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Article from Issue 252/2021
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In the news: System76 Updates the 15" Pangolin with Ryzen; KDE Plasma 5.23 Promises Plenty of Subtle Improvements; Gnome 41 Now in Beta; Debian 11 "Bullseye" Released; and AlmaLinux Makes CentOS SIG Repositories Available.

System76 Updates the 15" Pangolin with Ryzen

System76 (https://system76.com/) is not just one of the most popular makers of Linux-only hardware, they're also really good at pushing all of the boundaries and reinventing all of the wheels. This latest move might not push or reinvent, but it certainly gives consumers options for more mobile power.

But this isn't news, right? The Pangolin was already available with an AMD Ryzen processor. This is a situation where out with the old, in with the new applies because the company is upping the Ryzen ante by offering the 15" Pangolin with a Ryzen 7 5700U CPU.

Of course, along with this much-improved CPU comes a slightly steeper price. The previous Ryzen model starts at $1,199 and the new version starts at $1,398 (due to the $199 CPU upgrade). Both iterations include the same base specs (minus the newer CPU). You can purchase the Pangolin with the older Ryzen 5 5500U (with 2.1 up to 4.0 GHz, 8MB cache, 6 cores, and 12 threads), or you can opt to upgrade to the Ryzen 7 5700U (with 1.8 up to 4.3 GHz with 8MB cache, 8 cores, and 16 threads).

The base specs for both machines include 8GB of RAM and a 240 GB SSD, and both ship with Pop!_OS.

Find out more about the Pangolin laptop (https://system76.com/laptops/pangolin).

KDE Plasma 5.23 Promises Plenty of Subtle Improvements

KDE Plasma 5.23 is set for release on October 7, 2021, and it promises several (subtle) improvements across the board. This new release is powered by Qt 5.15 and KDE Frameworks version 5.86. Along with the improvements found in those software stacks, there's plenty of goodness to go around within KDE itself.

Many of the new features and improvements are all about refinement, so you probably won't see anything that's mind-blowing or drastic. For example, one of the highlighted new features is that you can specify an alternative accent color from that which is configured by the theme. Other subtle newness includes the ability to choose list or grid view for all Kickoff items (so it no longer only applies to Favorites), a new QML-based Overview effect has been introduced that is similar to Gnome's Workspace view, the Dolphin file manager can be configured to display hidden files/folders first, and selected items can be deleted from the clipboard pop-up.

There have also been some updates to Wayland support, including that copying text from notifications now works as expected, and middle-click paste has finally returned (huzzah!).

Much of the improvement for KDE Plasma 5.23 comes under the hood and should bring a significant bump in performance.

For those interested in testing the new version, download the Unstable Edition of KDE Neon (https://neon.kde.org/download). Just remember, do not use this release for production environments.

Gnome 41 Now in Beta

Gnome 40 brought to life some major changes to the desktop environment (such as the horizontal workflow). Although topping that release would be a monumental task, the developers do have some tricks up their sleeves for the soon-to-be-released Gnome 41. And now that the desktop environment is in beta, you can experience those tweaks for yourself.

The big-ticket items for this upcoming release include a new multitasking panel in the Settings window. This new Settings tab allows you to configure Hot Corners, Active Screen Edges, Workspace options, and app-switching preferences.

Another new option found in the Settings tool is called Cellular, which allows users to configure mobile connections and modems. This option will only appear when Gnome recognizes the necessary hardware for that purpose.

The Gnome Software tool is also getting a few tweaks, most of which are merely cosmetic. You'll find the Power Profiles tool (introduced in Gnome 40) has evolved to make it easier to quickly switch between profiles. Those profiles have also been better integrated into the system. For example, the low power profile is now automatically activated when a laptop battery reaches a low level.

A new remote desktop app, called Connections, has been introduced, which makes it possible to easily connect and switch between multiple remote desktop sessions.

Finally, there have been numerous boosts to the performance of the desktop, so expect it to run even better than Gnome 40 (which should be impressive).

Find out more about what's been improved and added in the official announcement (https://mail.gnome.org/archives/devel-announce-list/2021-August/msg00002.html).

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