Canonical Demonstrates How Easy It Is to Create a Vendor-Independent Snap Store

The Snappy vs. Flatpak story continues, and Canonical is now demonstrating how easy it is to roll out a vendor-independent Snap store on the recently released Fedora 24 Linux operating system.

A couple of days ago, Canonical and Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth finally answered one of the big questions many members of the GNU/Linux community had been asking since the unveiling of Snaps as universal binary formats for major Linux kernel-based operating systems.

Now that we know Snap stores are simple HTTP web servers, Canonical’s… (read more)

Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” to Ship with GCC 6 by Default, Binutils 2.27

Debian developer Matthias Klose has announced that the new GCC 6 compiler, which will be made the default GCC compiler for the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” operating system, is now available in the Debian Testing repos.

Debian users who are currently using Debian Testing can make GCC 6 the default compiler by installing the gcc/g++ packages from experimental. If installing it, they are also urged to help fix reported built failures in Debian Testing and Debian Unstable.

Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” could be released later this year, and it looks like not only will it ship with GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) 6 by default, but the old GCC 4.9 and GCC 5 compiler won’t even be available in the upcoming distribution.

“As announced a year ago, GCC 6 will be the default GCC for the Debian stretch release. GCC 6 is now available in testing,” says Matthias Klose in the mailing list read more)

RaspAnd Project Brings Android 6.0 Marshmallow to Raspberry Pi 3, Now with GAPPS

Android-x86 and GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton has informed Softpedia today, June 25, 2016, about the immediate availability of a new build of his RaspAnd distribution for Raspberry Pi single-board computers.

RaspAnd Build 160625 is the first to move the Android-x86-based distro to the latest Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow mobile operating system created by Google. And in the good tradition of the RaspAnd project, both Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and Raspberry Pi 2 Model B are supported.

However, the good news is that RaspAnd now comes with GAPPS (Google Apps) pre-installed, allowing users to access almost all of Google’s services, including but not limited to Google Play Store, Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Play Services, and Hangouts.

“My Raspberry Pi 3/2 Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 project is finally ready. Took me about 14 days to finish. Normally I upgrade my other Linux systems in about one (1) day,” has said Arne Exton exclusively for Softpedia. “I have finally m… (read more)

Linux Kernel 3.14.73 LTS Is a Small Update with Netfilter Improvements, Fixes

Immediately after announcing the release of Linux kernel 4.6.3 and Linux kernel 4.4.14 LTS, Greg Kroah-Hartman informed the community about the availability of Linux kernel 3.14.73 LTS.

Linux 3.14 is a long-term supported kernel branch that should receive maintenance updates for a couple of months, until August 2016. There are a few Linux kernel-based operating systems out there still using this kernel branch, such as Google’s Chrome OS, so it is wise to update your system as soon as possible to the Linux kernel 3.14.73 LTS release even if it’s a small one that only changes 25 files, with 798 insertions and 758 deletions.

“I’m announcing the release of the 3.14.73 kernel. All users of the 3.14 kerne… (read more)

Linux Kernel 4.4.14 LTS Brings Networking Improvements, Multiple SPARC Changes

After announcing the release of Linux kernel 4.6.3, Greg Kroah-Hartman has informed the community about the availability of the fourteenth maintenance update for the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel series.

Linux kernel 4.4 is the most advanced LTS (Long Term Support) kernel branch, which is currently used in numerous popular GNU/Linux operating systems that are looking to offer their users a stable, well-tested and long-term supported kernel. Among theses, we can mention Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) and Solus 1.2 “Shannon.” Linux kernel 4.4.14 LTS is here to change a total of 87 files, with 1,434 insertions and 1,080 deletions.

“I’m announcing the release of the 4.4.14 kernel. All users of the 4.4 kernel series must upgrade,” says Greg Kroah-Hartman. “The updated 4.4.y git tree can be found at: git://… (read more)

Shuttleworth Doesn’t Expect Other OSes to Want to Fetch Snaps from Ubuntu Store

When Canonical announced last week that their Snappy implementation was ready for use on some of the major GNU/Linux operating systems, including Debian, Arch Linux, and OpenWrt, some were revolted and started questioning its approach to delivering Snaps to other distros.
The main question on everyone’s lips was “Why is there no Snappy server source code?” Some users have accused Canonical of many things related to their Snap announcement, in particular, that they don’t deliver an open source Snappy Store where everyone can see what exactly happens with their Snaps when they are added via the website.
One of the steps in the instructions provided on the website for application developers who wanted to deliver their apps as Snaps across multiple GNU/Linux distributions was to publish them in the Ubuntu Snappy Store, but not before they created an account and agreed to the Ubuntu CLA (Contributor License Agreement).
Canonical and Ubuntu founder, Mark Shuttleworth, shed some light on this matter by informing the community that, by design, Snaps aren’t, in fact, tied to a store, which means that application developers can make their own stores on their own terms. Also, he doesn’t expect other distros to want to fetch Snap packages from the Ubuntu Snappy Store.

Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht

Fedora 24 Pushes Linux Boundaries

Red Hat this week announced the release of Fedora 24, an open source Linux operating system maintained by the Fedora Project community. Fedora Linux is the community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or RHEL. Fedora 24 is comprised of a set of base packages that form the foundation of three distinct editions: Fedora 24 Cloud, Fedora 24 Server and Fedora 24 Workstation. Delayed four times during its development cycle, Fedora 24 includes glibc 2.23 for better performance, and improvements to POSIX compliance and GNU Compiler Collection 6.

KaOS 2016.06 Moves the Distro to Linux Kernel 4.6, Adds Full-Disk Encryption

The developers of the KaOS Linux operating system have had the great pleasure of announcing the release and immediate availability for download of the KaOS 2016.06 ISO image with some very exciting goodies.

First and foremost, the devs have decided to move the distribution from the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel series to Linux kernel 4.6, which makes it possible to fully automate the early microcode update. Furthermore, the default desktop environment has been migrated to the Beta of the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.7.

“For users, this means no need to install any ucode package, no need to adjust bootloaders or have an extra initrd just for Microcode loading. Many modern CPUs require loading microcode before everything else, as the update causes system instability otherwise,” reads today’s announcement.

Qt 5.7, KDE Frameworks 5.23.0, full-disk encryption, and more

Other goodies that made it into to… (read more)

Tiny Core Linux 7.2 Enters Development, First Release Candidate Is Out Now

The developers of one of the smallest GNU/Linux operating systems, Tiny Core, have announced that the next point release in the Tiny Core Linux 7 series, version 7.2, is now open for development.

Tiny Core Linux 7.2 RC1 (Release Candidate 1) has been released today, June 25, 2016, and it lets early adopters and public testers get an early taste of what’s coming to the final Tiny Core Linux 7.2 operating system in the coming weeks.

According to the release notes, the first Release Candidate of Tiny Core Linux 7.2 will bring more ondemand improvements to the tc-functions script, as well as to allow passing of arguments to the ondemand items that don’t contain a .desktop file.

It also looks like both tc-functions and ondemand have been patched to allow passing and quoting of arguments. Moreover, it appears that ondemand will no longer start by it… (read more)

You Can Now Have All the Debian Live 8.5.0 Editions on a Single ISO Image

Coming hot on the heels of the Linux AIO Debian Live 7.11.0 release, Linux AIO Debian Live 8.4 is now available for download for all those who want to have a single ISO image with all the essential Debian GNU/Linux 8.5.0 Live CDs.

Linux AIO Debian Live 8.5.0 will offer you a bootable, live ISO image that contains the Debian GNU/Linux 8.5.0 Cinnamon, Debian GNU/Linux 8.5.0 KDE, Debian GNU/Linux 8.5.0 GNOME, Debian GNU/Linux 8.5.0 MATE, Debian GNU/Linux 8.5.0 Xfce, and Debian GNU/Linux 8.5.0 LXDE Live editions.

Of course, there are two Linux AIO Debian Live 8.5.0 ISO images available, one that contains the 64-bit versions of the Debian GNU/Linux 8.5.0 Live editions mentioned above, and one that contains the 32-bit ones, depending on what type of computer you want to use them.

And, as usual, the catch with Linux AIO is that you’ll hav… (read more)

HOWTO: Host your own SNAP store!

SNAPs are the cross-distro, cross-cloud, cross-device Linux packaging format of the future.  And we’re already hosting a fantastic catalog of SNAPs in the SNAP store provided by Canonical.  Developers are welcome to publish their software for distribution across hundreds millions of Ubuntu servers, desktops, and devices.

Several people have asked the inevitable open source software question, “SNAPs are awesome, but how can I stand up my own SNAP store?!?”

The answer is really quite simple…  SNAP stores are really just HTTP web servers!  Of course, you can get fancy with branding, and authentication, and certificates.  But if you just want to host SNAPs and enable downstream users to fetch and install software, well, it’s pretty trivial.

In fact, Bret Barker has published an open source (Apache License) SNAP store on GitHub.  We’re already looking at how to flesh out his proof-of-concept and bring it into snapcore itself.

Here’s a little HOWTO install and use it.

