System76 has long been a Linux computer seller, but recently, it has transitioned into a Linux computer maker. What's the difference, you ask? Well, currently, the company doesn't really make its own computers. System76's laptops, for instance, are made by other manufacturers, which it re-brands as its own.
No, System76 doesn't just slap its name on other company's laptops and ship them out the door. Actually, it works closely with the manufacturers, tweaks firmware, and verifies that both Ubuntu and its Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS will work well on the hardware. System76 then offers top-notch support too. In other words, the company isn't just selling a computer, but an experience too.
Debian 9 "Stretch" was released over a year ago -- time really flies! Since then, the wildly popular Linux distribution has been downloaded by countless users.
Today, the 5th "point" release becomes available. In other words, Debian Linux "Stetch" has reached an important milestone -- version 9.5 stable. The operating system is always improving with security updates and bug fixes, and 9.5 is no exception here. In fact, it includes a patch for Spectre V2. Also of significance, the Debian Installer has been given an update.
If you are a hardcore PC gamer, you are probably willing to spend almost anything to get an edge. For online multiplayer games in particular, not only is your CPU, GPU, and RAM important, but so is your networking hardware. From your modem, to your router, and ultimately your network interface card, what you have matters.
Speaking of NICs, there is an intriguing new offering from a company called Aquantia. Called "AQtion AQN-107 Gamer Edition," it is a 10G card, which yes, is total overkill. A standard gigabit card is fine for most gamers, but the thing is, this 10G card is quite affordable. Not only is the price reasonable, but it comes with specialized software for Windows that will prioritize gaming traffic and reduce lag. Maybe buying a 10G card isn't so crazy...
There's a new version of Ubuntu on the block -- Minimal Ubuntu. It's been stripped right back to the bone to leave a tiny footprint, and these back Linux distros should boot 40 percent faster than a standard Ubuntu server image. Despite the reduced footprint size, Minimal Ubuntu retains all of Ubuntu's standard tools (such as ssh, apt and snapd) and maintain full compatibility.
Designed for cloud developers and ops, Canonical says that the release is intended for completely automated operations, and as such much of the user-friendliness has been stripped out, but it's still ideal for used in KVM, Google Computer Engine and AWS.
Three Arch Linux packages have been pulled from AUR (Arch User Repository) after they were discovered to contain malware. The PDF viewer acroread and two other packages that are yet to be named were taken over by a malicious user after they were abandoned by their original authors.
A user by the name of xeactor took ownership of acroread and tweaked the source code of the package, lacing it with malware. In this particular instance there were no major consequences, but it highlights the security issues associated with user-submitted software.
Microsoft owns the desktop with Windows -- it is undeniable. You know what? That's fine. But the success of Windows is not a failure for Linux. What I mean to say is, the open source kernel is omnipresent, whether you know it or not.
To highlight the ubiquitous nature of Ubuntu in particular, Canonical today releases an all-new infographic showing how this distribution "connects everything." I urge you to give it a look, as it will open your eyes to just how important Ubuntu -- and Linux overall -- really is. Apparently, this is an update to a previous infographic released in 2016, refreshed for 2018 following the release of Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver.
Back in May, it was revealed that an anonymous donor was giving the GNOME Foundation a cool million bucks. For some in the Linux community -- including yours truly -- there were mixed emotions. On the one hand, it was positive news -- money makes things happen, and it should make the GNOME Project better. On the other hand, the anonymous nature of the donation was troubling -- what if the donor was an evil person or company? GNOME users and developers deserve to know who or what is funding the project, right?
While we still do not know the identity of the donor, we do know how the GNOME Foundation will be putting some of the money to work. The foundation is using part of the funds to hire four additional employees.
The team behind Gentoo Linux has revealed the reasons for the recent hack of its GitHub organization account. The short version: shoddy security.
