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Fedora 33 launches with updated GNOME and BTRFS
by Paul Hill
The Fedora Project has released Fedora 33 today bringing new software such as GNOME 3.38. A notable change on the Fedora Workstation is that BTRFS is now the default filesystem. BTRFS has been on the radar for Linux users for years but it’s only now considered stable enough for Fedora.
With BTRFS, Fedora 33 users will gain a copy-on-write filesystem that has advanced features including error detection, fault tolerance, recovery, transparent compression, cheap snapshots, integrated volume management, and easy administration. When compared to the EXT4 filesystem, BTRFS supports bigger volume sizes, bigger file sizes, a larger number of files, and longer filenames.
Some other improvements available in Fedora 33 pertain to programming languages and system library packages; as this distribution is used by a lot of developers, it’s important for it to ship with the latest software in these categories especially. Fedora 33 comes with Python 3.9, Ruby on Rails 6.0, and Perl 5.32. The nano text editor has also been set as the default but this can be changed if a user has another preference.
If you want to try out the new version of Fedora, just head over to the project’s website where you’ll be able to download the Workstation, Server, and IoT editions of Fedora 33. If you’re not a big fan of the GNOME desktop, you can check out the Fedora Spins which have also been updated but come with different desktop environments that you may prefer instead. Finally, there’s Fedora Labs which offers Fedora spins for specific tasks such as astronomy, neuroscience, graphics design, gaming, music production, teaching Python, digital security, robotics, and science in general.
Linux 5.10 set to become the next Long-Term Support kernel
by Paul Hill
Speaking at the Linux Foundation’s virtual Open-Source Summit Europe, the Linux kernel maintainer for the stable branch, Greg Kroah-Hartman, unveiled that Linux 5.10 will be the next Long-Term Support (LTS) release. The existing LTS kernel is Linux 5.4 which was released in November 2019 and receives updates until December 2025.
Going by the last two LTS kernel releases, it’s expected that Linux 5.10 will be tended to until December 2026. The first release candidate of Linux 5.10 was released this past weekend and with several more to come, we should expect the stable version sometime in December.
The kernel is one of the most important components of any Linux system. New updates to the kernel allow new hardware devices to work and it’s also the vehicle for introducing improvements for file systems. Some updates in the 5.10 kernel include a fix for the XFS file system which will defer breakage in 2038 to the year 2486, Nintendo Switch controller support has been added, and support for Intel Rocket Lake, Alder Lake, Meteor Lake and AMD Zen 3 processors has been improved.
The new Linux 5.10 kernel could show up in one of the point releases for Ubuntu 20.04, however, by the time Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is ready, the next LTS kernel should be ready too. If you’d like to hear more about Linux 5.10 as it approaches, check LKML’s Hottest messages for weekly posts about the kernel from the project’s head, Linus Torvalds.
Microsoft Weekly: Edge on Linux, the October 2020 Update, and more games
by Florin Bodnarescu
Another Windows 10 feature update, the arrival of Edge on Linux, as well as the beginning of testing for the Halo 4 PC port via the Insider program. You can find info about that, as well as much more below, in your Microsoft digest for the week of October 18 - 24.
Edge on Linux
We begin this week with a bunch of changes surrounding the Chromium-based Edge browser. For one, the Beta channel is now on version 87, while the Dev channel has moved on to version 88. If you’re on the latter, you’re now able to take a screenshot of a webpage and add a link to it, as well as take advantage of a couple of new management policies.
If you’re running a build from the Canary channel, PWAs now support tabs, and if you’re running either a Canary of Dev build, you’re also able to reset your sync data. Staying a little longer on the subject of PWAs, there is a bug that needs highlighting, which specifically causes Office PWAs to be installed without your permission. We’re talking here about those tiles you would see in the Start menu if you didn’t have Office installed, which were simply links. Due to this bug, they are no longer pinned websites, but rather installed apps, which appear even if you have Office installed.
