2017 Desktops, neon Goes Calamares, Spices Changes

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 21, 2017

Desktop choice is a hallmark of Linux and Jack Wallen today predicted which will become more popular in 2017. His list may surprise you. In other news, Jonathan Riddell said today that KDE neon would be switching installer from its current Ubiquity to another gaining in popularity. It's currently in the developer version, but it'll soon make its way into the user recommended version. Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre today announced changes to the Cinnamon desktop applets. He said he was concerned about security of 3rd party contributions given last year's security breach. Elsewhere, Robin Miller defended his Ubuntu choice saying, "So call me mass-average. Call me boring. Call me one of the many, the humble, the Ubuntu users!"

Robin Miller recently wrote that he began his Linux life with Mandrake Linux, like your humble correspondent. He said he liked easy then, and he still likes easy today. This is why he has chosen Ubuntu despite it not being cool like "Fedora or Debian." For him, "Ubuntu is the path of least resistance" to getting work done. He said that his two screens are covered in open apps so he can't see the desktop anyway. "Who cares if it's brown?" Read his whole unapologetic ode to Ubuntu. Speaking of Ubuntu, Insights posted a look back at 2016 in Mir development recently and OMG!Ubuntu! reported on the latest sales figures of Dell Ubuntu laptops. Also, Tutorials Ubuntu has gone live.

Clem Lefebvre and friends have been quite concerned about security since their repositories were breached last year. Among their efforts is a new initiative to assure users that their extras are not hiding something nasty. Specifically, he's instituted a couple of new policies concerning Spices, the desktop applets for the Cinnamon desktop. While they're upgrading the Spices' Website the old login has been disabled. The new authentication will use popular idents from the Web like Google or Facebook. Going forward all Spices will be version controlled and all code submitted by unproven contributors will have to be reviewed. In addition, he's assembled a new Spices security team made up of Mint and Spices developers to review such matters. That and with development moving to Github, bugs should get squashed faster as well, hopefully. There are a few notes for users on having to remove current versions of your Spices and reinstalling the verified version. So, you'll want to read that whole thing. In related Mint news, the other day Eric Brown reported on new Compulab mini-PC with Mint.

Desktops rise and fall in popularity over time and Jack Wallen thinks he knows which to watch in 2017. The current biggies may not hang on as other dark horses enter popular imagination he began. Not known for being a KDE man, Wallen surprised me by saying KDE Plasma has become so stable it's now a contender for his attention. He probably came to that conclusion after trying Arch-based Bluestar last month. It's the most stable KDE right now. GNOME is another old-timer predicted to suddenly start climbing the popularity charts. He attributes this to Ubuntu moving to Unity 8 next release. He thinks that will send users fleeing like city dwellers from Godzilla. Wallen's other picks include Budgie, Pantheon, and another old-timer Enlightenment.

In other news:

* KDE neon Inaugurated with Calamares Installer

* FastComputer Linux: Fussy but Fixable

* Why Linux users should worry about malware and what they can do about it