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NEWS

Article from Issue 246/2021
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In the news: Mageia 8 Now Available with Linux 5.10 LTS; Gnome 40 Beta Released; OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 Has Arrived; Thunderbird 78 Ported to Ubuntu 20.04; and Linux Exploit for Spectre Flaw Discovered.

Mageia 8 Now Available with Linux 5.10 LTS

NVIDIA Optimus laptop users rejoice, Mageia 8 now includes improved support, thanks to an upgraded graphics stack that includes Mesa 20.3.4 and X.Org Server 1.20.1. This upgrade improves both the AMD and NVIDIA GPU experience with the platform. For NVIDIA users, there's the new experimental mageia-prime configuration tool that makes it possible to get the most out of your NVIDIA GPU.

But the new release isn't all about the graphics stack. Anyone who begins Mageia 8 with a live instance will see faster performance, thanks to the inclusion of Zstd compression on the base file systems, and better optimizations for hardware detection. NFS file system support has also been improved, with added support for NFSv4.

Mageia also includes a new version of RPM (version 4.16.1.2) which offers a number of improvements, such as automatic SSD detection and optimization, filesystem sync at the end of transactions, SHA256 digest added to gpg-pubkey headers, support for meta dependencies, and parametric macro generators. Overall RPM should be considerably faster, thanks to several optimizations. Mageia also ships with DNF version 4.6.0.

Finally, Mageia 8 ships with the Linux Long Term Support kernel 5.10, which gives EXT4 and Btrfs file systems a performance boost, faster hibernate/resume functionality, and a number of other improvements.

Users can download three different versions of Mageia:

Find out more about the latest Mageia release from the Official release notes (https://wiki.mageia.org/en/Mageia_8_Release_Notes).

Gnome 40 Beta Released

On the heels of the alpha release of Gnome 40, the developers have announced the availability of the beta, which includes a number of improvements and bug fixes.

Of course, the biggest change to Gnome is the new horizontal Activities Overview, which makes for a much-improved workflow on the desktop. With the desktops residing at the top of the Overview, it is now easier to drag and drop an application to the specific desktop you want. It's far more intuitive and efficient. This new layout also improves usage with touch screen navigation and faster overall performance.

Another hotly anticipated change comes by way of how multi-monitor support will work with the new horizontal Activities Overview. Gnome 40 will default to only showing workspaces on the primary display, with the top bar and the Activities Overview on both displays.

Beyond the overhaul of the Activities Overview, you'll find easier workspace switching, a new Welcome dialog after major updates, better fingerprint scanner support, better window previews, a much-improved on-screen keyboard, a major reworking of the Nautilus file manager, and a default web browser (Epiphany) that received plenty of attention.

Other bits that have received attention include Disk Usage Analyzer, Font Viewer, Calculator app, Gnome Software, and Gnome Maps.

For anyone wanting to test Gnome 40, you can download and boot the installer image (https://os.gnome.org/download/40.beta/gnome_os_installer_40.beta.iso).

OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 Has Arrived

OpenMandriva is a direct descendant of the not forgotten (and much-loved) Mandriva Linux, and was the first to ever make use of the LLVM toolchain by default. With the release of Lx 4.2, OpenMandriva brings to the table a few improvements, as well as the latest release of the KDE desktop environment, and some exciting ARM news.

As for software, OpenMandriva improves the OM Welcome, which is an on-boarding tool that makes it incredibly easy for new users to do things like install software with a single click. Beyond the welcome app, OpenMandriva includes LibreOffice 7.1, Krita 4.4.2, Digikam 7.2, SMPlayer 21.1.0, VLC 3.0.12.1, Falkon browser 3.1, SimpleScreenRecorder 0.4.3, and much more. Also included with OpenMandriva is Desktop Presets, which allows users to easily customize the appearance of the Plasma Desktop to look and feel similar to other desktop environments.

Beyond software and tools, one aspect of OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 that might excite a number of users is that the port to 64-bit ARM processors is complete. At the moment, installable images are available for PinebookPro, Raspberry Pi 4B and 3B+, Rock Pi 4A, 4B and 4C, Synquacer, Cubox Pulse, and generic UEFI compatible devices. The ARM port will make it possible for the developers to even target smartphones (such as the PinePhone).

Download the latest version of OpenMandriva from the mirror nearest your location: http://mirror.openmandriva.org/README.txt?mirrorlist.

Read more about this exciting announcement in the official release notes: https://www.openmandriva.org/en/news/article/openmandriva-lx-4-2-is-out-now.

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