Linux in The News 3-7-22

Last Updated on March 7, 2022 by KC7NYR

Armbian 22.02 Is Here with Official Raspberry Pi Support, UEFI Support, and More

The Armbian community announced today the general availability of Armbian 22.02 as the latest stable release of this promising Debian and Ubuntu-based operating system for ARM devices.

Coming six months after Armbian 21.08, the Armbian 22.02 release is here to introduce initial support for Raspberry Pi devices. The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B board is currently supported with 64-bit builds using Raspberry Pi Foundation’s kernels 5.15 LTS and 5.16, as well as Debian’s flash-kernel tool.

While the Raspberry Pi support is still marked as WIP (Work in Progress), it would appear that the community is reporting success in running Armbian on various 64-bit Raspberry Pi boards, including the older Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and Raspberry Pi CM3 and CM4.

But the work on the Raspberry Pi port is far from done, and the Armbian devs need your help to provide the community with a fully working port. For now, you can help by downloading and testing the official Raspberry Pi images, which are based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) (CLI only), as well as Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) with the Xfce desktop environment.


“We really hope the Raspberry Pi community gets involved! Armbian on RPi is only possible due to the most excellent mainlining efforts by that community (in fact, currently we’re building the kernel from raspberrypi/linux repo directly for our convenience — however, using mainline Linux is also possible using the build system),” said the devs.

Among other new features of the Armbian 22.02 release, there’s UEFI support for both AArch64 (ARM64) and x86 platforms by using the GRUB bootloader from Debian GNU/Linux and Ubuntu, there’s a new rolling-release version based on Debian Sid (Unstable), and the ODROID-N2(+) board has been moved to mainline u-boot.

On top of that, the devs announced a new framework to let users extend the Armbian build system independently from the core codebase, made some great improvements to the build automation (CI/CD) with extensive use of Github actions, and fixed countless bugs.

All the CURRENT Armbian 22.02 builds now use Linux kernel 5.15 LTS (with ZFS support), while the EDGE builds were upgraded to the newer Linux 5.16 kernel series. As expected, this enables support for more devices, such as the Orange Pi R1 Plus LTS board, as well as YT8531 and other MotorComm chips.

Last but not least, this release enables 3D support on the Debian-based builds, implements fan controller support for the NanoPi M2V2 board, and adds initial support for Ubuntu-based builds derived from the upcoming Ubuntu 22.04 LTS operating system series.



Linux Mint 21 to Adopt Blueman for Better Bluetooth Support

Linux Mint project leader Clement Lefebvre reports today on some of the initial features of the next major version of the popular Ubuntu-based distribution that should be released later this year, Linux Mint 21.

Linux Mint 21 will finally end the Linux Mint 20 series, which is based on the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system series, featuring a newer base from the upcoming Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellifish) long-term supported operating system series.

Of course, Linux Mint 20 will still be supported until April 2025 with software and security updates, but the Linux Mint team is now focusing on the next major series, Linux Mint 21, which will ship not only with newer core components (e.g. Linux kernel, Mesa graphics stack, GCC, GNU C Library) but also with a newer version of the in-house developed Cinnamon desktop environment.

Cinnamon 6 will probably be used in Linux Mint 21, whose window manager and JavaScript interpreter will be rebased on a more modern version of GNOME’s Mutter window and composite manager, as well as the GJS JavaScript bindings for GNOME.

“In preparation for Linux Mint 21, we are updating Cinnamon’s Javascript interpreter and rebasing its window manager on a more modern version of Mutter. This is a huge task and it requires many code changes in Cinnamon itself and causes a significant number of regressions. We needed a full development cycle for this so the timing is perfect,” said Clement Lefebvre.

In the latest monthly newsletter, the developer reports on the Bluetooth improvements that will probably be present in the Linux Mint 21 release due to the adoption of the Blueman GTK+ Bluetooth manager as a drop-in replacement for the Blueberry Bluetooth configuration tool that’s currently being used in the Linux Mint 20 series.

The biggest difference between Blueman and Blueberry is that the former uses BlueZ as a Bluetooth backend while the latter relies on the gnome-bluetooth backend. As such, Blueman appears to better support Bluetooth audio headsets and connect to a wider range of Bluetooth devices than Blueberry.

“On the development side of things, the latest version of gnome-bluetooth introduced changes which broke compatibility with Blueberry and its main developer isn’t keen on seeing his work used outside of GNOME. Blueman on the other hand welcomed a Mint migration and is open to changes. We’re currently testing Blueman and working on its integration within Linux Mint,” said Clement Lefebvre.

Clement Lefebvre also published Linux Mint 21’s roadmap for does interested in following the six-month-long development cycle. There’s no release date set in stone for Linux Mint 21, but if history serves as a guide, it should see the light of day sometime in early July 2022.


Source Credit:  Linux 9to5