Unity 4.5 released with many improvements

Today Unity Technologies released a new version of the popular Unity game engine that powers numerous interesting games that run on all major operating systems including Linux. Games based on Unity 3D that are also compatible include: Shadowrun Online, Castle Story, Surgeon Simulator 2013, Verdun, Wasteland 2 and many others. Improvements continue to arrive constantly for this popular game engine including fixes for Linux based distributions.

Version 4.5 of the game engine has set a new record by containing 450 bug fixes, more then any other Unity release ever:

No other Unity release has featured so many bug fixes: by downing more than 450 of the little critters, we’ve set a new record! Plus, thanks to our all new Module Manager, with Unity 4.5 we’ll be able to serve you platform-specific hotfixes across mobile platforms.

There are also many new features such as:

  • OpenGL ES 3 support on IOS;
  • Faster scene loading, resulted from reworking MonoBehaviour serialization;
  • Smooth and natural 2D physics
  • Rapid repairs. Using the new Module Manager the Unity team will be able to ship platform specific fixes faster, without the need to wait for new Unity releases.
  • Shader Workflow Boost
  • Stereoscopic rendering for DirectX 11
  • and many other features

There are also many notable fixes for Linux support:

  • Query webcam for dimensions when user doesn’t specify them.
  • Worked around drivers grossly underreporting video memory.
  • Fixed switching to fullscreen mode for window managers that do this in two steps.
  • Fixed translucent hardware cursors.
  • and others

Those of you that would like to try this new Unity version should know that Unity has a free version available, with limitations of course ( HERE ).

You can check the release notes to see the other fixes including the Linux Specific ones ( HERE ).

The official release page: HERE.

New Chakra version released with lots of improvements

Today, the Chakra team has announced the availability of a new version of their Linux distributions. This is the first release of the Chakra Descartes series which will follow KDE point releases( 4.13.1 for the moment ). The new version features new artwork ( more screenshots HERE) which improves many aspects of the operating system.

One interesting feature implemented by the developers allows you to disable the Baloo search, but in the release announcement it’s suggested that the feature should be kept enabled.

Drivers shipped with the new release:

  • Nvidia 331.38
  • Catalyst 13.12
  • xf86-video-nouveau 1.0.10
  • xf86-video-ati 7.2.0
  • xf86-video-intel 2.21.15
  • mesa 10.0.5

Users of AMD graphics cards older than the 5000 series will not be able to use Catalyst Legacy as it is not compatible with the latest X server. In the official announcement users are advised to use the xf86-video-ati which was improved in the last few versions.

This latest version of Chakra also includes:

  • kernel 3.12.15
  • xorg-server 1.14.5
  • systemd 212

From my past experiences Chakra was very stable and fast. I will test this new versions in the coming days and share the findings.

If you want to try Chakra for yourself you can download the version from HERE, but you should know that only a x64 version is available.

Source: Charka OS

Android X86 4.4 Release Candidate 2 released

Yesterday the Android x86 project released a new RC version of Android 4.4. This second release candidate follows the last release in February and it is based on the KitKat-MR1 release. Since then there have been many fixes including many x86 architecture optimizations that make the system run better on netbooks and tablets.

Some of the most notable new features according to the announcement:

  • Update to stable kernel 3.10.40 with more bugfixes.
  • Automatically mount ntfs/exfat/ext4 in the external storages (usbdisk/sdcard).
  • Enhance the sensors support including Intel sensor-hub and Pegatron Lucid Tablet Accelerometer.
  • Add launcher and file manager from CyanogenMod.
  • Add 5-point touch calibration app from 0xdroid.
  • Improve suspend and resume functions.
  • Add rtl8723au wifi driver.

This version was released as a single experimental universal iso that should work for most x86 platforms( the iso can be downloaded from HERE and HERE ) . The iso file is in hybrid format, meaning you can dump the iso to an USB drive using dd:

dd if=android-x86-4.4-RC2.iso of=/dev/sdX, where /dev/sdX is your usb drive.

Known issues:

  • Suspend and resume may not work on some systems.
  • The installer can’t format ext3 filesystem.

From my personal experience the first RC release was very stable and it ran smoothly on my Intel Celeron 1007u netbook from Acer and many applications from the Play store were compatible. The only problem I encountered was that some application would change the orientation to portrait when launched.

KDE’s Plasma Next gets a new icon theme from Nitrux

KDE’s Plasma is one of those few desktops which offer extreme cutomization, giving a user full control over the system. Those who complain that the default icon sets have not changed for ages need to understand that art & design need heavy investment (good designers are expensive) and you can’t expect new icon theme with each release – look at Android, iOS or Mac OSX. iOS just got an icon theme reboot which got mixed reviews from users.

The good news for Plasma users is that a new icon theme is coming with Plasma Next release. The Nitrux S.A. team, known for their beautiful icon packs is working on a new icon theme for the next version of KDE’s Plasma Desktop. The Nitrux team posted a screenshot of the new icon set on their G+ page ( Link to post ) with the following comment:

That is of course not the Plasma Next (workspace) theme nor the Qt theme that’s ours but the icons are for Plasma and +The KDE Community at large.

Jens Reuterberg of KDE told us that Uri Herrera of Nitrux SA is “making the theme for us [KDE Plasma] and has stepped in as lead icon designer which was extremely generous as he’s swamped with work.”

The desktop in the image above also features the Nitrux KDE suite which doesn’t have anything to do with the new Plasma Next theme.

A screenshot posted in the Next Plasma Workspace announcement gives a glimpse at the new artwork in Plasma. As you can see bellow, the icons are the same but the window decorations are different.

Announce-Plasma_Next_2014_beta_1

We can’t wait to see what the future holds for KDE ,but judging from the first beta release you can say it’s going to look good.

Those of you who want to get a glimpse at the ongoing work can go to the Github page and have a look around.
( https://github.com/NitruxSA/plasma-next-icons )