CentOS 6.0 Finally Released

CentOS developer Karanbir Singh has announced the availability of CentOS 6.0 for download.

CentOS (Community Enterprise Operating System) is a Linux-based operating system that is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Unlike RHEL, it is a community project but, like RHEL, its target users are the enterprise users. One of the best feature of CentOS is its 100% binary compatibility with RHEL. CentOS is completely free and is very popular on servers.

CentOS 6.0 Desktop

CentOS 6.0 is based on RHEL 6.0 which was released in November last year. The amount of time it took for CentOS 6.0 to be released is a bit surprising as the earlier releases usually follows the RHEL releases closely.

CentOS 6.0 is not an exact clone of RHEL 6.0; it contains some packages that have been modified and some that have been removed. You can see the complete list of these packages in the release note.

Red Hat had already released RHEL 6.0. So, Karanbir Singh said that they will port all the security updates from RHEL 6.1 to CentOS 6.0 users until CentOS 6.1 is released.

Since upstream has a 6.1 version already released, we will be using a Continous Release repository for 6.0 to bring all 6.1 and post 6.1 security updates to all 6.0 users, till such time as CentOS-6.1 is released itself. There will be more details about this posted within the next 48 hours.

Download CentOS 6.0

CentOS 6.0 is available for i386 and x86_64 architectures ( or in more simple terms 32 bit and 64 bit).

You can download it from the list of mirrors from this page.

Before installing, please make sure that you have at least 392 MB of RAM as the installer will not run if it is lower. If you need a the GUI based installer, you need to have at least 652 MB of RAM.

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Indian Government Makes Open-Source Drivers A Requirement For e-Governance Projects

india-open-source The Indian Government has initiated its e-Governance projects to connect the millions of Indians living in villages to the internet and related services. A very important part of this project is the procurement of the required hardware most notably PCs and peripherals – for use by the people.

The Indian Government has announced that open drivers are a requirement for the hardware that will be procured under the e-governance projects. This is what the preamble of the Policy on Device Drivers for Procurement of Hardware for e-Governance says:

Government of India (GOI) endeavours to provide e-Governance services, which are technology-neutral, cost effective, interoperable and vendor-neutral. GOI Policy on open standards is a step towards meeting this objective in the development of e-Governance applications.

Because of this new policy, the OEM and vendors have to guarantee that the computer and peripherals that they are supplying can run all General Purpose Operating Systems and that open source drivers are available for all the components.

The policy allows for certain relaxations in case open source drivers are not available. The OEM or vendor has to first provide a justification as to why open source drivers are not available and give guarantee that the open source drivers will be made available before delivery.

A proper implementation of this policy will ensure that choices are available in case changes need to be made in the future. The availability of an open driver will prevent vendor lock-in and ensure that the vendors cannot take any unfair advantage in the future. It is good to see the government actively promoting Free and Open Source Software.

You can see a PDF version of the Policy on Device Drivers for Procurement of Hardware for e-Governance here.

[via: EFYTimes]

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Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 2 Released For Testing

After the delay. Canonical has released the second alpha of Ubuntu 11.10. Meant for development purposes, this release has a number of new features that will finally make it to the final release in October.

The most visible changes will be the change from GDM to LightDM. LightDM has not been themed yet, unfortunately. So, when user starts up Ubuntu 11.10, they will not see the sleek-looking login. However, LightDM is extremely customizable and we should see some awesome themes soon. Another thing about LightDM is that it is very light weight and much faster than GDM.

Another change that testers will notice is Deja Dup. Deja Dup is a very easy-to-use backup tool that also supports backup to your Ubuntu One account. Users will find this a very useful application indeed.

Because of the restriction of the CD size limit, the addition of the new application Deja Dup meant that some other application has to be dropped. They application they decided to drop is Synaptic Package Manager. For new users, Synaptic is too difficult and they generally prefer the Ubuntu Software Center. As for the experienced users who find Synaptic much better, they can always install it through the command line.

The last change in applications is the email client.In Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 2, Evolution has been replaced by Thunderbird 5. The decision to replace Evolution is not yet final though. If Thunderbird is found lacking during the testing, Evolution will be brought back.

The not-so-visible changes includes Linux 3.0-rc5 and GTK 3.

Kate Stewart, who made the announcement, warned that this is a release meant for testing and is not recommended for normal users.

Pre-releases of Oneiric Ocelot are *not* encouraged for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage. They are, however, recommended for Ubuntu developers and those who want to help in testing, reporting, and fixing bugs.

If you want to test it, you can download Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 2 from here.

You can check out the release schedule here.

Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 2 To Be Released On 7th June

According to the original release schedule, Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 2 was supposed to be released on 30th June. The release date was missed and now, it has been revealed that the second alpha of Ubuntu 11.10 will be released on 7th July. The other release date remains unchanged.

