[iee_comp_london] Fwd: Linux News

  • From: Edward Macfarlane Smith <edward@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: iee_comp_london@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 21:11:57 +0000

Oops, wrote this on Sunday and forgot to send it!
Dear All,
I thought I'd just start a regular summary of news in Linux area. Not sure if
anyone is interested in this... or what level of technical expertise to aim
at. It's been quite an interesting week in terms of new software.

A new version of the official Linux kernel came out this week. Version 2.6.4.
The 2.6 series kernel is in theory the current stable series, although it has
only been out for a couple of months and at the moment most people are still
using the more thoroughly tested 2.4 series. I've been running it on my
laptop recently and seems to run fairly well.
In theory the 2.4 series is in maintenance now, with the only updates being
bug fixes, new features will be in 2.6. A pre-release version of next version
of 2.4 was also released (2.4.26-pre3), but unless you are interested in
testing then it's unlikely to be worth getting it.
To download any version of the kernel, or to see a detailed change log for
 the updates go to http://www.kernel.org.

A new version of the Windows Emulator has been released "Wine-20040309", of
interest to most people will probably be improvements to some areas of
multimedia support. To download it go to http://www.winehq.org.

ALSA - Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
A minor update was released that prevents a crash when it's compiled with
certain versions of GCC. Personally I hadn't seen a problem. To get it go to
http://www.alsa-project.org. Note that ALSA is provided as an integrated part
of the 2.6 series kernel.

KDE is one of the main Linux desktops, most people use either KDE or GNOME.
This week KDE 3.2.1 was released, this version fixes a whole load of silly
little bugs that were in 3.2. While I wouldn't have recommended 3.2, 3.2.1
seems to run fine on my laptop. There are a number of fixes and enhancements
in Konqueror (the KDE web browser) which improve the rendering of a number of
sites (especially some using Microsoft extensions). The 3.2 series
incorporates a number of fixes fed back from Apple (who are using Konqueror
as the basis of their Safari browser on MacOS X). Another change that users
are likely to notice is the inclusion of Kontact, which combines email,
calendaring, address book, notes etc into one application - like Evolution or
Outlook , so you now have a single program to access these features in one
place rather than separate applications.
Most Linux distributions are currently shipping with 3.1.x series of KDE, if
you don't want to upgrade yourself then it is likely that distributions will
be shipping with 3.2.x in the next few months.
For details and to download go to http://www.kde.org. If you are using SuSE
Linux 9 then go directly to

A pre-release of the new GNOME desktop was made (2.5.91). I haven't had a
chance to try it yet, but if you are interested go to

Other news.
If you've got a Centrino laptop then you may be interested to know that an
Intel sponsored project has been released which starts to provide an Open
Source driver for the Wireless component of Centrino systems. At the moment
it has basic functionality (I've used it to browse the web), although it
doesn't currently support WEP. For info or to download go to
Up until now it has only been possible to use a non-free binary only driver
for this wireless card - if you need the fairly full functionality right now
that the binary driver provides then go to

I'll see about doing this weekly, but it all depends on finding the time and
if anyone is interested! If anyone else has seen any other interesting Linux
news then please let me know.


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