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KDE

KDE Plasma 5.7 Released (neowin.net) 111

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Neowin: Earlier today, the KDE project released KDE Plasma 5.7, its popular Linux desktop environment. The update brings improved workflows, better kiosk support, a new system tray and task manager, and further steps towards Wayland windowing system. New live images of KDE Neon have been spun which feature the all-new Plasma 5.7, and other distributions will get the new software sometime in the future based on their release model. Plasma 5.7 builds on the jump List Actions that were introduced in Plasma 5.6, which allowed users to use certain tasks within the application; now the feature has been extended and those actions are present in Krunner. Another change which improves workflow is the return of the agenda view in the calendar, providing users with a quick and easily accessible overview of upcoming appointments and holidays. The volume control applet in the system tray is now able to control volume on a per-application basis; it even allows the user to move application sound output between devices by just drag and dropping. The Wayland window manager -- which has been kicking around for at least half a decade -- still isn't the default window manager on many Linux distributions, mainly because desktop environment (DE) developers are still making their DE work properly with it. With KDE Plasma 5.7, support for the windowing system is greatly improved, especially when it comes to tear-free and flicker-free rendering, as well as security. The image can be found here via KDE.
GNU is Not Unix

Slackware 14.2 Released, Still Systemd-Free (slackware.com) 179

sombragris writes: Slackware, the oldest GNU/Linux distribution still in active maintenance, was released just minutes ago. Slackware is noted for being the most Unix-like of all Linux distributions. While sporting kernel 4.4.14 and GCC 5.3, other goodies include Perl 5.22.2, Python 2.7.11, Ruby 2.2.5, Subversion 1.9.4, git-2.9.0, mercurial-3.8.2, KDE 4.14.21 (KDE 4.14.3 with kdelibs-4.14.21) Xfce 4.12.1... and no systemd!

According to the ChangeLog: "The long development cycle (the Linux community has lately been living in "interesting times," as they say) is finally behind us, and we're proud to announce the release of Slackware 14.2. The new release brings many updates and modern tools, has switched from udev to eudev (no systemd), and adds well over a hundred new packages to the system. Thanks to the team, the upstream developers, the dedicated Slackware community, and everyone else who pitched in to help make this release a reality." Grab the ISOs at a mirror near you. Enjoy!
The torrents page can be found here.
KDE

KDE Bug Fixed After 13 Years (kate-editor.org) 118

About 50 KDE developers met this week in the Swiss Alps for the annual Randa Meetings, "seven days of intense in-person work, pushing KDE technologies forward and discussing how to address the next-generation demands for software systems." Christoph Cullmann, who maintains the Kate editor, blogs that during this year's sprint, they finally fixed a 13-year-old bug. He'd filed the bug report himself -- back in 2003 -- and writes that over the next 13 years, no one ever found the time to fix it. (Even though the bug received 333 "importance" votes...) After finally being marked Resolved, the bug's tracking page at KDE.org began receiving additional comments marveling at how much time had passed. Just think, when this bug was first reported:
-- The current Linux Kernel was 2.6.31...
-- Windows XP was the most current desktop verison. Vista was still 3 years away.
-- Top 2 Linux verions? Mandrake and Redhat (Fedora wouldn't be released for another 2 months, Ubuntu's first was more than a year away.)

GUI

Fresh Wayland Experiences With Weston, GNOME, KDE and Enlightenment 133

jones_supa writes: Software developer Pavlo Rudyi has written a blog post about his experiences with the various desktop environments currently supporting Wayland. The results are not a big surprise, but nevertheless it is great to see the continued interest in Wayland and the ongoing work by many different parties in ensuring that Wayland will eventually be able to dominate the Linux desktop. To summarize, Pavlo found Weston to be "good," GNOME is "perfect," KDE is "bad," and Enlightenment is "good." He also created a video from his testing. Have you done any testing? What's your experience?
GUI