Now, here is the updated release schedule of Ubuntu 11.10:

Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 1 2nd June

Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 2 7th July

Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 4th August

Ubuntu 11.10 Beta 1 1st September

Ubuntu 11.10 Beta 2 23rd September

Ubuntu 11.10 Release Candidate 6th October

Ubuntu 11.10 Final Version 13th October

While the first Alpha was fairly mundane, the second Alpha will see many new features that will finally make it to the final release in October. Here is a list of the changes you will see in Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 2:

  • GNOME 3 Finally, Ubuntu has made the transition from GNOME 2.32 to GNOME 3. By now, most the theme problems has been fixed. The default Ubuntu themes Ambiance and Radiance have been ported to GTK3.
  • Hybrid Image The ISO of Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 2 will be a hybrid image. This means that users no longer need the USB Startup Application to create a bootable Ubuntu USB drive.
  • No Synaptic Package Manager The Synaptic Package Manager will be no longer installed by default in Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 2.
  • Thunderbird as default email client Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 2 will not have Evolution as the default email client. Thunderbird will be installed as the default email client instead.
  • Linux 3.0 Ubuntu 11.10 will be based on the newly released Linux 3.0.
  • Deja Dup The backup tool, Deja Dup, will be installed by default in Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 2.
  • Firefox 5 – Firefox – the default web browser in Ubuntu 11.10 – will be updated to the latest version.

Thunderbird Becomes Default Email Client In Ubuntu 11.10

During the Ubuntu Developer Summit at Budapest, we reported that Thunderbird is being considered for replacing Evolution as the default email client for Ubuntu 11.10. The development for Ubuntu 11.10, though, started with Evolution as the default client since Thunderbird did not integrate into GNOME as well.

Well, it seems like Thunderbird has been pushed to replace Evolution in the latest daily build. According to the changelogs, noticed by Andrew of WebUpd8, evolution has been removed from desktop-recommends and Thunderbird has been added in its place. This means that in the next daily build of Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, Thunderbird will be installed as the default email client.

This will be a welcome change for many users. I personally do not use desktop email clients, but I know many who do and most of them installs Thunderbird. Another advantage of having Thunderbird by default could be familiarity. Thunderbird is widely used in Windows as well. So, when a user switches to Ubuntu, it will be a pleasant experience to find the same application.

However, the change is not yet final. There is still the slight chance that things may not turn out well and developers decides to keep Evolution.

One critical feature that users will miss after the switch to Thunderbird is the calendar. Unlike Evolution, Thunderbird does not have an integrated calendar. However, it is easy to add one using add-on.

Do you want to see Thunderbird finally replacing Evolution? Or do you want think they should keep Evolution?

Facebook Deleting Photos Uploaded Using KDE Applications

If you are a KDE user who have used KDE applications to upload photos to Facebook, prepare for something you will have never expected. Facebook has done two things which are sure to piss off a lot of KDE users:

  • They have blocked the KIPI plugin
  • They have removed all the photos uploaded using the KIPI plugin

The KIPI (KDE Image Plugin Interface) Plugin is a common plugin structure used by many KDE applications to share image plugins among graphic libraries. Many KDE applications such as Gwenview, Digikam and KPhotoAlbum uses the KIPI plugins to upload photos to social networking sites like Facebook. Now, it seems like Facebook has banned KIPI. When users try to upload images using any application using the KIPI plugin they are getting an “Invalid API key” error message.

The problem with these KDE applications does not end here. Not only are these KDE applications banned, all photos that users have uploaded using these applications have also been removed from Facebook.

A bug report regarding this has already been filed at kde.org:

When I try to upload a picture to Facebook using KIPI plugin, it gives an error message “Facebook Call Failed: Application has been deleted”.

I also noticed that previously uploaded pictures that were uploaded using KIPI disappear from my Facebook account. other pictures that were not uploaded using KIPI are displaying fine.

However, it seems like this is an issue with Facebook not the KDE applications. A few days back, there was a problem of Facebook’s ban bot getting out of control and banning innocent applications. In all probability it seems like KIPI too has been hit by the Facebook ban bot as well.

The KDE developers have already filed for a bug report in Facebook asking for KIPI to be restored. Let us see what happens now.

LibreOffice Included In The Debian Squeeze Backports

libre_office_debian Almost all the major Linux distributions are using LibreOffice instead of OpenOffice. Today, it has been announced that Debian Squeeze too will get LibreOffice in the backports.

LibreOffice has been available in Debian Wheezy and Debian Sid for a while now. But in the stable release, Debian Squeeze, it is not available. As a Debian policy, new packages are never introduced in the core repository of a stable release. So, it is very unlikely that Debian Squeeze will ever get LibreOffice in its main repository.