It seems that the hackers were able to gain access to the GitHub organization account by using the password of one of the organization administrators. By the team's own admission, poor security meant that the password was easy to guess. As the Register points out, "only luck limited the damage", but the Gentoo Linux team is keen to let it be known that it has learned a lot from the incident.
There are countless Linux distributions these days, but one in particular seems to really get people excited -- elementary OS. Why is this? Well, the developers of the operating system focus heavily on the user interface and experience -- it is kind of like a mix between GNOME and macOS. For those that still believe the fabled "year of the Linux desktop" is coming, elementary OS' beauty and polish serves as a beacon of hope. Unfortunately, the distribution has not made a significant impact -- yet.
If you are a fan of the operating system, you will be happy to know elementary OS 5.0 "Juno" Beta 1 is available right now! Before you get too excited, however, you probably shouldn't install it. The developers are making it very clear that Juno Beta 1 is not yet ready for prime time, and it is not intended for end users. While you can install it if you want, you will not have a good experience -- it is really just intended for third-party app developers at this point.
Celebrate your computing independence by switching from Windows 10 to Linux during System76's 1776 sale
Tomorrow is July 4th -- a very special day for the United States of America. This is the day we celebrate our independence from the then-tyrannical British government. Thankfully, the Brits are now our allies -- we can enjoy some of their finest exports, such as Ed Sheeran, without guilt.
While you are celebrating America's freedom, why not also celebrate your computing freedom by switching from Windows to Linux? Rather than install a distro on your aging PC, you could totally buy a new computer that comes with Linux pre-installed! System76 sells such computers with either Ubuntu or its own Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS, and today, it announces a very rare sale.
Back in May, we reported on several Ubuntu Linux-powered Dell Precision "Developer Edition" mobile workstations that would be released in 2018. At the time, only one of these laptops was available for purchase -- the Precision 3530.
Of course, the needs of all Ubuntu users cannot be met with just one machine. Thankfully, starting today, two more of these laptops become available for purchase. The Dell Precision 7530 and 7730, as they are called, are 15-inch and 17-inch laptops, respectively.
British firm Micro Focus International is selling its open source SUSE software to the Swedish group EQT Partners. The $2.535 billion deal boosted shares by 6 percent.
SUSE Linux has been in the hands of Micro Focus International since 2014 and it has been running it as a largely independent division, competing directly with the likes of Ubuntu and Red Hat. The acquisition by EQT Partners means that more developers and engineers will be hired to work on the product.
One of the best things about the Linux kernel, is that it can be used by lightweight operating systems to breathe new life into older hardware. Not all Linux-based operating systems focus on computers with aging and meager hardware, however. Instead, there are specialized distributions that focus on being light on resources.
One such excellent option for those with old hardware is Bodhi Linux. This is a lightweight operating system that is based on the wildly popular Ubuntu. It uses the Moksha desktop environment, which is a fork of Enlightenment 17. Today, Bodhi Linux 5.0.0 reaches release candidate status.
Things have been quite exciting lately for fans of Linux Mint. The much anticipated MintBox Mini 2 is available for purchase, and we learned Linux Mint Debian Edition 3 should be available next month in Beta.
Of course, what fans of Linux Mint have really been looking forward to is the release of Tara -- version 19 of the operating system. It was supposed to be released by the end of June, and today, it just makes it in under the wire. Yes, Linux fans, you can download Linux Mint 19 "Tara" immediately. You can choose between three desktop environments -- Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce.
Computer hardware is useless without software. As cool as the diminutive Raspberry Pi computers are, for instance, they are just paperweights until you install an operating system. The little computers can run many OSes -- including an IoT variant of Windows 10 -- but really, Linux makes it shine.
One of the most popular Linux-based operating systems for Raspberry Pi is the Debian-based Raspbian. This is the "official" distribution for the Pi hardware, and today, it gets a major update. The Chromium web browser gets bumped up to version 65, while a new and faster PDF viewer, called qpdfView, replaces Xpdf. More importantly, the operating system gets two big additions -- a new setup wizard and recommended software program.