nothing of other Linux Distros. In fact, when I first came to Linux, I thought that their was only one distro. and that distro being called Ubuntu.

One day whilst searching for Ubuntu videos on Youtube I found This Week in Linux (TWIL). It was a Youtube channel ran by a guy named Jordan who would run through the latest of what was happening around the Linux world, from distro releases to package upgrades to bugs. I learned a lot and because of him a whole new door to Linux was open to me.

Unfortunately TWIL passed away. ( Not Jordan but the channel). So I thought that I would fork TWIL, re brand it and share Linux news here for us to stew/debate over.

So in the news for the Week of Nov. 15 - 21 2015:

Several distro's have been released:

  • Puppy Linux, which is a fork of Slackware Linux - one the oldest Linux distros, released their 6.3 .iso. Packages are Slackware builds and are available for 32 bit Arch's and 64 bit Arch's. For the first time ever Puppy Linux has support for 32bit and 64bit systems.

  • Black Lab Linux, a distro focusing on performance and multimedia playback, released version 7 of their OS. Bundled in the included pre-installed software list are W.I.N.E, the Steam client, VLC and Chromium, to name just a few. This is a free distro, however you can buy e-mail and unlimited forum support for $25.99, this covers a period of 30 days, or you can get a 12 month subscription of phone and e-mail support for $89.99.

  • Bodhi Linux, ran by Jeff Hoogland - the part time Mathematics Professor at ITT Tech. Institute in Springfield, Illinois, has released version 3.1.1 of his OS. Based off of Debian, Bodhi 3.1.1 features their custom version of Enlightenment called "Moksha". It also comes with a bug fix, that caused havoc in 3.1.0. Where users where not asked automatically for wireless passwords when connecting to encrypted networks. 3.1.1 comes with numerous package updates, and a new way to download packages. Instead of having a desktop install software center, Bodhi features an online store. Those running 3.1.0 can update their system to 3.1.1.

  • On the 19th of November, Red Hat announced RHEL 7.2. Nothing major has been added, the release mainly addresses bug fixes that were in the previous release 7.1.

Beta releases:

  • The Linux Mint team have announced on Nov.18 that the beta for 17.3 "Rosa" Cinnamon Edition and MATE Edition have been released. The Cinnamon release comes stock with Cinnamon 2.8 and the MATE edition comes with MATE 1.2. Both releases come with better support for NVIDIA GeForce GPU's, and full support for UEFI. Linux Mint 17.3 will be based off of Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS and will be powered by the 3.19 edition of the Linux Kernel. Linux Mint 17.3 will be supported until April 2019. Users of older versions of Linux Mint will be able to upgrade to 17.3 sometime next month. Other big news in the MATE edition, MATE 1.2 now supports more window and compositing managers, one can run MATE off of Openbox, Compiz, and Compton. If you want to test out the newest version of Mint, click the link below and once on the Linux Mint release page click on "Download Mirrors", under the "Important Links" section of the page.

And in Open Source news:

  • HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise) will now support Docker with new products and services.

  • Visual Studio now supports debugging of Linux Applications and is now Open Source. 60 extensions are available and one can now use the GO language.

  • systemd released version 228 of its init system. This release features 20 changes. As of Nov.19, the newest version of systemd is not in the Ubuntu repo. Nor is it in the Core Arch repo it is however in the Testing repo. for both 32 bit and 64 bit Architectures.

  • On the 16th of Nov. Darktable announced their second release candidate for version 2. One of the major differences in this release, is that this version has been ported to GTK 3.0. For the full view on what has changed visit their change log page, which is linked below.

Security Threats/Vulnerabilities

  • Red Hat released an important security fix to XEN for their RHEL customers. CentOS, a flavor of RHEL, is also affected and will receive the updated package. The patch fixes an exploit where a user can cause a DoS in the QEMU instance they are using, as well as execute code. The affected "models" of RHEL and CentOS are these:
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop Multi OS 5.x

    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server 5.x
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop 5.x
    • Red Hat EnterpriseLinux Virtualization Server 5.x
    • CentOS 5.x operating systems
  • (cont'd) It is important that you upgrade the Xen package to 3.0.3-147.el5_11.

  • Ubuntu also received the flu shot, Canonical have announced that they will release a patch that fixes a security vulnerability within the proprietary Nvidia graphics driver. This fix will be made available to all supported Ubuntu OS' versions. Which include:

    • 16.04 LTS

    • 15.10
    • 15.04
    • 14.04 LTS
    • 12.04
    • All Distro's based off of these versions of Ubuntu
  • (cont'd) Affected drivers are:

    • nvidia-graphics-drivers-304

    • nvidia-graphics-drivers-304-updates
    • nvidia-graphics-drivers-331
    • nvidia-graphics-drivers-331-updates
    • nvidia-graphics-drivers-346
    • nvidia-graphics-drivers-346-updates
    • nvidia-graphics-drivers-340
    • nvidia-graphics-drivers-340-updates
    • nvidia-graphics-drivers-352
    • nvidia-graphics-drivers-352-updates
  • (cont'd) One of the affected must update their drivers to the reported ones in the Ubuntu statement, which can be found below.