In a little better news, Microsoft has announced that its WebView2 component for Win32 C/C++ apps is now generally available and that the Dev channel of the browser at long last has a Linux build that testers can download.
The October 2020 Update
Unsurprisingly, we’re going to touch upon some update news this week too, with Microsoft pushing out a couple of optional updates for still-supported versions of Windows 10. These are:
May 2019 Update / November 2019 Update (1903/1909): KB4580386, build 18362.1171 / 18363.1171 – adds Meet Now to the Taskbar, fixes an issue with Xbox Game Pass whereby users weren’t able to play games they should be able to, as well as fixing a screen flashing reliability issue and addressing the issue with USB printers that causes the port to disappear after restarting. Known issue: When updating to v1903 or v1909 from any previous version, you may receive a compatibility report dialog with “What needs your attention” at the top of the error. “Continuing with the installation of Windows will remove some optional features. You may need to add them back in Settings after installation completes. Additionally, a compatibility warning might also be received when Local System accounts are blocked in a firewall from accessing the internet via HTTP. This is caused by the Windows 10 Setup Dynamic Update (DU) being unable to download the required packages. October 2018 Update (1809): KB4580390, build 17763.1554 - contains updates for an issue with the out of box experience (OOBE) that prevents the update from completing on certain devices. Known issue: After installing KB4493509, devices with some Asian language packs installed may receive error “0x800f0982 – PSFX_E_MATCHING_COMPONENT_NOT_FOUND.” Switching over to the upcoming version of the operating system, the October 2020 Update has been officially released, complete with a list of known issues that this time, thankfully, doesn’t have any surprises. In case you aren’t up to speed on what this feature update contains, make sure to check out our handy guide. And if you’re determined to get this update, these are the various ways you can go about obtaining it.
In terms of more update news, Microsoft released build 19042.608 to the Release Preview channel, posted a workaround for the ‘Reset this PC’ bug affecting some PCs, and added a new Group Policy that lets IT admins disable feature update blocks.
Insiders in the Dev channel were also treated to a new build of the vNext branch, namely 20241, which brought theme-aware splash screens for some of the built-in apps. In other words, no longer will you get a splash screen with your chosen accent colour, but one that’s either light grey (for the light theme) or dark grey (for the dark theme).
The build contains a fair few fixes, but is also still plagued by the bug which causes the update process to hang for extended periods of time.
Microsoft subsequently pushed out build 20241.1005, which contained no changes.
This week was rather eventful on the gaming side of Microsoft too, with an Xbox Live issue preventing folks on console and Windows 10 from launching games. The problem was likely due to an authentication issue with the service, but luckily, in a little over an hour, the bug had been mitigated. In the same realm of authentication and login, though not a bug, the Java Edition of Minecraft will soon require a Microsoft account.
On the subject of other first-party Microsoft titles, the Flight Simulator VR beta inches closer, Halo 4 Insider testing is now live across PC and console with cross-play support, Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be optimized for Xbox Series X and S, and Doom Eternal’s The Ancient Gods – Part One standalone expansion is now available.
Speaking of expansions, the list of games with Xbox touch controls for cloud gaming via Game Pass Ultimate has been expanded by 10 – including Killer Instinct, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, and Tell Me Why -, while the Xbox app has had its feature set expanded with support for remote play on iOS and Android.
In terms of games to pick up, there are currently Deals with Gold in place for a number of Fallout games, Destiny 2, Madden NFL 21, Need for Speed, and more. In case existing games aren’t what you’re looking for, but rather new games, here’s a handy list of Xbox One games launching next week, and here’s a brand-new wireless gaming headset from Corsair, which has just been announced. The $149.99 pair will be compatible with Windows 10 PCs, Xbox One, Series X, and Series S.
