SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 Released

SUSE has announced the release of SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 (SLES 15). It's a major "leap" not only in terms of the operating system's architecture, but also the numbering. Thanks to some superstitions in its core markets, SUSE skipped numbers 13 and 14 and jumped to 15. Technically this would have been SLES 13.

SUSE calls SLES 15 a multimodal operating system that's designed to cater to both traditional and modern workloads – from data centers to the cloud.

"As organizations around the world transform their enterprise systems to embrace modern and agile technologies, multiple infrastructures for different workloads and applications are needed," said Thomas Di Giacomo, SUSE CTO. "This often means integrating cloud-based platforms into enterprise systems, merging containerized development with traditional development, or combining legacy applications with microservices. To bridge traditional and software-defined infrastructure, SUSE has built a multimodal operating system – SUSE Linux Enterprise 15."

With this release, SLES also accomplishes its modular architecture. Customers don't have to concern themselves with different versions of SLE for different workloads: There is only one installer; there is only one codebase. Users can install the desired version depending on the workload.

SLES 15 is complemented by two other components from the SUSE product line – SUSE Manager 3.2 and SUSE Linux Enterprise High Performance Computing 15, with a focus on helping customers innovate in this era of rapid digital transformation while meeting the needs of multimodal IT.

SUSE said in press releases that the latest release of SUSE Manager delivers new features focused on lowering costs, improving DevOps efficiency, and easily managing large, complex deployments across IoT, cloud, and container infrastructures. SUSE Manager also helps customers improve DevOps efficiency and meet compliance requirements with a single tool that manages and maintains everything from edge devices to Kubernetes environments. SUSE Manager makes managing large, complex deployments easier with new extended forms-based UI capabilities.

GitLab Drops Pricing After Microsoft GitHub Acquisition

As the news broke that Microsoft was acquiring GitHub, panicked users started to move their accounts to GitLab, a fully open source implementation of Linus Torvalds' Git.

Many leading figures of the open source world argues that GitHub is actually now in a more accountable and reliable position compared to earlier, because Microsoft will be treading carefully so as to not stain the positive image the company has been building with the open source community. However, that didn't stop users from moving away from GitHub. Sensing an opportunity, GitLab dropped pricing for its self-hosted GitLab Ultimate plan and its hosted Gold plan; both plans are now available for free to open source projects and educational institutions.

In an interview with Frederic Lardinois of TechCrunch, GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij said, "Most education and open source projects don't have access to enhanced security or performance management tools for their software projects. At GitLab, we are happy to have achieved a level of success that allows us to extend the full set of features to these important communities by offering GitLab Ultimate & GitLab Gold plans for free."

A caveat: these prices have been dropped, but these users won't get any commercial support from GitLab like paying users do.

KDE Plasma 5.13 Is Here

The KDE Project has announced the release of Plasma 5.13, the latest version of its desktop environment ( KDE is known for its modular design and under-the-hood customization. However, at times these benefits come at the cost of resource efficiency. But as KDE is targeting mobile devices, this release takes advantage of that work and has been optimized to run smoothly on under-powered ARM laptops, high-end gaming PCs, and everything in between. Resource efficiency also means that on powerful machines, more resources will be free for applications instead of being consumed by the desktop itself.

Web browsers are the gateway to the Internet; Plasma 5.13 comes with browser integration that allows users to monitor and control supported browsers, including Chrome/Chromium and Firefox, from the desktop widget. Users will be able to play and pause media playing in web browsers, offering users better control over not only their own entertainment, but also to control annoying autoplaying videos embedded on websites.

The community has also improved the KDE Connect experience; users can now send links directly to a phone using KDE Connect. The Media Control Widget has been redesigned with added support for the MPRIS specification, which means media players can now be controlled from the media controls in the desktop tray or from a phone using KDE Connect.

On the security side, Vaults, Plasma's storage encryption utility, includes a new CryFS back end, better error reporting, a more polished interface, and the ability to remotely open and close vaults via KDE Connect.

KDE already had good multimonitor support, where you could even choose a customized layout for each monitor. The 5.13 release makes it easier to connect external monitors. When a new external monitor is connected, a dialog pops up offering the option to control the position of the additional monitor in correlation to the primary monitor.

The desktop has also received some visual upgrades, from the login screen to icons. Plasma 5.13 will appear in different distributions depending on their own release cycle, but users can test the latest release with KDE's own distribution called "neon" ( openSUSE Tumbleweed and Arch Linux will be among the first to offer this release.

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