Linux in The News 9-11-23

Last Updated on September 11, 2023 by KC7NYR

Linux Lite 6.6 Arrives with Support for 22 New Languages, New AI Helper Tool

This release is based on Ubuntu 22.04.3 LTS and offers support for the latest Linux 6.5 kernel series.
Linux Lite 6.6

Jerry Bezencon announced today the release and general availability of the Ubuntu-based Linux Lite 6.6 distribution as a major update to this lightweight OS leveraging the Xfce desktop environment.

Coming five months after Linux Lite 6.4, the Linux Lite 6.6 release is derived from Canonical’s recently released Ubuntu 22.04.3 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) operating system and it’s powered by the long-term supported Linux 5.15 LTS kernel series. However, users will also be able to upgrade to the latest Linux 6.5 kernel series.

The biggest change in this release is support for 22 new languages, including Afrikaans, Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Croatian, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese Brazilian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Sweden, and Ukrainian.

These new languages are now supported across various areas of Linux Lite’s interface, including the applications menu, right-click menu, folder names, Linux Lite application names, desktop icons, as well as My Computer menu names.

Having completed a fresh install of Linux Lite 6.6, once you have restarted after the first login, full language support will be available across the entire menu and sub-menu system. If there are still menu entries that are not in your language, then consider contributing a translation to that developer’s software,” said Jerry Bezencon.

Another interesting feature of the Linux Lite 6.6 release is the implementation of an interactive AI Helper utility that will give you instant support in real-time. The AI helper tool was added to the Lite Welcome app under the Support section.

In addition, the Lite Welcome app received a new functionality that will display an “Install Now” button if Linux Lite is running in live mode from a bootable USB flash drive. When Linux Lite is installed on your computer, the “Install Now” button will no longer be accessible in Lite Welcome.

Other than that, this new Linux Lite release comes with the latest Papirus icon theme, the latest stable versions for some of the pre-installed apps and packages, new wallpapers, as well as various other tweaks and changes to make your Linux Lite experience better.

Linux Lite 6.6 is available for download right now from the forum announcement page or by clicking on the direct download link below. Existing Linux Lite users will be able to upgrade their installations by following the instructions from the announcement page linked above.

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Linus Torvalds Announces First Linux Kernel 6.6 Release Candidate

The final release of Linux kernel 6.6 is expected at the end of October or in early November 2023.
Linux 6.6

Linus Torvalds announced today the general availability for public testing of the first Release Candidate (RC) development milestone of the upcoming Linux 6.6 kernel series.

It’s been two weeks since the release of Linux kernel 6.5, which means that the merge window for Linux kernel 6.6 is now officially closed and the first Release Candidate is now available for download for early adopters, developers, and everyone else who wants to get an early taste of the next major Linux release.

Linux kernel 6.6 will come with many new features and improved hardware support, as expected from a new kernel series. Some highlights include new Intel IVSC MEI drivers, a new firmware-attributes driver for changing BIOS settings from within Linux on HP devices, charger mode, middle fan and eGPU settings support for ASUS devices, and keyboard backlight control support for more Lenovo IdeaPad devices.

Also new is support for new Mellanox-powered devices, support for new device tree interfaces and other goodies for the RISC-V architecture, USB MIDI 2 gadget support, new IIO drivers, support for SEV-SNP and TDX guests on Hyper-V, support for the Cirrus Logic CS42L43 audio codec, support for Group Multi-Color (GMC) LEDs, support for the GameSir T4 Kaleid controller, KFENCE, KASAN, KGDB, and KDB support for the LoongArch architecture, and support for NVIDIA T4 GPUs to use Secondary Bus Reset.

Linux kernel 6.6 also promises zoned block device and compression support improvements for the F2FS file system, support for shared mmaps in no-cache mode for the FUSE file system, fixes for netfilter and BPF, a lot of fixes for the AMDGPU driver, regression fixes for MIDI 2.0 support, KASLR support and support for the BPF prog pack allocator on the RISC-V architecture, and better Intel RAPL power management.

“As always, there are way too many individual changes – or even developers – to list for the merge window. We’ve got 12k+ commits from 1700+ individual developers, And 800+ merges to tie it all together. All that is actually quite normal, this seems to be shaping up to be neither a very small nor a particularly large release,” said Linus Torvalds.

The final release of Linux kernel 6.6 is expected at the end of October or in early November 2023. Depending on how many Release Candidate (RC) milestones Linus Torvalds will announce until then, we could expect Linux 6.6 to arrive on October 29th if there will be seven RCs or on November 5th if eight Release Candidates are announced.

Until then, you can download the first Release Candidate (RC1) milestone of Linux kernel 6.6 right now from Linus Torvalds’s git tree or from the kernel.org website if you want to take it for a test drive on your PC. However, please keep in mind that this is a pre-release version that’s NOT suitable for use on a production machine.