Linux News Today: Kodi 17 "Krypton" Beta 1 Out Now with Huge Video Playback, Live TV Improvements

Kodi’s Nathan Betzen announced just a few minutes ago the availability of the first Beta development release of the upcoming Kodi 17 “Krypton” open-source and cross-platform media center software.

Kodi (formerly XBMC) is the most used media center applications, and the next major version is in the works for the past couple of months, during which it received a total of three Alpha milestones, one internal and two public. Dubbed Krypton, Kodi 17 is now in Beta stages of development, and the final release promises a huge amount of improvements.

“We are excited to announce the first Beta of Kodi 17, codenamed Krypton. Kodi 17 features a huge amount of work in areas like video playback, live TV and PVR/DVR, the music library, skinning and more. It features a new default skin, as well as a new default touchscreen skinned, named Estuary and Estouchy, respectively,” says Nathan Betzen in today’s announcement.

Here’s what’s new in Kodi 17 Beta 1

Since Kodi 17 “Krypton” Alpha 3, which arrived on the first day of August, the development team managed to add various minor fixes reported by those who managed to test drive the third Alpha build, as well as a bunch of under the hood improvements, in particular for the new Estuary and Estouchy skins, the Music Library, Live TV and PVR/DVR components, as well as the Settings section.

A demo of the Estuary new default skin for Kodi 17 is available below if you want to see it in action, and we also recommend taking a closer look at the official changelog if you’re curious to know what exactly has been changed since Kodi 17 Alpha 3. In the meantime, we invite you to download the Kodi 17 Beta 1 development builds and take them for a test drive, to report bugs, of course.

Via Softpedia

Linux News Today: Wine 1.8.4 Adds Support for More GPUs, Fixes 64-bit Mortal Kombat X Crash

Last week we told you all about the new improvements and fixes implemented in the Wine 1.9.17 development release, and now it’s time to inform our readers about the latest stable Wine release, version 1.8.4.

Wine 1.8.4 has been announced today, August 22, 2016, and it’s the most advanced stable build of the open-source software GNU/Linux users can use to run various applications and games that are designed only for the proprietary Microsoft Windows computer operating system.

This new stable Wine update comes two months after the release of the previous maintenance version, Wine 1.8.3 (announced June 16, 2016), and it promises to fix a total of 50 issues reported by users since then, as well as to add support for more graphics cards to the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) description table.

Here are the Windows apps and games improved by Wine 1.8.4

As mentioned before, Wine 1.8.4 will fix those crashes and bugs that wouldn’t let you enjoy those awesome Windows games and apps that don’t yet have support for Linux boxes. Among these, we can mention 64-bit Mortal Kombat X, Heroes of Might and Magic 2, Safrosoft RoX, Ragnarok Online patcher, and Dragon Age 2 Demo.

Moreover, Wine 1.8.4 adds improvements for The Witcher, TOCA Touring Car Championship, Shogun: Total War, Medieval: Total War, Process Hacker 2.x, WBaduk, the Java JRE 8 installer, Microsoft Office 2007, iNode 3.6 client, Skype for Windows, Camtasia Studio 8, 3dmark Vantage Benchmark, and Trainz: A New Era.

But that’s not all, as the new stable Wine release includes many changes for other Windows applications and games, including Microsoft Word Viewer 11.8, KSP Trajectory Optimization Tool, AkelPad, Cisco Jabber 11.6, Autodesk 123D Design, DVDFab 9.2.4.4, Microsoft Expression Web 4, Alone in the Dark, and Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate.

Some crashes with the GOG Galaxy client and the Python 3.5.1 interpreter have been resolved as well, and it looks like the Nvidia GeForce GT 730 graphics card is now correctly recognized. Some improvements for the upcoming macOS 10.12 Sierra operating system are also present. Download Wine 1.8.4 right now via our website.

Via Softpedia

Linux News Today: Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) Now in Feature Freeze, First Beta to Land August 25

Ubuntu and Debian developer Iain Lane informed the Ubuntu community that the upcoming Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) operating system is in Feature Freeze as of August 18, 2016.

The Feature Freeze development stage means that no new features will be implemented in the upcoming OS, and the development team should now concentrate all of their efforts on fixing the remaining bugs before the final release of Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) hits the streets on October 13, 2016.

