All About Linux on the Desktop
Updated: 18 min 17 sec ago
AMD has released faster new ATI Catalyst drivers for Linux customers of its ATI FireGL professional graphics cards. The 8.49.7 Linux driver provides 33 percent faster OpenGL performance than the previous driver, claims the company.
A private school in St. Louis, Mo. is increasingly choosing Linux for the computers it supplies to students and faculty, according to laptop supplier Lenovo. Students at the Whitfield School are using Linux about 86 percent of the time now, Lenovo says, up from 50 percent three years ago.
[Updated Jul. 2] -- Linspire has been acquired by fellow Linux distro firm Xandros. The acquisition agreement unifies two firms known for their Windows-like Linux distros and content distribution websites, as well as their controverisal agreements with Microsoft over patent protection.
One of India's 28 states plans to distribute 100,000 Linux laptops to students there. ELCOT (Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited) apparently decided to use Linux exclusively after being put off by Microsoft's bundling tactics for academic users.
The next release of Ubuntu Linux began alpha testing today, about three weeks late. Destined to ship in five months as Ubuntu 8.10, "Intrepid Ibex" reportedly folds in changes from the upstream Debian Linux project, and moves to a pre-release version of the Linux 2.6.26 kernel.
IronKey Inc. has announced that its line of encrypted USB storage keys is now available for all major Linux operating systems (OSes). IronKey devices come in 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB models, offer military-grade hardware encryption, and do not require driver installation, says the company.
The CentOS development team has released CentOS 5.2, which is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.2. Available for i386 and x86-64 architectures, the release offers new drivers and bug fixes, as well as improvements to the Xen virtualization kernel, says CentOS.
Canonical Ltd. has quietly launched the first full "developers release" of Ubuntu 8.04 ("Hardy Heron") for MIDs (mobile Internet devices). Desktop and embedded Linux developers can use the release to begin porting applications to the platform, which will be pre-installed on MIDs by OEMs, Canonical hopes.
Linux has its own radio show in Phoenix. Hosted by "the distro dorks themselves," and syndicated nationally, the "Gutsy Geeks" show aims to promote and teach Linux to newcomers while also providing tips to intermediate-level Linux users.
The OpenSUSE Project has achieved a new release of its free desktop and server distribution. OpenSUSE 11.0 features a redesigned installer, KDE 4.0, GNOME 2.2.2, and the flashy Compiz Fusion 3D window manager, and over 200 new features.
Opera Software released a security-conscious version of its freely-available web browser that adds protection against malware. Opera 9.5 also adds a faster browser engine, a clean-cut new interface, and synchronization features that keep the browser in line with the Opera Mini mobile browser, the vendor says.
Rickford Grant has revised his book, Ubuntu for Non-Geeks, to cover Ubuntu 8.04, Hardy Heron. Published by No Starch Press, which is offering a free sample chapter, the third edition counsels beginners on topics ranging from working with removable storage to interfacing with iPods.
The Banshee Project has achieved the first major, stable release of its eponymous music jukebox application. Banshee 1.0 features faster searching, browsing, and management functions, along with improved memory usage, faster start-up, and a more responsive interface better supporting large collections, project leaders say.
With days to go before the release of OpenSuSE 11, the Project has merged its support forums to provide a single English-language destination for OpenSUSE questions. A new Novell-hosted "forums.opensuse.org" forum integrates the three largest English-language dedicated support forums, with support for other languages soon.
Three new computing form factors emerged at the Computex show this week, each likely to provide a platform where desktop Linux will thrive. The three platforms include low-cost notebooks dubbed "netbooks," low-cost desktops dubbed "nettops," and new "Mini-ITX 2.0" boards supporting x16 PCI Express expansion, SATA-II, and more.
The world's third-largest PC vendor has announced a "netbook" based on a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Centrino processor and Linpus Linux. Acer's $380 Aspire One offers 512MB or 1GB of RAM, 8GB flash, an 8.9-inch, 1024x600 display, WiFi, webcam, and an optional 80GB hard drive.
The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit held on April 8-10 in Austin, Texas, may have been invitation only, but fortunately the LF has posted videos for the rest of us. The videos include keynotes from Red Hat and Sun/MYSQL, and a panel on Linux PCs.
Microsoft's controversial OOXML document format is not going anywhere, observes Jason Brooks in a blog posting at eWEEK. Brooks points to discrepancies between the ISO-approved version of the format and that used in Office 2007 in suggesting that OOXML hardly measures up with ODF (Open Document Format).
Elonex is taking orders for a sub-$200 Linux-based laptop aimed at the British educational market. Based on a 300MHz processor, likely ARM-based, the Elonex One includes WiFi, Ethernet, Flash storage, USB, and a 7-inch, 800 x 480 detachable touch display.
Everex's gPC mini is a small, quiet, powerful $500 computer with a hip Linux-based OS designed for MySpace users and others who appreciate the entertainment value of PCs. With a few simple hardware tweaks, the gPC is sure to delight fun-loving PC users of all ages.