When many people think of Linux, they incorrectly assume it is an operating system. Actually, Linux is merely the kernel which many operating systems leverage. An actual operating system is compromised of many things, including a user interface -- after all, users need to interface with their computer!
Most computer users will obviously want a graphical UI nowadays, and for BSD and Linux-based operating systems there are many such desktop environments from which to choose. One of the most popular environments is GNOME. Not only is GNOME a DE, but it has evolved into much more, such as a collection of apps and design rules (Human Interface Guidelines). Today, GNOME is celebrating a very important milestone -- it is an impressive 20 years old!
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The .NET Framework transformed with the release of .NET Core last year. From a Windows-only affair, the framework has gone cross-platform. What's more, Microsoft also made it open-source, adding support for macOS, Linux, Android and iOS.
And now it's taking things a step further by rolling out .NET Core 2.0, which comes with some major improvements to make it "easier to use and much more capable as a platform." Let's take a look at what is new.
Kodi is one of the best media centers available. Its cross-platform nature makes it usable on many different operating systems. Not only is it good for locally stored music and video, but with the use of add-ons, the sky is the limit. Fans of Premier League Football (soccer), for instance, can use Kodi to watch matches.
Where Kodi really shines, however, is with Linux. More specifically, the best experience is when the media center is the star of the show. Luckily, there are some Linux distros that exist solely to run Kodi. One such popular distro is LibreELEC -- a fork of OpenELEC. Today, an update to that operating system becomes available and you can download it immediately. There are images available for Raspberry Pi, WeTek, and of course, x86_64.
Apple recently removed some VPN clients from the App Store in China at the request of the Chinese Government. Why? That country is largely anti-privacy, and it does not want its citizens bypassing its censorship of the web. If you live in China, the government can decide what you can and can't view online. If you get caught circumventing these controls, the government can harshly punish you. Sad, right? This is why it is imperative that Linux-based privacy-centric open source operating systems such as Tails continue their development -- you never know when it might be needed (including in the USA).
If you aren't familiar with Tails, please know that it is a "Live" Linux distro that focuses on security and privacy. In other words, it can potentially cover your tracks from heavy-handed governments and other entities. Today, Tails achieve a minor point update, making the newest stable version 3.1. While it is hardly monumental from a feature perspective, it is urgent that all users upgrade as some serious vulnerabilities have been patched.
Now is a very exciting time to be an Ubuntu user. The upcoming 17.10 version of the Linux-based operating system -- codenamed "Artful Aardvark" -- is coming in October with a new desktop environment -- GNOME. That's right, Canonical has decided to kill the Unity environment, making the new version something very exciting. While some people will mourn Unity, it is the right move.
Being that we are already in August, the clock is starting to tick for Canonical, meaning it really needs to get everything running properly if it wants a smooth user experience with 17.10 in October. On August 24 and 25, the Ubuntu Desktop team will be holding a "Fit and Finish Sprint," where they will aggressively test GNOME. Canonical is also asking the Ubuntu community to help with this process. In other words, you might be able to assist with making Artful Aardvark even better. What makes this particularly cool, however, is that Canonical will be selecting some community members to visit its London office on August 24 between 4pm and 9pm.
If you want to learn how to use Linux -- either for fun, or to level up your career -- but are pressed for time, this ebook is for you.
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Red Hat, Inc is a wonderful example of how a company can be successful with open source solutions. There is this misguided stereotype that Linux and open source are just hobbies and that contributors are typically anti-social misfits coding in mom's basement. If you believe such foolishness, I feel bad for you. Actually, Red Hat, Inc has made billions with open source, and its RHEL distribution is an excellent choice for the enterprise.
Today, RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) reaches version 7.4. It can be had immediately so that IT departments can begin testing. Once everything checks out, they can roll out to company machines. It has many improvements, including NVMe Over Fabric, a preview of System Roles, and more.
As Windows 10 continues to disappoint some users, Microsoft is increasing its focus on Linux. Whether or not the company will ever take the big step of making its own distribution based on the kernel remains to be seen. With that said, the company has sort of come close -- it has allowed Linux to infiltrate its beloved Windows operating system by way of the "Windows Subsystem for Linux" feature. Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer would probably be rolling in their graves right now -- if they weren't alive, of course.