First, I launched an instance in AWS.  Of course I could have launched an Ubuntu 16.04 LTS instance, but actually, I launched a Fedora 24 instance!  In fact, you could run your SNAP store on any OS that currently supports SNAPs, really, or even just fork this GitHub repo and install it stand alone..  See

Now, let’s find and install a snapstore SNAP.  (Note that in this AWS instance of Fedora 24, I also had to ‘sudo yum install squashfs-tools kernel-modules’.

At this point, you’re running a SNAP store (webserver) on port 5000.

Now, let’s reconfigure snapd to talk to our own SNAP store, and search for a SNAP.

Finally, let’s install and inspect that SNAP.<

How about that?  Easy enough!

Original article

Linux Kernel 4.6.3 Has Multiple Networking Improvements, Better SPARC Support

Today, June 24, 2016, renowned Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the general availability of the third maintenance release for the Linux 4.6 kernel series.

Linux kernel 4.6.3 is here two weeks after the release of the second maintenance update in the series, Linux kernel 4.6.2, to change a total of 88 files, with 1302 insertions and 967 deletions. Unfortunately, very few GNU/Linux distributions have adopted the Linux 4.6 series, despite the fact that Greg Kroah-Hartman urged everyone to move to this most advanced kernel branch as soon as possible from Linux 4.5, which reached end of life.

“I’m announcing the release of the 4.6.3 kernel. All users of the 4.6 kernel series must upgrade,” said Greg Kroah-Hartman. “The updated 4.6.y git tree can be found at: git://… (read more)

Distribution Release: Peppermint OS 7

The developers of Peppermint OS have announced the launch of a new version of the lightweight Ubuntu-based distribution. The new version, Peppermint OS 7, is based on Ubuntu 16.04 and uses LXDE as the default desktop environment. “Team Peppermint are pleased to announce our latest operating system Peppermint….

Peppermint OS 7 Linux Distribution Officially Released Based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

It’s a bit earlier than expected, but the Peppermint OS 7 GNU/Linux distribution has been officially unveiled today, June 24, 2016, based on the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system.

Peppermint OS 7 has been in development for the past year, and it comes as a drop-in replacement for the Peppermint Six version, which was officially released back in May 2015. It is distributed as 64-bit and 32-bit flavors for all computers, but the 64-bit one also offers complete support for UEFI/Secureboot systems.

Peppermint OS is a lightweight, stable, elegant, and fast computer operating system based on GNU/Linux and Open Source technologies. The latest version, Peppermint OS 7, borrows a lot of packages from the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS distro, which means that it will also be a long-term support release, and it uses the LXDE desktop envir… (read more)

New Nextbit OS based on Android N launching in Q4 with significant battery life improvements

Nextbit’s marquee feature for the Robin intelligently manages storage by backing it up to the cloud for easy access and restore. Now a new version of Nextbit OS launching in Q4 hopes to deliver significantly longer battery life through similar intelligence too.
The announcement is lacking on specific details and numbers, but Nextbit is not just aiming for longer standby times. The new OS will ensure the “most screen time possible” by intelligently learning user habits and optimizing functions at the system level.
Many OEMs — including Sony’s Stamina Mode and Android’s battery saver — prolong standby times by essentially pausing all background tasks. Announced in Marshmallow, Doze saves battery by collating background refreshes in periodic bursts when the phone is not in use.
It sounds like Nextbit will be using a more nuanced approach and finding what features a specific user prioritizes and wants to continuously function, while halting less used ones. Like with Smart Storage, the power management features will be added on top of Android N and compound power savings.

Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht

Wine 1.9.13 Introduces New Gecko Engine Based on Firefox 47, Unicode 9.0 Support

Today, June 24, 2016, the Wine development team has announced the release and immediate availability for download of the Wine 1.9.13 snapshot towards Wine 2.0.

Wine 1.9.13 arrives today, two weeks after the debut of the Wine 1.9.12 development version to bring a new version of the Gecko engine based on the Mozilla Firefox 47.0 web browser, more Shader Model 5 support in Direct3D, brand new Unicode 9.0.0 support, as well as more improvements to the Joystick support for Mac OS X systems.

Additionally, Wine 1.9.13 ships with several enhancements to GDI metafiles and paths. It also looks like the Wine developers have managed to add more features to the Direct3D command stream. Of course, most of the bugs reported by users since the Wine 1.9.12 release have been addres… (read more)

Explore Flatpak in Fedora 24

One of the main features of Fedora 24 Workstation is better support for Flatpak — a new, distribution agnostic format for packaging and distributing Linux desktop apps. The two main goals of Flatpak are the creation of a single installation file that can distributed to users across distributions, and running apps as isolated from the rest of the system as possible. The probably biggest practical benefit for users is that you can run any app no matter what version of Fedora you’re using.

