Debian Turns 21, KDE Plasma 5 Review, & Munich Reversal

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 18, 2014

It looks like the big story today, picked up by many news carriers, is Munich's decision/pondering a return to Windows. Also tonight, Debian celebrates 21 years and a Linux Migrant looks at new Pisi Linux 1. SymphonyOS is back from the grave and appropriately calling itself "Phoenix". OMG!Ubuntu! says Ubuntu is the "Superman" of Linux distros and a review of Plasma 5 tops the KDE news. All this and so much more in tonight's Linux news recap.

There was so much news today it's difficult to pick just a few to highlight. For example, SymphonyOS was once a daring and inventive distribution trying to redesign the desktop before GNOME and KDE thought of it. But alas, our young hero seemed to disappear into Linux oblivion, until today when I saw that SymphonyOS 14.1 is available. Apparently, Ryan Quinn has been working on resurrecting his baby for a while and quietly released version 14.0 back in January, five years since its last. The new incarnation is referred to as codename "Phoenix." Now days SymphonyOS is based on Ubuntu 14.x and uses Quinn's own, completely redesigned and rewritten, Mezzo desktop. It's still beta quality, but give it looksee.

The news on everyone's lips today seemed to be the revelation that the first city to move to Linux from Windows is now considering moving back. summarizes the reasons as, "Employees haven’t been too thrilled with the change, and there have also been difficulties finding Linux-compatible software titles that meet Munich’s needs." Some even questioned the financial savings. There are more details here in this article saying, "It may have saved Munich €10 million in software licensing fees, but now city officials there are saying it hasn't been worth more than a decade of IT headaches."

In happier news, Debian celebrates 21 years of Linuxing. Anna Guerrero Lopez and Valessio Brito reminded the community Saturday of this momentous occasion. takes a look back at Debian's first 21 years and a bit at the future. So be sure to catch that. reviews KDE's Plasma 5 desktop recently released. They say of it, "KDE's Plasma 5 release lacks the attention-grabbing, paradigm-shifting changes that keep Unity and GNOME in the spotlight. Instead, the KDE project has been focused on improving its core desktop experience. Plasma 5 is not perfect by any means, but, unlike Unity and GNOME, it's easy to change the things you don't like." After a thorough review Scott Gilbertson concludes, "If you've tried KDE in the past and found it too "heavy," you might want to give Plasma 5 a fresh look."

Speaking of KDE, Aaron Seigo is continuing to define what a desktop means to KDE, its developers and users. In today's post, Seigo said KDE hasn't abandoned the desktop but instead have "expanded" the definition. Saturday he said Plasma isn't seeking "convergence" as some others are. With Plasma they're trying to make KDE customizable at the frameworks level for use on any of the popular device types. Also, Konqueror is looking for a maintainer!

In other news:

* DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 572, 18 August 2014

* The Justice League of Linux: If Distros Were Superheroes Ubuntu Would Be Superman

* Having Fun with Pisi Linux 1.0

* Ubuntu MATE to Become an Official Ubuntu Flavor Soon

* Systemd: Harbinger of the Linux apocalypse

* Younger generation driving Linux take-up, says Canadian vendor

* This week in Open Source games