“In true “better late than never” fashion, Yakkety is now in Feature Freeze. Ideally you will all now be focusing on bug fixing and not on getting new features into the release. This will let us create a solid and well-groomed Yak in October that we’ll all want to take a ride on for the following nine months,” says Iain Lane in the announcement.

Yakkety Beta 1 Freeze and release for opt-in flavors set for August 25

We’re approaching very fast to the first Beta release of Ubuntu 16.10, which has been in development since April 28 this year, and it looks like the Beta 1 freeze and release has been set for this coming Thursday, August 25, but will only be available for opt-in flavors like Ubuntu MATE, Kubuntu, Ubuntu Studio, Ubuntu GNOME, and Xubuntu.

After that, the development cycle of Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) will continue with a second and last Beta build, also known as the Final Beta, where Ubuntu itself will also participate with 64-bit and 32-bit Live ISO images available for download to public beta testers. The final release of Ubuntu 16.10 is coming October 13, 2016, for desktop, server, and cloud, while the mobile version, Ubuntu Touch, migrates to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

Via Softpedia

Linux News Today: Linux Mint 18 "Sarah" KDE Edition Beta Officially Released Based on Ubuntu 16.04

Clement Lefebvre has had the great pleasure of announcing the official availability of the Beta release of the upcoming Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Edition operating system.

A couple of days ago we had an exclusive first look at Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Edition, thanks to a news tip from one of our regular readers, but we also gave users the possibility of downloading the ISO images and take the upcoming GNU/Linux distribution for a test drive on their personal computers so they can see for themselves what’s new.

As we’ve told you then, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Edition is based on the latest Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) technologies, which means that it’s using the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel, the KDE Plasma 5.6.5 desktop environment, as well as the KDE Applications 15.12.3 software suite. Additionally, the distro now uses the SDDM login manager and a few popular open source applications.

These include the LibreOffice office suite and Mozilla Firefox web browser, and among the KDE apps injected into the ISO image, we can mention Dolphin, Amarok, K3b, Kontact, Konsole, digiKam, Kate, Gwenview, Okular, Skanlite, Dragon Player, KTorrent, Ark, KMail, and Konversation. Popular apps like Steam, Spotify, Dropbox, and Minecraft are also available via Software Manager.

Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Edition ships in the first week of September

Among other new features included in the Beta release of Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Edition, we can mention HiDPI support improvements, GTK3 support for Mozilla Firefox and many in-house built apps, support for OEM installations, Gufw firewall integration, lots of artwork improvements, and many enhancements to Update Manager and various other core components.

Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Edition Beta is now available for download as 64-bit or 32-bit Live ISO images. When testing, please try to keep in mind that this is a pre-release version, not yet ready for production use. The final release of the Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Edition operating system should be available sometime in the first week of September 2016, but no official release date has been published at the moment.

Via Softpedia

Linux News Today: Lubuntu Team Needs Your Feedback on the Size of the Lubuntu Linux ISO Images

Simon Quigley from the Lubuntu team published recently a new blog post on the distribution’s website to ask for community’s input on Lubuntu Linux operating system’s Live ISO image sizes.

They created a poll, called “CD Size Poll,” where users can vote if they would like to see DVD-size ISO images of future versions of the Lubuntu distribution or not. The decision is quite big so the Lubuntu team can’t do anything without the community’s consent. These days, they are trying very hard to make sure the Lubuntu ISO images fit on a standard CD disc because everything appears to get bigger.

“Technology is evolving, and so is Lubuntu. The applications that we used two years ago have grown in size, and will continue to do so. As well as the packages, storage devices have grown throughout the years. Currently, we try to make sure that our images fit on a Compact Disc (CD) which has a maximum capacity of 700 megabytes. Unfortunately, it is getting increasingly hard to fit our images on these devices.”

Lubuntu is lightweight and designed for older PCs

We all know that Lubuntu Linux’s purpose is to offer users a lightweight operating system built on top of the LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) graphical interface that they can install on their old and dusty computers from 10 or 15 years ago. Future versions of Lubuntu will use the more modern, Qt-based LXQt desktop environment, but it’ll still be a lightweight OS.

However, this does not mean that the ISO images of Lubuntu need to remain on the CD-size form factor used 10 years ago, but that will depend on your vote so make sure that you access the poll located at http://lubuntu.me/cd-size-poll/ and tell the Lubuntu team if the decision of making bigger, DVD-size ISOs of Lubuntu will affect you or not. Be sincere and hurry up because the poll closes August 26, 2016.

