Autumn Linux news: Fedora 35, Ubuntu 21.10, Devuan 4.0, RHEL 8.5

I did this overview of the October news for the main Linux distributions as long as it is an autumn overview. But it’s not just me who’s to blame and my innate slowness, but also the fact that Fedora came out this time behind the rest of the peloton, and what would it be like without Fedora?

Fedora 35

Fedora came out after several delays, and it is listed on the project website with the motto “worth the wait”, which indicates that not everything went as planned. However, given how many revolutions have happened in the previous version (GNOME 40, PipeWire,…), this time it looks rather calm and especially problem-free.

In this release, GNOME has been upgraded to version 41, which brings improvements especially in power management, and then also a new application Connections, which covers clients for remote connections using RDP and VNC. PipeWire, Fedora 34’s new default audio system, has acquired a new one, called WirePlumber, instead of the current simple session manager. This new daemon makes the sound system easier to manage, rules and policies, and is scriptable in Lua. And when it comes to daemons, one cannot fail to mention the deployment of firewalld in version 1.0. Other new features include the latest versions of various programming languages ​​in the spirit of the “First” motto that Fedora follows: Python 3.10, Perl 5.34, or PHP 8.0.

Fedora 35 has been released, as is customary, in a number of editions (Workstation, Server, IoT), Spins (GNOME, KDE Plasma, Xfce, LxQt, Cinnamon, ad.) a Labs (Astronomy, Games, Jam,…) and also for various processor architectures (x64, AArch64, Power, S390x).

In a week since the release on the error logging page did not find too serious entries in the system, some users did not have a working sound after upgrading from a previous version, somewhere it was necessary to manually enable package sources, but so far no disaster. It is clear from the references that, for example, on the POWER architecture, the thirty-five is significantly more functional and stable than it was after the previous version, where GNOME 40 in some configurations was beyond the malfunction. Those users who decided to skip 34 after the first reports have now updated from 33 straight to 35 without the slightest difficulty.

Ubuntu 21.10 Impish Indri

Here we go a little further into history, Ubuntu 21.10 was released in mid-October. This is the last release before the next LTS version, so the latest experiments are new. GNOME 40 can be counted among these innovations, which, however, is no longer so new in the context of Fedora released just twenty days later. Ubuntu just wasn’t that brave in the spring, it’s only partially caught up now, and there won’t be much change in this regard by spring.

Here, too, we find new versions of programming languages, such as PHP 8.0, or development tools such as GCC 11. Ubuntu, unlike Fedora, relies on PulseAudio audio, version 15, which was released in the summer and supports LDAC and AptX audio codecs via Bluetooth. . IN release notes Special emphasis is placed on the addition of drivers for Nvidia vGPU, which enable GPU virtualization and GPU sharing between virtual machines. Both guest and guest drivers were backported for the previous two LTS versions of Ubuntu on the occasion of the release, ie 20.04 and 18.04.

Ubuntu is also available in several versions (Desktop, Server), with a wide range of desktopsKubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, …) and for multiple platforms (x64, AARch64, RISC-V, Power, S390x). Therefore, in some of these versions, software distribution in the form of Snap packages, which guarantee the same configuration and assembly across different desktop environments, will come in handy. Firefox 93 is newly distributed exclusively as such, not as a .deb package. Snap store has seen a 25% increase in the number of packages in the last year and is currently used by more than ten million installations worldwide.

In more than three weeks since the release, some bugs have been detected and patched. The 5.13.0-19 kernel in Ubuntu was included critical error in the ZFS driver, which could result in filesystem corruption. According to the bug tracker, the fix was released a few days after Ubuntu itself was released. It remains unrepaired potential installer crash the moment it scans NTFS partitions and detects the possibility of resizing them. The bug has not yet been assigned to anyone for repair, the only solution to the situation is to reboot the computer and restart the installer. More out of the realm of interestingness than mistakes is the ban on creating accounts that contain only numbers in the username – in fact, three versions have already happened back, because it bothers systemd, for example, but users do reportují over and over again, so this time Canonical put it right in the release notes.

Devuan 4.0 Chimaera

On the same day as Ubuntu the new Devuan also came out, simply put, system-free Debian. Version 4.0 is parity with Debian Bullseye 11.1. It still has a choice of several init systems – sysvinit, runit, OpenRC – it still supports multiple architectures – x86, x64, armel, armhf, arm64 and ppc64el – and there’s something new.

It was incorporated mainly in the desktop environment, more precisely in the possibilities of choosing a desktop environment. Thanks to the elogind enhancements, Devuan offers virtually all desktop environments offered by Debian except parl-desktop, regardless of systemd and optionally PulseAudio. PulseAudio is not needed at all in the target system, however, a new speech synthesizer has been added, both in the graphical and text environment, including the installer. Everything is described in detail in release notes.

Although I can confirm from my own experience (x64 version on a 15-year-old xeon workstation) that the update from version 3.x was seamless, even in this version there are some mistakes. According to the bug tracker, there is not a single one created specifically for version 4.0 in critical bugs, there is one in the “grave bug” category, libczmq-dev dependence on libsystemd-dev and a bug in the plasma-discover package can be described as annoying but not completely critical. sets the brightness of the laptop display to zero after installation.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.5

And so that it is not just news of a more or less older nature, in the end a completely new edition of corporate distribution with paid support. Given the target deployment of RHEL 8.5, it’s no wonder that how release notes, so traditional “What’s new?“It’s just full of concepts like containers, cloud, big iron or databases, on the official press release not to mention.

There are three key innovations in the field of containers:

  • The Podman container engine is available in RHEL 8.5 in the form of a container. It can therefore be operated under another container engine (WSL2, Docker Desktop).
  • By default, container signature checking is now enforced.
  • Improved work with rootless containers and native OverlayFS support.

Outside this area, there is a very interesting new ability to patch the kernel without restarting the system for all future minor versions of RHEL and the ability to control this patching via the web console. From a security point of view, the use of a secure NTS protocol for network time setting is a plus and developers will certainly be pleased OpenJDK 17 a .NET 6.

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