So, users of Debian Squeeze who wanted LibreOffice will have to install it from either the unstable or testing archive. However, Debian Squeeze users will no longer have to do that as LibreOffice has been made available in the Squeeze Backports.

How to install LibreOffice in Debian Squeeze from backports

Note: Installing LibreOffice will remove OpenOffice.

To install LibreOffice from the Squeeze backports, you need to add the backports first. To do that open the Terminal and execute:

$ sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list

Now add the line given below and save the file.

# deb http://backports.debian.org/debian-backports squeeze-backports main

Now update the software list.

$ sudo apt-get update

Finally install LibreOffice with the command

$ apt-get t squeeze-backports install libreoffice


Synaptic Package Manager Removed From The Ubuntu 11.10 ISO

When Canonical started developing the Ubuntu Software Center, I knew that a time will come when it will completely replace Synaptic. The Software Center is a noob-friendly replacement for Synaptic where users can discover new applications more easily.

The Software Center had already taken over the function of Gdebi in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat and Gdebi is no longer included in the Ubuntu ISO. Unexpectedly, Canonical has decided that it is time for the Software Center to replace Synaptic as well. So, in the next daily build of Ubuntu 11.10, Synaptic will no longer be installed by default.

The decision to remove Synaptic is a very unexpected one. Yes, the Ubuntu Software Center looks prettier and new users are more likely to use it, but it does not have nearly as much feature as Synaptic does. Many of the features that are missing in the Ubuntu Software Center right now are very crucial features. Here is a list of some of the features that Synaptic has but are still absent in the Ubuntu Software Center:

  • Fix broken packages
  • Upgrade or downgrade a single or multiple packages
  • Lock packages to a specific version
  • Force install of a specific version of a package

There is still four months left till Ubuntu 11.10 gets released. I hope that is enough time for Canonical to add these missing features.

Synaptic will continue to be available in the repository, though, and can be installed with

$ sudo apt-get install synaptic

source: WebUpd8

Firefox 5 Available In The Ubuntu 11.04 Main Repository

Well, that did not take long! Firefox 5 was officially released only yesterday and today the Ubuntu 11.04 repository has been updated with Firefox 5.

Generally the major releases of Firefox (or any software for that matter) are not included in the main repository (except for than the LTS) and if they do gets included, it takes a lot of time. Firefox 5 is not very different from Firefox 4, which is already there in the repository. That might be the reason for Firefox 5 being available so quickly.

Firefox 5 in Ubuntu 11.04


So, users of Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” do not need to add any extra repository to install Firefox. All that you need to do is update your system as usual.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

If you do not like the command line interface, you can also update using the Update Manager. Click on Check and after it has finished checking, click on the Install Updates button.

Firefox 5 is available in the main repository only for Ubuntu 11.04. So, those who are still using previous versions of Ubuntu will have to add the extra repository to upgrade to Firefox 5 as we have mentioned here.

The jump from Firefox 4 to Firefox 5 is very small compared to, say, that from Firefox 3.6 to Firefox 4. So, those who are already using Firefox 4 should not face any problem after upgrading. Firefox 5 brings some new feature such as Do-Not-Track and has better performance and handling of CSS animations. You can read our review of Firefox 5 here.

ARM Support in the Linux Kernel, the Unseen and Untold Truth

ARM support in the Linux kernel has been a debated issue for too long and today, it stands at a point where it is making more compromises. Every device with its own code for ARM support creates a bloatware out of the entire ARM section in the Linux kernel. This is a huge dilemma because if these codes are not submitted at the end of the day, it will (probably) be termed as a violation of GPL v2 and if they are submitted, they are too complex to include into the kernel. So they just lay there.
With a mini community of independent agents formed inside the Linux kernel developer community itself, these device manufacturers are finding it hard to get their ARM changes upstream into the mainline kernel. The reason?

  1. There are too many of them
  2. They are highly complex in their own way
  3. Most of them are just redundant

In short, there is utter chaos when it comes to ARM support in the Linux kernel and it was best left ignored until now.

The scenario is taking a turn and  attempts  are being made to standardize the process. ARM has moved to a separate Git tree but it still annoyed the maintainer all the more. Torvalds is rightfully annoyed here, as he would not include every bit of code that some device manufacturer somewhere has written to support some hardware that few people use!

This is a strong but a welcome decision because in the long run, it will keep hardware vendors from breaking the Linux ecosystem and acting in a more co-operative and a less competitive way.

The state of ARM in Linux kernel can still be ignored all right but we have seen how Microsoft is talking of a Windows 8 tablet now. ARM is indeed important for the future of portable and mobile computing and undoubtedly, Linux plays a major role in its future. The sooner they marry, the better it is for both of them.