We covered the Flatpak release announcement a few days ago here on the Fedora Magazine, but if you’ve never heard of Flatpak before that, you may have heard of xdg-app which was a development name for this technology. It was recently renamed to Flatpak to reflect the fact that it’s finally ready for broader usage. Besides Fedora Flatpak is already available in Arch, Debian (Experimental), Mageia, openSUSE (still as xdg-app). There are also personal repositories with Flatpak for Debian Stable and Ubuntu.

How does it work?

A application runs in a sandbox and it has all their dependencies present within the sandbox. The app can use a so-called runtime which is a well-defined environment that provides the app with the most common components of the platform the app is built on. There are currently three distinguished runtimes (GNOME, KDE, FreeDesktop). Dependencies that are missing in the runtime need to be bundled with the app. This way, the app can run pretty much independently on the underlying system.

The sandbox is currently not completely encapsulated. Most apps need to communicate with the rest of the system (load/save files, send notifications, sound/video server,…) and currently there need to be holes in the sandbox to make this possible. But the Flatpak developers are already working on an API that will allow controlled access outside the sandbox and put the user in charge of it. So in the future, the app won’t be able to access your data or hardware without you allowing it.

What apps are available for Flatpak?

GNOME has backed the project from the beginning, so it also provides the longest list of applications available in the form of Flatpak. You can install 17 GNOME apps in stable versions, which means 3.20. These are not very useful for users of Fedora 24 because GNOME 3.20 is included in the release, but it may come handy to Fedora 23 users who are on GNOME 3.18. But GNOME offers even longer list (23) of nightly versions which are going to become GNOME 3.22. So if you’d like to try what’s being brewed for Fedora 25 the GNOME nightly repository for Flatpak offers an easy way to do it.

The other major desktop project – KDE – also offers apps packaged for Flatpak. It’s currently 13 apps. These are also nightly builds.

The Document Foundation provides LibreOffice for Flatpak. It’s 5.2, so again a newer version that you can find in Fedora 24 (5.1).

The official Flatpak website lists other applications that are available in nightly versions: Darktable, GIMP, GTK+3 GIMP, Inkscape, MyPaint. An app, that is not listed on the Flatpak website, but is available for it, is Pitivi.

How to install and run apps?

In Fedora 24, Flatpak is only partly supported in GNOME Software. It will update already installed apps or runtimes or remove them if you’d like to. But to set a repository and install an app, you need to go to the command line and use flatpak command. If you don’t have it installed, just do sudo dnf install flatpak.

To install a Flatpak app it requires a couple of commands, but the respective websites give you step-by-step instructions, so it’s fairly easy even for those who are not very familiar with the command line.

Here is an example how to install a nightly version of a GNOME app:

Download a signing key and set a repository:

$ wget
$ flatpak remote-add --gpg-import=nightly.gpg gnome-nightly-apps

List available apps in the repository:

$ flatpak remote-ls gnome-nightly-apps --app

Install e.g. gedit:

$ flatpak install gnome-nightly-apps org.gnome.gedit master

It should create a standard launcher of the app, but you can also start it from the command line:

$ flatpak run org.gnome.gedit

Note that Flatpak allows to install apps without being a privileged user, just add –user to the commands. Then everything is located in your home directory.

Installing apps in the command line is quite easy, but it’s not the best user experience. In Fedora 25, Flatpak will be fully integrated in GNOME Software and you will just download a .flatpak file, double-click it and Software will take care of the rest.

Calibre 2.60 eBook Viewer Improves the Config Dialog for the Kobo Touch Driver

Today, June 24, 2016, Calibre developer Kovid Goyal has been happy to announce the release and immediate availability for download of the Calibre 2.60.0 open-source ebook library management software for all supported platforms.

Calibre 2.60 comes one week after the debut of the previous maintenance update, Calibre 2.59, which added better compatibility with the latest Qt 5.x technologies on Ubuntu Linux operating systems, as well as some improvements to the Amazon Metadata Download support, and EPUB 3 support on the Table of Contents (ToC) tool.

New features implemented in the Calibre 2.60 release include an improved configuration dialog for the driver that handles Kobo Touch ebook readers, more support for ebooks in the EPUB 3 format, as users can now specify if the … (read more)

Wine 1.9.13 Released

The Wine development release 1.9.13 is now available.

What’s new in this release:

  • New version of the Gecko engine based on Firefox 47.
  • More Shader Model 5 support in Direct3D.
  • Unicode data updated to Unicode 9.0.0.
  • Improvements to GDI paths and metafiles.
  • More progress towards the Direct3D command stream.
  • Joystick support improvements on Mac OS X.
  • Various bug fixes.

The source is available now.
Binary packages are in the process of being built, and will appear soon at their respective download locations.

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