Project Neon Will Bring Users Up-to-Date KDE Packages (cio.com) 42

sfcrazy writes: [Kubuntu founder Jonathan Riddell] is going to announce a new project at FOSDEM that brings the KDE experience to users. There is Fedora that offers latest from Gnome, but there is no such distro that offers the same level of integration with KDE software; yes, there is openSUSE but it offers KDE as an option. So Kubuntu based KDE Neon is a project to give KDE users and contributors a way to get KDE's desktop software while it's still fresh. It'll be providing packages of the latest KDE software so users can install it and stay up to date on a stable base.
GUI

KDE Plasma 5.5 Has Matured Past the Point of Plasma 4 (phoronix.com) 111

An anonymous reader writes: KDE's Plasma 5 desktop received a lot of early heat for being unstable, missing functionality compared to the older Plasma 4, and other changes that irritated Linux desktop users. Fortunately, with the recent release of Plasma 5.5, they have hit a stage where there's fairly wide agreement that Plasma 5 has now matured past the point of Plasma 4. Ken Vermette looked meticulously at the KDE stack for 2016, including how it's working on Wayland, the setup, widgets, various new features, and more.
KDE

Will You Be Able To Run a Modern Desktop Environment In 2016 Without Systemd? 785

New submitter yeupou writes: Early this year, David Edmundson from KDE, concluded that "In many cases [systemd] allows us to throw away large amounts of code whilst at the same time providing a better user experience. Adding it [systemd] as an optional extra defeats the main benefit". A perfectly sensible explanation. But, then, one might wonder to which point KDE would remain usable without systemd?

Recently, on one Devuan box, I noticed that KDE power management (Powerdevil) no longer supported suspend and hibernate. Since pm-utils was still there, for a while, I resorted to call pm-suspend directly, hoping it would get fixed at some point. But it did not. So I wrote a report myself. I was not expecting much. But neither was I expecting it to be immediately marked as RESOLVED and DOWNSTREAM, with a comment accusing the "Debian fork" I'm using to "ripe out" systemd without "coming with any of the supported solutions Plasma provides". I searched beforehand about the issue so I knew that the problem also occurred on some other Debian-based systems and that the bug seemed entirely tied to upower, an upstream software used by Powerdevil. So if anything, at least this bug should have been marked as UPSTREAM.

While no one dares (yet) to claim to write software only for systemd based operating system, it is obvious that it is now getting quite hard to get support otherwise. At the same time, bricks that worked for years without now just get ruined, since, as pointed out by Edmunson, adding systemd as "optional extra defeats its main benefit". So, is it likely that we'll still have in 2016 a modern desktop environment, without recent regressions, running without systemd?
SuSE

OpenSUSE Leap 42.1 Released (opensuse.org) 31

MasterPatricko writes: In what they're calling the first "hybrid" distribution release, the openSUSE project have announced the availability of openSUSE Leap 42.1. Built on a core of SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 SP1 packages but including an up-to-date userspace (KDE Plasma 5.4.2, GNOME 3.16, and many other DEs), Leap aims to provide a stable middle ground between enterprise releases which are quickly out of date, and the sometimes unstable community distros. DVD/USB or Network Install ISOs are available for download now. For those who do prefer the bleeding edge, the openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling-release distribution is also available.
Ubuntu

Ubuntu 15.10 'Wily Werewolf' Released (omgubuntu.co.uk) 191

LichtSpektren writes: Ubuntu 15.10 "Wily Werewolf" is now released and available, along with its alternative desktop flavors (MATE, Xfce, LXDE, GNOME, KDE, Kylin). This release features Linux 4.2, GCC 5, Python 3.5, and LibreOffice 5. The default version is still using X.org display server and Unity7; Mark Shuttleworth has said that Mir and Unity8 won't arrive until Ubuntu 16.04 "Xenial Xerus." Not much has changed beyond package updates, other than replacing the invisible overlay scrollbars in Nautilus with the GNOME 3 scrollbars.

