Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” KDE released!

The Mukt reports:

The Linux Mint team has announced the release of Linux Mint 17 KDE codenamed Qiana. It’s based on KDE Software Compilation 4.13.0. There are many improvements in things like ‘update manager’ which improves the use experience and also show which type of updates are these. Then the device manager has also improved and it can install drivers even when the machine can’t connect to the Internet as most drivers are available in the iso itself.

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Linux Mint 17 Qiana release ISOs available for download

The ISOs approved for Linux Mint 17 aka Qiana stable release are already uploaded and available for download. The release hasn’t been announced yet but here’s your chance to install and enjoy the latest version of the popular Ubuntu derivative! 32 and 64-bit versions of both the Cinnamon and MATE variants are available.

Qiana is an LTS release and will be supported with security updates till 2019. The same package base will be maintained till 2016. A quick glance at the significant improvements and changes in this release:

  • Update Manager: huge improvements with more information, better looks, unobstrusive behaviour and faster performance. Faster and more reliable changelog retrieval.
  • Drivers Manager: can now install drivers offline from installation media.
  • Login Screen: refined MDM, improved multi-monitor support, HiDPI support in HTML greeter, improvements in default login theme.
  • Language Settings: a new tool replacing the old one. Unifies locale managements across different desktop flavours.
  • Software Sources: UI and usability improvements.
  • Welcome Screen: redesigned and webkit dependency removed. Uses less resources and launches faster.
  • Cinnamon 2.2:
    – Better looking settings.
    – Simplified and enhanced Screensaver and Power management.
    – Original Date and Time settings brought back.
    – Menu improvements.
    – MPRIS support and Sound Applet improvements.
    – Wacom plugin back as Graphics Tablet.
    – Visually impaired users can use the ability to zoom in and out using Alt+mousewheel.
    – Window manager improvements.
  • MATE 1.8: lighter than before, better documented and better translated. Better integration with Linux Mint. Other MATE improvements:
    – Caja received an option to use IEC units instead of SI units and a new “Open parent location” option in the search view context menu.
    – Marco, the window manager, was given side-by-side tiling.
    – The logout dialog features a progress bar.
    – The image viewer can now shuffle pictures in slideshow mode.
    – The sreensaver now shows the date and time.
    – Clicking the middle mouse on the volume applet now toggles mute.
    – The sticky note applet was given the ability to “undo”.
    – A new “command” applet was introduced.
    – MATE 1.8 features an integrated yelp user guide.
    – MATE 1.8 includes a new mpaste command which you can use to paste text to http://paste.mate-desktop.org
  • System Improvements: lsb_release added -u option to show upstream LSB information as in Ubuntu Trusty, shutdown sequence fixed, Hexchat replaces Xchat as IRC client.
  • Artwork Improvements: Gorgeous collection of backgrounds and photographs from various artists
  • Main Components: Cinnamon 2.2, MATE 1.8, MDM 1.6, a Linux kernel 3.13 and an Ubuntu 14.04 package base.

Excited? Grab the ISOs here!

Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” available for download

Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” RC Live ISO images with Cinnamon and MATE desktop environments are available for download now. Project Leader Clement Lefebvre noted in the Linux Mint blog that Qiana RC has passed QA and will be available soon.

Qiana is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS released last month and is right on schedule. The developers had a tough time towards the end but the team is excited about the package. In Clement’s words, “Some of the improvements featured in Linux Mint 17 came extremely late in the release cycle but they all managed to get in and we can’t wait to show you what’s new.” As it is a RC, bugs are expected but the developers are eagerly waiting for the bug reports and feedback to fix those. However, internal testing has shown the quality to be “outstanding” and there is a high level of confidence at this late stage of the main release. Qiana is scheduled to be released at the end of this month.

Everything is smooth as it normally is with the popular Ubuntu derivative. Some long term bugs from the past releases like the shutdown sequence, inability to install broadcom drivers offline etc. are now fixed. The look and feel remains traditional but is implemented in a brand new Mint-X theme, which gives a very “polished” experience.

The official announcement for the RC is yet to be published but that can’t stop you from downloading and testing it from the testing FTP site. 32 and 64-bit DVD ISOs are available for both the Cinnamon and MATE flavours.