Today, Microsoft takes its commitment to Linux a bit further. You see, it has announced that "Windows Subsystem for Linux" will be shedding its "beta" designation in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. In fact, the Beta tag has already been removed in Windows 10 Insider Build 16251. In other words, the beta label on the feature has been taken off in a beta version of the operating system. Confused? Welcome to the party, pal!
Ubuntu is one of the best Linux distributions around. What? You thought it became insanely popular by accident? Actually, its success is bred from being stable, easy to use, and having a really great community for beginners. Not to mention, it has many different "flavors" (desktop environments), allowing the user to find the best experience based on their preferences.
Today, the upcoming version of Ubuntu -- version 17.10 which is named named "Artful Aardvark" -- celebrates a new milestone. While not yet in beta status, it has reached the second alpha stage; the stable version is not due until October. While not all desktop environments are available at this point -- GNOME is absent, for instance -- there are several excellent options for testers, such as MATE, Budgie, and KDE.
WikiLeaks has published the latest of its Vault 7 CIA leaks, this time looking at a project going by the name Imperial. The project is made up of three tools: Achilles and SeaPea which target OS X, and Aeris which targets various flavors of Linux, including RedHat, Debian and CentOS.
User guides relating to the two Mac tools date from mid-2011 and show they can be used to Trojanize an OS X disk image or install a persistent rootkit. Aeris was designed to provide a backdoor into Linux-based systems.
Variety is both a gift and curse for Linux on the desktop. On the one hand, it is nice that there are so many operating systems based on the kernel from which to choose. On the other, it can sometimes feel like the community is very fragmented. Not only is there tribalism between users of distributions, but desktop environments too. For instance, there is Ubuntu vs. Fedora and KDE vs. GNOME -- much like Coke vs. Pepsi and Chevy vs. Ford. This is just human nature, I suppose.
With all of that said, popular Linux-based operating system, openSUSE Leap, has achieved a new point release. Version 42.3 is now available for download and it should be a good alternative to Microsoft's Windows 10. While it is fairly uneventful on the surface, that is arguably a good thing. You see, the distro focuses heavily on stability -- rather than being bleeding edge and sexy -- which many users wisely appreciate. There are many under-the-hood improvements, however.
Linux is the future, and even closed-source champion Microsoft has gotten onboard. The Windows-maker is not only contributing to many open source projects, but developing software for the Linux desktop, with programs such as Skype. You can even install Linux distributions from the Windows Store nowadays. Hell, the company has even created a version of Microsoft Office that runs on Linux by way of Android! Yes, Google's mobile operating system is Linux. Android is also what effectively killed the much maligned Windows Phone, so Microsoft clearly has no problem with joining forces with prior "enemies."
Today, Microsoft further pledges its loyalty to Linux and open source by becoming a platinum member of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. If you aren't familiar, the CNCF is a part of the well-respected Linux Foundation (of which Microsoft is also a member). With the Windows-maker increasingly focusing its efforts on the cloud -- and profiting from it -- this seems like a match made in heaven. In fact, Dan Kohn, Executive Director of the foundation says, "We are honored to have Microsoft, widely recognized as one of the most important enterprise technology and cloud providers in the world, join CNCF as a platinum member."
So many Linux distributions, so little time! Today, yet another operating system based on the kernel gets a new version. This particular distro, called "deepin" is a bit controversial, as it comes from China -- a country not known for human rights or user privacy. Since the OS is largely open source, I am not really worried, but I can respect people that are wary of spying, however.
This new version of deepin is 15.4.1. I know what you are thinking -- this is just a point release, is it really interesting? Actually, yes! There are quite a lot of new features and fixes, making this essential for existing users of the operating system. Those looking to try it for the first time -- maybe because they are dissatisfied with Windows 10 -- are in for a treat, as it has quite the unique and elegant user interface, delivering a very positive experience. Since it is based on the great Debian, you know that it will be rock solid.