Ubuntu's New Feather, MEPIS Extinct, Fedora N-1 Upgrades

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 14, 2016

The top story in today's Linux news must be Canonical's announcement of a big AT&T contract. One headline said AT&T chose Ubuntu over Windows. Elsewhere, blogger Megatotoro today remembered MEPIS and Adam Williamson discussed Fedora's upgrade process. Hackaday.com's Brian Benchoff said Stallman messed up in the open hardware department and KDE-look.org and friends have a new owner.

SimplyMEPIS was a wonderfully stable and pretty Linux system. However, it's been quite a while since hearing anything from the project or founder Warren Woodford. The last stable release, SimplyMEPIS 11.0, was announced in May 2011. Version 12 saw an Alpha release in September 2012 and Beta build in May 2013, but nothing more from the project since. Distrowatch has MEPIS classified as dormant. Well, today Megatotoro mourned the loss and said with Wheezy being moved to the archives, MEPIS 11 will be effectively EOL and with no further development, "this pretty much means the end of MEPIS as a distro." However, MX is filling its shoes somewhat and saw a release in December 2015.

Canonical today announced their latest deal, with AT&T. AT&T was once the big cheese of US communications and is still a large corporation today. Canonical said that Ubuntu OS will be used on "AT&T’s cloud, network and enterprise applications." AT&T spokesman Toby Ford was quoted as saying, "Canonical's cloud and open source expertise make them a good choice for AT&T.” Canonical's VP Cloud Alliances and Business Development said, "Whoohooo! We're in the big time now!" No, he didn't. He said, "This is important for Canonical. AT&T's scalable and open future network utilizes the best of Canonical innovation."

Adam Williamson of Fedora QA today said that while upgrading from one release to the next is officially supported and considered safe, upgrading from one release to the one after the next is neither. He said they've been working on that and while internal testing of "N-1 upgrades" generally proved successful, they want to make it supported and safe. Williamson stated that QA now has two sets of upgrade tests including N-1 and will soon have validation test pages. He said they are considering making it a release criteria. A request has been sent to the Packaging Committee to change packaging guidelines. But if it all works out, Fedora 22 users may not have to upgrade to Fedora 23 before upgrading to Fedora 24.

Slackware 14.2 Beta was made available to eager Slackers through the ever subtle changelog hints. Founder and head everything, Patrick Volkerding, wrote that Slackware was "finally a modern, relevant Linux distro" due to the upgrade from Alsa audio to PulseAudio. AlienBob has more on that but, basically, the alternative would have been to discard bluetooth. Systemd is next in the plans. No, just kidding. AlienBob said, "Slackware is NOT going to add systemd. It's too controversial and there is no need. Your sleep will be sound now." Other new packages include Linux 4.4, GCC 5.3, Firefox 43.0.4, and new Network Manager 1.0. Testers can use AlienBob's ISO to install.

In a couple more distro list articles Swapnil Bhartiya outlines his picks for the best distros of 2015 and Bryan Lunduke slideshows the 9 distros to watch in 2016. Bhartiya awarded openSUSE the best comeback distro of 2015 and Arch the most customizable. Best looking went to elementary OS and Mint Cinnamon earned best desktop. Lunduke also included elementary OS, this time as one to watch in 2016 because of "a dedication to design that borders on the obsessive." openSUSE is also mentioned after a bunch of other Ubuntu derivatives, because of providing both stable Leap and rolling Tumbleweed. After more smartphone and cloud OSes, he gets to Tails because of raised awareness in spying and hacking and Tails' privacy and security features.

In other news:

* Qt is Guaranteed to Stay Free and Open, openDesktop.org changes

* Stallman's One Mistake (hint: open hardware)

* Allan Day: GNOME Settings Design Change