Desktops, Rolling vs Stable, and New Internet Security

by Ostatic Staff - Feb. 10, 2016

There is a lot of Linux news to report today as a lot of interesting things have been happening last few days. Over the weekend Jeff Hoogland, Bodhi Linux founder, briefed folks on the many graphical desktops for Linux including his own. Yesterday, Matt Hartley compared and contrasted long term versus rolling released Linux distributions and Jack Wallen said desktop Linux isn't really important anymore. Today, Jack Germain said Mandriva offshoot Rosa is a "real powerhouse" and the LF announced collaboration with the White House on new Internet security measures.

Besides a new Slackware Live, Chris Smart last weekend announced the release of Korora 23, based on Fedora 23 featuring Cinnamon 2.8, GNOME 3.18, Plasma 5.5.4, Xfce 4.12, and MATE 1.12. Speaking of Fedora 23, Dedoimedo said it may be his "distro de jure" since getting NVIDIA proprietary drivers installed. Also interesting yesterday, Linus Torvalds was included in a line-up of "tech icons you should know."

Jeff Hoogland, of Bodhi Linux fame, posted an overview of graphical desktop environments over the weekend. He organized them by toolkit (GTK, QT, or EFL) and included a little synopsis with screenshot of each. He then said, "Which desktop is right for you will vary based on your needs. The best piece of advice I can give is try a few different ones out before settling on one."

Matt Hartley offered "a candid view between the two options by examining the core differences between running a rolling release and using an LTS type release distribution" yesterday. He said LTS offers better stability because they only add security and major bug updates. He thinks rolling release Arch is more stable in the long run while fixed release Ubuntu LTS is better day to day. For sever needs, he recommended a long term support release "all day long." But in the end he suggested you try an example of each and decide for yourself.

The top story today must be the announcement out of the White House.  President Obama signed an executive order creating a new government agency, this time including a collaboration with the Linux Foundation's Core Infrastructure Initiative. Jim Zemlin commented, 'The White House announced collaboration with The Linux Foundation's Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) to better secure Internet "utilities" such as open-source software, protocols and standards.' The EFF said the Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP) falls short on any kind of privacy protection. Shahid Buttar wrote, "The council has a limited mandate, and ultimately represents an overdue nod to privacy principles the administration has repeatedly abused in practice." Obama said, "The Government will work with organizations such as The Linux Foundation's Core Infrastructure Initiative to fund and secure commonly used Internet “utilities” such as open-source software, protocols, and standards." They're going to set up a new agency with appointees "to bolster cooperation between Federal, State, and local governments" and upgrade government infrastructure. For Internet users, they're going to suggest another "layer of security" in addition to passwords for online accounts such as fingerprints or a one-use code through text messages. The new initiative received a starting budget of $19 billion a year.   Coincidently, Monday marked the twentieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace.

Elsewhere, Jack M. Germain reviewed Rosa Desktop Fresh R today and explained, "Rosa Desktop is not the latest desktop environment to challenge the likes of GNOME 3, Unity, Cinnamon, Elementary or what have you. Rather, it is a very focused distro built around a well-tweaked integration of KDE." He had lots of good things to say about this distro and even called the Rosa desktop "delightful." The software selection is adequate including multimedia codecs and the KDE tweaks hit the spot according to Germain. He concluded, "The Rosa Desktop Fresh R series is one of the most impressive and productive Linux releases I have seen in quite some time. Its performance is top notch. It gets high marks in all the right places."

If that isn't enough:

* Judge Says ‘No’ to SCO

* Is Docker ditching Ubuntu? Confusion reigns

* Should the fight for the Linux desktop really matter?

* Richard Stallman: License Compatibility and Relicensing

* Review: Tails 2.0