Zorin OS 16.1 Released with a New Kernel for Better Hardware Compatibility

Zorin OS 16 was only released seven months ago, yet the developers have been busy at work to bring the first point release for the desktop distribution. The biggest change to the operating system is the inclusion of the 5.13 kernel; though, that kernel is not patched against the Dirty Pipe vulnerability. However, immediately upon installation, an update will patch the kernel, so your desktop isn't in danger of falling prey to this nasty bug.

The 5.13 kernel brings better hardware compatibility for newer hardware (such as NVIDIA RTX 3050 GPUs, 12th Generation Intel Core processors, Sony PlayStation 5 DualSense controllers, the Framework laptop, and Apple's Magic Mouse 2).

Also included with 16.1 is the 7.3 release of LibreOffice, the Mesa 21.2.6 graphics stack, and all the usual goodness that comes along with Zorin OS (such as professional-grade creative apps, and different desktop layouts).

It should also be noted that the developers of Zorin OS decided to send all profits of sales to aid Ukraine, from release day (Thursday, March 10) until March 17. Although by the time you read this that effort will have ended, it's worth mentioning that the developers are doing what they can to send aid to the people of a war-torn nation.

Read the official Zorin OS 16.1 release notes (

Red Hat Adds Common Criteria Certification for RHEL 8.2

Red Hat Inc. has further strengthened its RHEL platform by adding Common Criteria Certification for RHEL 8.2.

For those who aren't familiar with Common Criteria Certifications, the goal with these types of certifications is to assure a product meets specific security criteria for specific computing environments. These certifications go through rigorous validation using standardized and repeatable testing via a third party.

RHEL 8.2 was certified by the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) after the testing and validation were handled by Acumen Security (a US government-accredited lab). The operating system was tested and validated against the Common Criteria Standard for Information Security Evaluation (ISO/IEC 15408) against version 4.2.1 of the NIAP General Purpose Operating System Protection Profile. This process included the Extended Package for Secure Shell (SSH), version 1.0.

Paul Smith, senior vice president and general manager, Public Sector, North America, Red Hat, said of the certification, "This first Common Criteria certification for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 shows that Red Hat continues to maintain crucial IT security certificates for its next-generation operating system as well as the fact that the world's leading enterprise Linux platform can now provide a more secure and more intelligent platform for critical and classified deployments while retaining the flexibility, scalability, and innovation of Linux."

For more information, check out the official Red Hat announcement (

Linux Kernel 5.17 Has Finally Arrived

The latest Linux kernel has arrived and it's chock full of surprises for new hardware, performance enhancements, and security fixes.

Chief among the new additions is support for the AMD P-State driver, which is a performance scaling driver that introduces a new CPU frequency control mechanism for AMD Zen-based CPUs. This new driver will offer vastly improved power efficiency and will go a long way to aid the performance on the Steam Deck.

Other hardware additions/improvements include updates for next-gen AMD GPUs, more improvements for Apple Silicon, initial support for Intel Raptor Lake S graphics, support for custom fan curves for some ASUS ROG laptops, a new driver for x86 Android tablets, support for Intel's new "platform firmware runtime update" (which allows for partial firmware updates without rebooting a system), and a new driver for the Lenovo Yoga Book.

Of note in the latest release is a fix for the Spectre v2 vulnerability, which affects a large range of processors from Intel, AMD, and ARM. This was actually one of the reasons for the delay because an embargo on public disclosure of the AMD patch for the vulnerability meant that the kernel automated testing process found a number of "fixes for the fixes." On this (, Linus Torvalds (the creator of Linux) said, "None of this was really surprising, but I naÔvely thought I'd be able to do the final release this weekend anyway." Torvalds continued, "We also really don't have any reason _not_ to give it another week with all the proper automated testing."

Although kernel 5.17 might not be the most glamorous release, thanks to the Spectre v2 fixes, it's a crucial one. Of course, it's now up to distribution maintainers to make this kernel available for users.

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