[epiclink link = ‘http://ftp.heanet.ie/pub/linuxmint.com/testing/’ color = ‘btn btn-info’ target = ‘_blank’ shorticon = ‘left’ itype = ‘ icon-download-alt’]Download Linux Mint [/epiclink]

Linux Mint will be based only on Ubuntu LTS

Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre announced an important decision taken on the Mint release cycles. Starting immediately with Linux Mint 17 “Qiana”, the Ubuntu-based operating system will be based only on the LTS releases.

The decision is significant as this shows the direction is which Mint is moving with more stability in mind. Fewer releases immediately means that the focus of the development will be on the same package base for the next 2 years. The complexity involved in the upgrade paths from version 17 to 17.1 to 17.2 will also be reduced to a great extent.

Of course this doesn’t mean that users will need to sacrifice the latest updates in important applications. Clement confirms “Important applications will be backported”. However, the change in the release mode will boost the pace of development as developers can focus more on development than spending more time in regressing each new Linux Mint release.

With the change in the release mode which takes effect in Linux Mint 17.x, the imminent release is now very important to the Mint developers. This is going to be the release which will receive security updates till 2019, backports and new features till 2016. This is also going to be the only package base on focus (besides LMDE) till 2016.

So while users will be seeing lesser number of major releases of this extremely popular OS, there will be no lack of important application features which will keep getting backported.

Cinnamon 2.2 released with improvements

Cinnamon 2.2 was released today. It came up with various improvements to the System Settings, HiDPI/Retina Display support, and client side decorations support along with other interesting refinements. Cinnamon is a GTK+ 3 based desktop environment. Originally GTK+ was developed for the X Window System but it has grown over the years to include backend support for other well-known windowing systems, like Windows and Mac

Cinnamon 2.2 has various new features such as:

Better Looking Settings: – The graphical interface for System Settings was refined and settings now look more consistent. Settings are better categorized and separated into sub-sections.

Applet Roles and Sys-tray Icons: – These new roles enable Cinnamon to dynamically show relevant systray icons when applets are removed, or to dynamically hide them when applets are added. That means if you remove the network applet, you’ll see the Network Manager GTK systray icon appear. Say you put the network applet back in the panel, the Network Manager Systray icon will then disappear.

Hot Corners and HUD: -The HUD is now less intrusive and should only appear if you drag a window really close to the edge. As cool as snapping can be, you don’t need to be reminded about it every time you’re a bit slow moving a window around. Hot Corners were given better settings.  For each corner you can now define whether to react on hover, on icon click, or on both.

Major changes in the latest Cinnamon 2.2:

  • HiDPI/Retina Display support (requires GTK 3.10);
  • option to uninstall applications from the menu (right click and select “Uninstall”);
  • newly installed applications are now highlighted in the menu;
  • A11y MouseWheel Zoom;
  • Better integration with GNOME on the same machine
  • Better support for GDM (in particular for user-switching);
  • Fixed blacklight/brightness support on some hardware;
  • Better support for VLC screensaver inhibit;

This is just an overview. For detailed list of changes, please check this link

According to blog.linuxmint it looks like Cinnamon 2.2 won’t be back ported to Linux Mint 16. That means Cinnamon 2.2 should be available by default with Linux Mint 17 which is planned for the end of May.

More details on the Cinnamon 2.2 desktop update are detailed along with plenty of screenshots via the official Linux Mint blog announcement.

 Source: webupd8.org

LibreOffice 4.2.3 arrives with Heartbleed fix

The Document Foundation has announced the release of LibreOffice 4.2.3 which is available for free download. The foundation says “LibreOffice 4.2.3 ‘Fresh’ is the most feature rich version of the software, and is suited for early adopters willing to leverage a larger number of innovations. For enterprise deployments and for more conservative users, The Document Foundation suggests the more mature LibreOffice 4.1.5 ‘Stable’.”

The version also comes with a fix for the most terrifying bug ‘Heartbleed’. In addition the release comes for HiDPI monitor support. Other notable fixes  to improve compatibility with Microsoft’s Docx include fix for nested tables anchored inside tables, layout problem with automatic spacing and verwriting of WW8Num* character styles. You can check out fixes and improvement in the changelog here.

