Linux in The News 3-6-23

Last Updated on March 6, 2023 by KC7NYR

Linux Mint 21.2 Promises Better Support for Flatpak Apps, Faster File Management

The Linux Mint team is also working on strengthening the Warpinator app for better security.
Mint 21.2

Linux Mint project leader Clement Lefebvre writes today in the monthly newsletter of the project about some of the major improvements that have been implemented for the upcoming Linux Mint 21.2 release.

In Linux Mint 21.2 “Victoria”, the devs promise better support for Flatpak apps, as well as for apps using GNOME’s libadwaita library by implementing support for the xdg-desktop-portal desktop integration portal and frontend service for Flatpak and other similar containment frameworks.

This change will make Flatpak and libadwaita-based apps work seamlessly on all supported desktop environments, including Cinnamon, Xfce, and MATE, even if they’re usually written only for the GNOME desktop environment, and support features like dark mode and screenshots.

As you probably already know if you’re a Linux Mint user, even if it’s based on Ubuntu, Linux Mint doesn’t support its Snap software packaging and deployment system developed by Canonical for the obvious reasons we all know about.

“XDG Desktop Portal implementations are being written for Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce. This will provide better compatibility between desktop environments and non-native applications such as Flatpaks or libAdwaita apps,” said Clement Lefebvre.

Linux Mint 21.2 also promises to ship with the upcoming Cinnamon 5.8 desktop environment, which is currently in heavy development too. Cinnamon 5.8 will feature support for multi-threaded thumbnails in the Nemo file manager to generate multiple thumbnails in parallel, thus resulting in faster directory loading, especially when dealing with a large amount of media files.

Moreover, the Linux Mint team revealed the fact that they are working on rebasing the Cinnamon Javascript interpreter (CJS 5.8) on GJS 1.74 and SpiderMonkey (libmozjs) 102, and are also working on strengthening the Warpinator app for better security. More details about the latter are provided in the monthly newsletter published today on the Linux Mint blog.

Linux Mint 21.2 is slated for release on June 2023 and promises many other features like support for the latest Xfce 4.18 desktop environment, support for multiple keyboard layouts on the login screen, better touchpad support, better keyboard navigation, support for Wayland sessions, full support for HEIF and AVIF images, and more.

Under the hood, Linux Mint 21.2 “Victoria” will be based on Canonical’s Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) long-term supported operating system series and powered by its long-term supported Linux 5.15 LTS kernel series.

Linus Torvalds Announces First Linux Kernel 6.3 Release Candidate

The final release is expected in late April 2023, either on the 23rd or the 30th, depending on how many RCs will be released.
Linux Kernel 6.3 Release

Linus Torvalds has officially kicked off the development cycle of the upcoming Linux 6.3 kernel series by tagging the first Release Candidate (RC) milestone for public testing.

The two-week merge window for Linux kernel 6.3 opened automatically with the release of Linux 6.2, and now, the first Release Candidate (RC) development version is available for early adopters, distro maintainers, and bleeding-edge users who want to get a glimpse of what’s about to be included in the final release.

As expected, Linux kernel 6.3 will introduce several new features and improvements, as well as new and updated drivers for better hardware support. Some highlights include more Rust code, initial support for Intel’s 14th Gen Meteor Lake processors, initial support for Steam Deck’s controller interface, more cool features for AMD RDNA3 GPUs and AMD Ryzen Zen 2 CPUs, and support for Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and other newer Qualcomm SoCs.

There will also be some audio improvements for HP EliteDesk 800 G6 Tower PC and Dell Precision 3260 workstation, improved support for the HP Elitebook laptop, support for the HP OMEN 16-n0xxx gaming laptop, as well as various RISC-V, MIPS, exFAT, PowerPC, and AArch64 (ARM64) improvements.

Some other interesting changes in Linux kernel 6.3 include the removal of classic Intel C/C++ compiler (ICC) support since it hasn’t been updated in the past 3 years, the removal of various obsolete DRM drivers, and improved support for NVIDIA BlueField DPUs.

The final release of Linux kernel 6.3 is expected to hit the streets in late April 2023, either on April 23rd or April 30th, which depends on how many Release Candidate (RC) milestones will be released until then. It will most likely be available to Arch Linux and openSUSE Tumbleweed users in early May 2023.

Until then, you can take the first Linux kernel 6.3 Release Candidate for a test drive on your personal computer by downloading it from Linus Torvalds’ Git tree or from the website. Please remember that this is a pre-release version, so don’t install or use it on a production machine!

Linus Torvalds writes in his announcement post that the Linux 6.3-rc1 patch looks fairly normal and consists of about 55 percent updated and new drivers, about 20 percent architecture updates, and the rest is the usual random mix of documentation, tooling, networking, filesystem, and core kernel stuff.