Via Softpedia

Linux News Today: Linux Kernel 3.14.77 LTS Has Updated Radeon and InfiniBand Drivers, CIFS Fixes

Immediately after announcing the release of Linux kernel 4.7.2, renowned kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman informed the community about the immediate availability of Linux kernel 3.14.77 LTS.

As you might know already, the Linux 3.14 kernel series is a long-term supported one, and it will receive security patches, updated drivers, and other improvements until January 2017. The seventy-seventh maintenance update comes only four days from the release of Linux kernel 3.14.76 LTS and, according to the appended shortlog and the diff from the previous point release, it changes a total of 45 files, with 337 insertions and 158 deletions.

“I’m announcing the release of the 3.14.77 kernel. All users of the 3.14 kernel series must upgrade,” says Greg Kroah-Hartman in the release announcement. “The updated 3.14.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-3.14.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git;a=summary.”

Updated drivers, CIFS improvements, and core networking fixes

If you’re wondering what’s new in Linux kernel 3.14.77 LTS, we can tell you that it includes various updated drivers, in particular for Radeon and Intel i915 GPUs, general-purpose input/output (GPIO), InfiniBand, MD, MTD, PCI, USB, and Virtio devices, small improvements to the CIFS and NFS filesystems, minor MIPS and ARM enhancements, as well as core networking updates, with IPv4, IPv6, and Netlabel changes.

If you’re using a GNU/Linux operating system powered by a kernel from the Linux 3.14 LTS series, we recommend that you update as soon as possible to Linux kernel 3.14.77 LTS. To do that, simply run the default package manager of your distribution and apply all available updates. Alternatively, power users and OS vendors can now download the Linux kernel 3.14.77 LTS sources via our website or directly from kernel.org.

Via Softpedia

Linux News Today: Linus Torvalds Announces a Fairly Small Third Linux Kernel 4.8 Release Candidate

Yes, it’s Sunday, and yes, Linus Torvalds has just announced the availability of a new RC (Release Candidate) development milestone towards the upcoming Linux 4.8 kernel series.

According to Linus Torvalds, the third Release Candidate build of Linux kernel 4.8 consists of approximately 60% updated drivers for things like USB, GPU, networking, and EDAC, core networking improvements, various improvements to the XFS file systems, minor arch updates, and other small documentation and scheduler fixes.

“After last weeks somewhat unusual patch statistics (only 1/6th drivers), we’re not back to the normal programming with rc3, and we have the usual situation with roughly ~60% of the patch being driver updates. It’s spread out, but most of it tends to be networking, GPU, USB and a new EDAC driver,” says Linus Torvalds in today’s announcement. “But all of it is fairly small.”

Linux kernel 4.8 to arrive at the end of September 2016

By the looks of it, Linux 4.8 should launch as the new stable kernel branch later next month or in the first week of October 2016 is it turns out to be a big release with eight RC builds instead of the usual seven that a normal kernel series receives during its development cycle.

The fourth Linux kernel 4.5 Release Candidate milestone should be available to public testers next week, on August 28, the fifth one will arrive on September 4, the sixth on September 11, and the seventh on September 18. Therefore, the final Linux 4.7 kernel release should land on September 25, 2016.

In the meantime, you can help the kernel developers find bugs so that they can be fixed before the final Linux 4.7 kernel branch sees the light of day, by downloading the sources of Linux kernel 4.7 RC3 right now via our website or directly from kernel.org. Please don’t replace your stable kernel with this pre-release version!

Via Softpedia

Linux News Today: 4MRescueKit 19.0 Enters Beta, Gets Antivirus Live CD 19.0-0.99.2 & 4MParted 19.0

Softpedia was informed by 4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki about the availability for public beta testing of the Beta build of his upcoming 4MRescueKit 19.0 system rescue Live CD project.

4MRescueKit 19.0 is now in the works, based, of course, on the 4MLinux 19.0 operating system, which is also in Beta stages of development, and it includes all the updated and new versions of the Live CDs that are begin distributed as part of the 4MRescueKit project, including 4MParted 19.0, 4MRecover 19.0, BakAndImgCD 19.0, and Antivirus Live CD 19.0-0.99.2.

