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Article from Issue 250/2021
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In the news: Linux Mint 20.2 Now Available; Linux Foundation Forming the Open 3D Foundation; Nitrux 1.5 Ships with Kernel 5.13; Slimbook Executive Laptop Focuses on Display and Power; KDE Plasma 5.22 Released with Better Stability and Usability; and Linux Kernel 5.13 Released

Linux Mint 20.2 Now Available and Better Than Ever

Linux Mint 20.2 (Uma) is now available, and it makes a strong case for the best desktop experience on the market. Although the feature list doesn't include anything that will blow users away at first blush, the performance gains and polish added make this release one of the finest on the market.

One of the most impressive features the developers have pulled off lies in the Cinnamon desktop spin and comes in the form of a Memory Limit option. Users can enable this feature and then set a memory limit. If Cinnamon reaches that limit the desktop will automatically restart (without you losing either session or windows). This will ensure you don't wind up with a desktop that bogs down because of memory leaks or other issues.

Another outstanding addition is the change found in the update notifications. The developers found that users were allowing updates to go unapplied for longer periods of time. Because of this, Linux Mint will now politely nudge users to run their updates. About this new notification feature, the developers said, "This new notification feature was designed to add comfort to the user experience, not remove any, so making sure it was a nice addition and not an annoying distraction was key. The way this is handled in other operating systems such as Windows or Mac for instance was an example Linux Mint did not want to follow."

To learn about all of the additional features and improvements in the Linux Mint 20.2 Cinnamon edition (https://www.linuxmint.com/rel_uma_cinnamon_whatsnew.php), check out the official release notes.

Linux Foundation Forming the Open 3D Foundation

This Open 3D Foundation is launching with over 20 corporate members including representatives from Adobe, AWS, Huawei, Niantic, and Red Hat. The goal is simple: To accelerate developer collaboration on 3D engine development for AAA games and high-fidelity simulations.

Right out of the gate, Amazon Web Services is open-sourcing a new version of the Amazon Lumberyard game engine to the new foundation (under the Apache 2.0 license) as the Open 3D Engine (O3DE). This new engine will enable developers and content creators to build exciting 3D experiences and provide support and infrastructure through forums, code repositories, and developer events.

But O3DE will not be limited to developing for games and will include the likes of content authoring tools, animation, physics systems, and asset processing. In fact, creators will be able to work with highly collaborative solutions that can be used with nearly any development environment and build, share, and distribute immersive 3D worlds. Developers will be able to create with C++, LUA, and Python, while animators, technical artists, level designers, and other content creators can work directly with the O3DE's built-in authoring tools.

Chris Aniszczyk, CTO, Linux Foundation, said of this new opportunity, "The new Open 3D Foundation finally gives gaming and engine developers an opportunity to influence the direction of a major AAA class 3D engine that is sustained for the long term by a worldwide open source community." Aniszczyk continued, "Furthermore, other industries such as automotive and healthcare can take advantage of embedding the engine and supporting the advancement of the engine to benefit all."

Nitrux 1.5 Ships with Kernel 5.13

In a race to be first, Nitrux Linux has won the prize as the first Linux distribution to ship with the latest kernel release 5.13. The one caveat to this is that the distribution doesn't default to the newest kernel, but rather the latest Long Term Support (LTS) kernel, which is 5.4.128. Users who want to, after initial installation, upgrade to the 5.13 kernel can do so with the built-in package manager and install the linux-image-mainline-current kernel.

Users can also opt to install the Liquorix, XanMod, XanMod CacULE, Libre LTS, or Libre Current kernels.

Nitrux also ships with KDE Plasma 5.22 along with the KDE Gear 21.04.2 and KDE Frameworks 5.83 software suites.

Other additions to the newly released iteration of Nitrux include updated Latte Dock layouts (which includes the new Floating Dock option), Firefox 89.0.2, LibreOffice 7.1.4, Heroic Games 1.7.2, Pacstall 1.4, 10 new wallpapers (that were taken at the 2015 KDE meeting in Randa, Switzerland), and more.

For those interested in trying Nitrux out, the developers have added two virtual appliances to run as a virtual machine. To download an ISO of Nitrux 1.5, point your browser to this official download link: https://storage.nxos.org/nitrux-release-amd64_2021.06.29.iso.

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