How to install it?

All Ubuntu derivatives

sudo apt-get purge libreoffice-core
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/libreoffice-4-2 && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install libreoffice

MintBox 2 mini-PC now available in Europe

One of the much talked about mini PCs, the Linux Mint-powered MintBox 2 mini-PC has finally landed in Europe. The fanless, energy-efficient PC running the famous Ubuntu-based OS is manufactured b Compulab, which is an Israel-based computing company. The device can be bought from Amazon at €599 (Germany) and £499 (UK).

The second generation of the MintBox device was first unveiled in the summer of 2013. Coming to the specifications, the device has an Intel Core i5 dual-core CPU, 4GB RAM and a 500GB HDD. It was shortly made available in the US for $599.

It is noteworthy to add that Compulab offers 5 percent of the sale to the development of the Linux Mint project.

Here are the detailed specifications: Intel Core i5 dual-core CPU @ 1.8GHz; 4GB RAM; 500 GB HDD; Dual Ethernet ports, built in WiFi 802.11n; HDMI, DisplayPort, Digital Audio out; Aluminium case.

Here comes a spoiler of sorts! Clement Lefebvre, Mint project lead has said that the MintBox 2 is selling well on Amazon, such that, “There are only 4 units left in Germany, and they’re already gone in the UK. We’ll get in touch with CompuLab regarding a 3rd shipment.”

Interested to buy one?

Source: OMGUbuntu.co.uk

How To watch Netflix on Ubuntu based distributions

This tutorial will walk you through how to watch Netflix on your Ubuntu based GNU/Linux operating system natively on your Chromium browser.

One of the reasons, when I first started using GNU/Linux, which I was hesitant to “make the switch”, to GNU/Linux as my primary operating system was it’s lack of native support for Netflix. When you try to open up a movie in Netflix with a typical browser, like Firefox for example, you will be taken to a page with an error message. This tutorial is designed to show you how to watch Netflix natively in Chromium in your Ubuntu based GNU/Linux distribution.

Netflix wants you to run a commercial operating system in order to take advantage of the subscription that you pay for. There has been a petition for some time that has gathered over 30,000 signatures, but this seems to have no effect on Netflix’s decision on native GNU/Linux or FreeBSD support.

Thanks to some great people with a project called Pipelight we have a way around their obstruction. Our objective is to use Google Chromium, which is required for this method, and Silverlight from Microsoft to trick Netflix into thinking that we are using a commercial operating system on their site. You can easily install Chromium in the terminal by running this comman:

sudo apt-get install chromium-browser

The first thing we need to do is install the repositories for Pipelight. You will want to open your terminal and type the command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pipelight/stable

The terminal will ask you if you want to add the repositories for the Pipeline project’s stable release. You want to press “ENTER” to continue. Update your system with the usual:

sudo apt-get update

We then need to install Pipelight:

sudo apt-get install --install-recommends pipelight-multi

then update update the Pipelight plugin:

sudo pipelight-plugin --update

After the update you’re ready to enable the Silverlight plugin for Chromium. We will use:

sudo pipelight-plugin --enable silverlight

Use Y to accept the licenses.

Now that we have Microsoft’s Silverlight installed and enabled we just need to use an User Agent Switcher for Chromium to make Netflix think we are running a different browser on a different operating system. Go to the Chromium store and search for User-Agent Switcher for Chrome by Glenn Wilson. Or click here.

In Chromium you should now see the User-Agent switcher in the top right corner. You want to select Firefox then Firefox 15 you should see F15 on that corner icon after the switch is complete.

Now we will navigate to Netflix, sign in, and select a movie. You will get a message on a gray screen saying Silverlight Plug-In needs your permission to run. Just right click the screen then  Run this plug-in.

You still need an active Netflix account to watch Netflix using this method. This simply allows a user of a Ubuntu based distribution, ex: Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Bohdi, etc. to watch Netflix on your operating system.

Please note although this tutorial is written for Chromium you can also use an User-Agent switcher in Firefox and produce the same results. Also note that I have come across issues using this method in live sessions and believe it has something to do with user_xattr not being enable in the filesystem during live sessions.