Phoronix brings us the only bit of drama regarding this release: Jonathan Riddell, long time overseer of Kubuntu, has resigned with claims that Canonical has "defrauded donors and broke the copyright licenses."
Another reader adds a link to a Q & A session with Riddell.
KDE

KDE Turns 19 115

prisoninmate writes: Believe it or not, it has been 19 long years since Matthias Ettrich announced his new project, the Kool Desktop Environment (KDE). "Unix popularity grows thanks to the free variants, mostly Linux. But still a consistent, nice looking free desktop-environment is missing. There are several nice either free or low-priced applications available so that Linux/X11 would almost fit everybody needs if we could offer a real GUI," wrote the developer back in October 14, 1996.
GUI

New Release of the Trinity Desktop Environment 197

mescobal writes: A new release of the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) is out. TDE is "a computer desktop environment for Unix-like operating systems with a primary goal of retaining the function and form of traditional desktop computers" which translates into a fully functional KDE 3 style Desktop. Something is missing in the new generation of desktop environments, since some people (perhaps more than "some") feel at home with Gnome 2 or KDE i3. They have repositories for Debian and Ubuntu-based distros. I'm now using it on Ubuntu 15.04, amazed about how well-planned things were in the previous generation of DE. We may have gained some things with Gnome 3 and Plasma 5, but we lost a lot of good features too. TDE brings them back.
Open Source

KDE Plasma 5.4 Released 43

jrepin writes: KDE have announced the release of Plasma 5.4 desktop. This release of Plasma brings many nice touches for our users such as new fullscreen application launcher, much improved high DPI support, KRunner auto-completion and many new beautiful Breeze icons. It also lays the ground for the future with a tech preview of Wayland session available. We're shipping a few new components such as an Audio Volume Plasma Widget, monitor calibration tool and the User Manager tool comes out beta.
Open Source

KDE Applications 15.08.0 Released 68

jrepin writes: KDE announces the release of KDE Applications 15.08. With this release a total of 107 applications have been ported to KDE Frameworks 5. There are several new additions to the KDE Frameworks 5-based applications list, including Dolphin, the Kontact Suite, Ark, Picmi, etc. This release of Kdenlive video editor includes lots of fixes in the DVD wizard. Okular document reader now supports Fade transition in the presentation mode.
Open Source

FreeBSD 10.2 Released 103

moderators_are_w*nke writes with news that FreeBSD 10.2-RELEASE is now available. Here is the download page, the release notes, and release errata. Features highlights: The resolvconf(8) utility has been updated to version 3.7.0, with improvements to protect DNS privacy. The ntp suite has been updated to version 4.2.8p3. A new rc(8) script, growfs, has been added, which will resize the root filesystem on boot if the /firstboot file exists. The Linux® compatibility version has been updated to support Centos 6 ports. Several ZFS performance and reliability improvements. GNOME has been updated to version 3.14.2. KDE has been updated to version 4.14.3.
Windows

Windows 10, From a Linux User's Perspective 321

Phoronix features today a review of Windows 10 that's a little different from most you might read, because it's specifically from the point of view of an admin who uses both Windows and Linux daily, rather than concentrating only on the UI of Windows qua Windows. Reviewer Eric Griffith finds some annoyances (giant start menu even when edited to contain fewer items, complicated process if you want a truly clean install), but also some good things, like improved responsiveness ("feels much more responsive than even my Gnome and KDE installations under Fedora") and an appropriately straightforward implementation of virtual workspaces. Overall? Windows 10 is largely an evolutionary upgrade over Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, rather than a revolutionary one. Honestly I think the only reason it will be declared as 'so good' is because Windows 8/8.1 were so bad. Sure, Microsoft has made some good changes under the surface-- the animations feel crisper, its relatively light on resources, battery life is good. There is nothing -wrong- with Windows 10 aside from the Privacy Policy. If you're on Windows Vista, or Windows 8/8.1, then sure, upgrade. The system is refreshing to use, it's perfectly fine and definitely an upgrade. If you're on Windows 7 though? I'm not so sure. ... Overall, there's really nothing to see here. It's not terrible, it's not even 'bad, it's just... okay. A quiet little upgrade.
Graphics