“4MRescueKit provides its users with software for antivirus protection, data backup, disk partitioning, and data recovery. It is distributed in the form of a multiboot CD, which includes four (extremely small) operating systems,” says Zbigniew Konojacki in the release announcement. “This release has Antivirus Live CD 19.0-0.99.2, BakAndImgCD 19.0, 4MParted 19.0, and 4MRecover 19.0.”

We’ve talked here on Softpedia Linux about the 4MRescueKit Live CD releases mentioned above, so please feel free to click on each one if you’re curious to find out what’s new in these new milestones based on the forthcoming 4MLinux 19.0 GNU/Linux distribution, which should be out in about a week from the moment of writing this blog story.

In the meantime, we invite everyone to download the 4MRescueKit 19.0 Beta Live CD ISO image right now via our website, write it on either a CD disc or USB flash drive and boot it from their PC to get started with this fantastic, portable system recovery, rescue, backup, virus cleaning, and disk partitioning solution that’s independent of a computer operating system.

Via Softpedia

Linux News Today: Intel's New Joule IoT Development Board Is Powered by Snappy Ubuntu Core

Canonical, through Amrisha Prashar, has had the pleasure of announcing that their popular Snappy Ubuntu Core operating system is now available for Intel’s recently launched Joule development board.

Yes, you’re reading it right, Intel released an IoT (Internet of Things) single-board computer (see the attached image to see what’s included in the retail package) and Canonical is always on top of things making its Ubuntu Snappy Core operating system compatible with the latest development boards and embedded devices.

“The new Intel Joule is a powerful board targeted at IoT and robotics makers and runs Ubuntu for a smooth development experience. It’s also affordable and compact enough to be used in deployment, therefore Ubuntu Core can be installed to make any device it’s included in secure and up to date … wherever it is!” reads the announcement.

Intel Joule-powered Turtlebot robot runs ROS on Ubuntu Snappy Core

Of course, Intel Joule also supports ROS (Robot Operating System), which provides all the required tools and libraries a software developer needs to create robot applications for devices that are powered by the Intel Joule development board. Mixing ROS with Ubuntu Snappy Core makes the development process smoother than ever.

On this occasion, we would also like to inform the reader that the Snappy Ubuntu Core operating system is a stripped down version of popular Ubuntu Linux distribution, and it’s being targeted at autonomous machines, embedded devices and other internet-connected digital things (a.k.a. IoT devices), such as drones, home robots, and A.I. kits.

You can find out more about the Snappy Ubuntu Core operating system via its official homepage, where you’ll be able to download the latest version and install it on your new Intel Joule development board. In the meantime, check out the video demo below to see the Intel Joule-powered Turtlebot robot running ROS on Ubuntu Snappy Core.

Via Softpedia

Linux News Today: Linux Kernel 4.7.2 Is a Big Update with Numerous AMDGPU and ARM64 Improvements

Linux kernel developer and maintainer of several kernel branches, Greg Kroah-Hartman, announced the release of the second maintenance update for the Linux kernel 4.7 series.

The open source ecosystem advances at a speed that’s quite amazing. Linux kernel 4.7.2 is here only four days after the release of the first maintenance update, namely Linux kernel 4.7.1, and it a big one, changing a total of 192 files, with 2086 insertions and 1108 deletions, at least according with the appended shortlog and the diff from the previous point release.

“I’m announcing the release of the 4.7.2 kernel. All users of the 4.7 kernel series must upgrade,” said Greg Kroah-Hartman. “The updated 4.7.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.7.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git;a=summary.”

Here’s what’s new in Linux kernel 4.7.2

As mentioned before, the changes are big, and they include numerous improvements to the ARM64 (AArch64), ARM, ARC, MIPS, s390, x86, and PowerPC (PPC), as well as multiple updated drivers, in particular for AMDGPU, ACPI, BCMA, Bluetooth, GPIO, CLK, CPUFreq, EDAC, Intel i915, Nouveau, Radeon, Rockchip, I2C, InfiniBand, IOMMU, MD, MFD, iwlwifi, PHY, PINCTRL, SCSI, SPI, TTY, USB, and Virtio.

Additionally, Linux kernel 4.7.2 comes with improved filesystem support, which includes changes for Btrfs, CIFS, JBD2, NFS, OverlayFS, and XFS. Lastly, some core kernel, mm, core networking, and sound stack enhancements are also present. Linux kernel 4.7.2 is available for download right now via our website or directly from kernel.org, so please update as soon as possible.

Via Softpedia