Sources: FDS-Team Pipelight – Installation , Netflix-Desktop

Linux Mint Debian 201403 Released

The Linux Mint team has released a new edition of Linux Mint Debian which comes with a revamped desktop and updated software. Unlike other editions of Linux Mint which use Ubuntu repositories and packages as the base, Linux Mint Debian uses Debian testing repositories for its packages.

Some of the highlights of this release are:

  • Linux Mint Update Pack 8
  • Cinnamon 2.0
  • MATE 1.6
  • Latest Mint tools
  • Support for EFI and GPT

The release is available for both 32 and 64 bit architectures and requires a moderate PC with 1GB of RAM, 5GB diskspace and a VGA capable graphics card to run. As this edition uses Debian Testing, the OS is semi rolling and you don’t need to reformat every time a new edition releases. This is especially suitable for users who want a stable system which will run a long time without any major changes.

You can download Linux Mint Debian Edition in both Cinnamon and MATE editions from mirrors listed in this page. Torrent download is also available, in case you need a higher speed download and wish to reduce the load of Linux Mint servers.

MATE 1.8 is finally released

It took the developers nearly a year but their work on the familiar, yet ambitious, MATE desktop is finally stable and available for everyone to use. MATE is a complete desktop environment that was forked from the Gnome Project (Gnome 2 to be exact) nearly 2 years ago. The decision to fork came at a time when a significant amount of Gnome 2 users were displeased with Gnome 3, the next major iteration and core of the Gnome Project.

Below is the list of major updates in MATE 1.8 as originally shown here.

Caja (file manager)
Added option to use IEC units instead of SI units
Added “Open parent location” option in context menu in search view

Marco (window manager)
Added side-by-side tiling (windows snapping)

Panel
Added support to run dialog and main menu opening with metacity keybindings
Show a progress bar in logout dialog

Control center
Added support for Metacity as window manager

MATE Desktop library
Added MATE User Guide
Added mpaste tool for paste.mate-desktop.org

Eye Of MATE (image viewer)
Added shuffle mode in slideshow

Engrampa (file archiver)
Show always the “extract to” action in caja extension

Screensaver
Show date and time in lock dialog

Applets
Added undo functionality to sticky note applet
New “command” applet to show the output of a command
Rewritten “timer” applet in c
Mouse middle click on volume applet toggles mute state

Dropped packages
Replaced mate-doc-utils with yelp-tools
Replaced libmatekeyring/mate-keyring with libsecret/gnome-keyring
Replaced libmatewnck with libwnck
Replaced mucharmap with gucharmap
Replaced mate-bluetooth with blueman
Merged all caja extensions in a single package

Other improvements
Fixed a lot of code deprecations
Fixed a lot of bugs
Added and improved a lot of translations

“Part of our users express that they want to stay with GNOME 2; because they like how things used to be, they run older hardware or they want a more lightweight desktop. Given that GNOME 2 becomes unsupported and will eventually be removed from our meta distribution due to various maintenance, regression and security issues; MATE brings back all the glory with an active development team. Their continuation of GNOME 2’s development fixes outstanding issues, brings new and useful features and keeps the good old experience alive and kicking.” – Tom Wijsman, Gentoo developer and MATE maintainer

Image Courtesy of Mate Desktop

MATE uses GTK2 for its development with the eventual goal of <a href=”http://wiki.mate-desktop.org/status:gtk3″>using the more modern GTK3</a>. The difference between the two is that GTK3 is the more current and active api for developing gui’s (graphical user interfaces), it’s at the core of Gnome3. Users in general didn’t take issue with the core technology of Gnome3, it was actually the design. The interface changed how users interacted with their computers as well as how and what they could customize. It was seen as being more limited and heading in a direction that is very different in execution style when compared to most other WIMP-based (Windows/Icons/Menus/Pointer) desktops.

Graphical user interfaces (gui’s) can make even the most meek and tech illiterate highly vocal in their opinions. It’s the most common source of complaints about Windows 8. It was also one of the core defining features of the original iPhone and is arguably one of the most interesting parts of Ubuntu Touch. Gui’s are more than just skin deep changes, they also define how you interact with your computer. This latest release of MATE appears as if it will continue to be a crowd pleaser by keeping a familiar interface that users still want to use while supporting newer features and utilities.