Linux Hardware

  • Magicstick, the crowd funded, most powerful PC stick computer is available for pre-order. Two models are available. The "Wave" and The "One". During check out you can choose between Android and a trial version of Windows 10. If you like, you can get one with Ubuntu Core. Don't like Ubuntu? No problem, both support all variants of Linux. Spec wise this is how they fair:

    • The "Wave" packs a 14nm Cherry Trail Z8700 Intel CPU operating at a Max of 2.40 GHz across 4 cores and comes with a 16 core GPU. For non-volatile memory it comes with soldered on 8GB LPDDR3 Ram and for volatile memory it comes with 64GB of eMMC storage or you can upgrade and get one with 128GB. This stick also comes with a Micro SdXC slot, which allows one to bump up the max storage to 192GB if going with the 64GB model, as the SdXC slot is able to cope with a max of 128GB of card storage. It has a HDMI 2.0 port for 4K viewing a USB 3.1 C-type port and 2 USB 3.0 ports as well as a Micro USB port. All of this comes at a price that will set you back $249. Now that price is only valid if you pre-order, once this hits retail you are looking at $399 dollars.

    • The lower in price and spec "One" features a similar 14nm Cherry Trail CPU, the Z8300 musters 1.83 GHz max across 4 cores and features a 12 core GPU. It has half the non-volatile memory and half the eMMC storage, however one can upgrade from the 32GB included storage to 64GB. The Micro SdXC slot is able to accept a max of 128GB via a card. Like its more expensive brother this can handle 4K via HDMI 2.0, but offers a lower quality USB 3.0 C-type as its only able to handle 5Gbps while the "Wave" can handle 10. The "One" also features 2 USB 2.0 ports and one Micro USB. The cost? If you pre-order this can be yours for only $99. If you miss the pre-order period, you will be paying the retail price of $199.

  • Linux phones running Ubuntu OS go on sale in Russia on Nov. 18. The phones are called Aquarius E5 and the Aquarius E4.5. Internally the E5 packs a MediaTek Quad-Core Cortex A7 CPU chugging along at 1.3 GHz, and 1GB of LDDR3 RAM, with 16GB of eMMC storage. Externally it has a 5-inch capacitive touch IPS HD display with a resolution of 1280x720 and a 13 Megapixel camera. The E5 will go for around 13,889.49 Russian Ruble or about 199.90 Euro's. The lower in price E4.5 has the same CPU as the E5, however only comes with 1GB or 8GB of eMMC storage, and has a 4.5 inch capacitive touch screen with a qHD 540x960 display, with a 8 Mpx camera. It costs 30 Euro less at 169.90 or 11805.02 Russian Ruble. One thing to note, if going with the E5 16GB model, only 13GB of space will be usable. Also both phones will be able to shoot 1080p video.

  • And its a sad day for those whole love Steam OS. Falcon Northwest have said that they are going to kill off their offerings of hardware featuring Steam OS. The still around "Tiki" micro tower PC now can only be configured with Windows. Origin PC have also stated that they will not sell a Steam OS machine.


  • If you are in the Chicago Area, you can volunteer your time at Free Geek. The goal is to take re-cycled computers, teach economically disadvantaged people to use and to repair computers, as well as sell computers at a price they can afford. After a volunteer hour total of 24 the volunteer gets $75 dollars towards the purchase of a recycled PC from Free Geek. Computers are priced at around $40 and up. The computers run on Linux.

  • If you love KDE and Arch you can spend your time over at the Chakra Linux Wiki. The wiki is really outdated, only current as to the 2014.09 release of Chakra. Back then the KDE version was 4.11.1. However not all of the wiki is of the 2014.09 release their are some pages that go back to the 2014.05 release were KDE 4.10.3 was used. The current version of Chakra is 2015.11 featuring KDE 5.4.2



Good stuff man keep it up.

Thanks Bro, I appreciate your respect.

This thread could use a sticky. This is a fantastic idea.

Fantastic thread and excellent idea, I would love if the releases continued - great work!

Thank you Goalkeeper. I too believe this should be stickied. It's well done and of general interest to the site.

Could you put this into a video for the tek audience?

Edit: Please :) :)

Very good contribution to the Tek community. Keep up the good work.

Thanks for sharing! Not done much with linux apart from as a browser appliance on my corporate laptop under VMWare, but having a small device to throw in the backpack for travel sounds very interesting for that price as well :)