Microsoft is the most imitated brand by hackers, per new report The all-digital CES 2021 event will be powered by Microsoft’s cloud tech Outlook for iPadOS now lets you drag and drop files in split view Teams now integrates with Zoho Notebook Teams on iOS now supports Caller ID, spelling suggestions, and more The Microsoft Remote Desktop app for iOS has gotten a number of fixes and improvements in its latest update Microsoft Forms is now available for personal users The Redmond giant has disabled 94% of Trickbot’s critical operational infrastructure Honeywell and Microsoft have announced a collaboration centered on Azure and Dynamics 365 Microsoft, Nvidia, IBM, and more have partnered to release Adversarial ML Threat Matrix Windows 10 Team 2020 Update will be available for Surface Hub 2S next week The Surface Duo is now $200 off at the Microsoft Store Logging off
We end with a look at what Microsoft thinks cloud computing and the datacenter are going.
Following its experiments with submerged datacenters via Project Natick, the Redmond giant has perfected its modular approach to building datacenters, so much so that these are now essentially available in a box. Mind you, this is a rather big box, but the Azure Modular Datacenter (MDC) is designed for high-intensity secure cloud computing in environments where power and building infrastructure are unreliable.
And if you thought remote locations are the only places the company is looking at, you’d be partially right. Microsoft is in fact looking at space itself as the newest place to expand its datacenter reach. Via the newly-announced Azure Space, the firm wants to make space connectivity and computing across industries.
Finally, still on the subject of remote, but this time remote work, Microsoft will let employees continue to work from home until July 2021.
Missed any of the previous columns? Be sure to have a look right here.
Ubuntu 20.10 ‘Groovy Gorilla' is available to download now
by Paul Hill
Canonical has announced the immediate availability of Ubuntu 20.10 ‘Groovy Gorilla’. While this version is considered stable and fit to be run as a daily driver, it is not a Long Term Support (LTS) release and will therefore only receive security updates for nine months.
The new version comes with a variety of new software including Linux Kernel 5.8 and GNOME 3.38. Developer tools such as programming languages and compilers have also received updates - this release ships with glibc 2.32, OpenJDK 11, rustc 1.41, GCC 10, LLVM 11, Python 3.8.6, ruby 2.7.0, php 7.4.9, perl 5.30, and golang 1.13.
Another notable point about this upgrade is that Canonical has spun a new desktop image aimed at Raspberry Pi 4 devices that have at least 4GB of RAM. Raspberry Pi’s new Compute Module 4 is also supported by the Groovy Gorilla but you’ll need to have 4GB of RAM and 16GB of eMMC or equivalent SD card storage.
Those who want to download and try the new version can download it from the Ubuntu download page. If you’re running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and want to upgrade you’ll need to open Software & Updates, head to the Updates tab, and change the Notify me of a new Ubuntu version drop down to For any new version. From there, open the update manager and you’ll be offered the upgrade.
By Abhay V
Microsoft finally brings its Chromium-based Edge in preview form to Linux
by Abhay Venkatesh
Microsoft today announced that Edge is finally available for download on Linux. The Dev channel version of the Chromium-based browser makes it to the platform almost a year after the official announcement and as promised last month.
The Redmond giant says that the release supports Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and openSUSE distributions. The browser will be updated weekly, just like the Dev channel builds on other platforms. The company has also posted instructions for the process of installing the packages on various distributions using their standard package management tools, for those interested. However, the easier way is to download and install the .deb or .rpm packages from the Insider website here.
As for features, the company is “aiming to provide a representative experience for developers who want to build and test their sites and apps on Linux”. The preview release for Linux currently does not feature many user-facing features such as support for signing into Microsoft accounts – which means that there will be no sync capabilities. However, the company does promise to release these features with a future update.
Considering that the release is still in early development, the firm cautions that there will be many “bugs and unexpected behaviors“ and urges developers to send feedback through the browser. Lastly, the company is also accepting submissions for the Microsoft Edge Bounty Program on Linux for security researchers.
With the addition of support for Linux, the Redmond firms offering is now present on all platforms that support Chromium.