KDE Plasma 5 Problem Traced To Bug In Intel Graphics Driver 56

prisoninmate writes with news that certain complaints about the KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment may not be KDE's fault at all: Apparently, KDE Plasma 5 runs just fine, and the issue is related to a serious Intel Graphics Driver Stack bug. The good news is that a workaround for the bug is already available, and it requires you to modify the /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf file from your Linux kernel-based operating system, by switching back to the older UXA acceleration method instead of the default SNA method used in many distros.
KDE

KDE Community Announces Fully Open Source Plasma Mobile 44

sfcrazy writes: Today, during the Akademy event, the KDE Community announced Plasma Mobile project. It's a Free (as in Freedom and beer), user-friendly, privacy-enabling and customizable platform for mobile devices. Plasma Mobile claims to be developed in an open process, and considering the community behind it, I don't doubt it. A great line: "Plasma Mobile is designed as an ‘inclusive’ platform and will support all kinds of apps. In addition to native apps written in Qt, it also supports GTK apps, Android apps, Ubuntu apps, and many others." And if you have a Nexus 5, you can download and play with a prototype now.
GNOME

What the GNOME Desktop Gets Right and KDE Gets Wrong 267

An anonymous reader writes: Eric Griffith at Phoronix has provided a fresh perspective on the KDE vs. GNOME desktop debate after exclusively using GNOME for the past week while being a longtime KDE user. He concluded his five-page editorial (which raises some valid points throughout) by saying, "Gnome feels like a product. It feels like a singular experience. When you use it, it feels like it is complete and that everything you need is at your fingertips. It feels like the Linux desktop. ... In KDE, it's just some random-looking window popup that any application could have created. ... KDE doesn't feel like cohesive experience. KDE doesn't feel like it has a direction its moving in, it doesn't feel like a full experience. KDE feels like its a bunch of pieces that are moving in a bunch of different directions, that just happen to have a shared toolkit beneath them." However, with the week over and despite his criticism, he's back to using KDE.
KDE

KDE Plasma 5 Becomes the Default Desktop of OpenSUSE Tumbleweed 60

sfcrazy writes: Jos Poortliet, former openSUSE community manager, wrote in a blog post, "At the time of writing this, the openQA servers were busily running tests and, by the time we publish this article, they should be done. What was being tested? A massive amount of changes, bringing not only the latest Plasma 5.3 and Applications 15.04.1 to Tumbleweed, but also marking the switch to Plasma 5 as the default desktop!" The switch to P5 will also have a massive impact in Plasma 5 development because now there will be more users finding bugs and filing reports to make it even better.
Open Source

When Enthusiasm For Free Software Turns Ugly 177

An anonymous reader writes: Bruce Byfield writes for Linux Magazine about the unfortunate side-effect of people being passionate about open source software: discussions about rival projects can get heated and turn ugly. "Why, for example, would I possibly to see OpenOffice humiliated? I prefer LibreOffice's releases, and — with some misgivings — the Free Software Foundation's philosophy and licensing over that of the Apache Foundation. I also question the efficiency of having two office suites so closely related to each other. Yet while exploring such issues may be news, I don't forget that, despite these differences, OpenOffice and the Apache Foundation still have the same general goals as LibreOffice or the Free Software Foundation. The same is true of other famous feuds. Why, because I have a personal preference for KDE, am I supposed to ignore GNOME's outstanding interface designs? Similarly, because I value Debian's stability and efforts at democracy, am I supposed to have a strong distaste for Ubuntu?"

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