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    System76’s updated 15-inch Pangolin laptop ships with Ryzen 7 5700U CPU / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 1 September, 2021 - 19:30 · 1 minute

hero shot

Enlarge / System76's Pangolin is a lightweight and relatively slender 15" design with a 1080p matte display and RGB-lit keyboard. (credit: System76 )

Specs at a glance: System76 Pangolin
OS Pop!_OS 21.04 or Ubuntu Linux 20.04
CPU Ryzen 5 5500U or Ryzen 7 5700U
RAM 8GiB DDR4 (upgradable 60 64GiB)
GPU AMD Vega 7 integrated
SSD 240GB to 2TB NVMe
Battery 49 Wh LiOn
Wi-Fi Intel dual-band Wi-Fi 6
Display 15-inch 1080p matte
Camera 720p
  • two USB-A 2.0 port
  • one USB-A 3.2 port
  • one USB-C 3.2 port
  • one gigabit Ethernet port
  • 3.5 mm phone/mic combo jack
  • DC power jack
  • full-size HDMI 2.0 out
  • Kensington lock slot
Entry-level price $1,200 (Ryzen 5500U, 8GiB RAM, 240GB NVMe)

This week, System76—probably the best-known Linux-only laptop vendor— announced the latest update to its lightweight 15-inch Pangolin laptop series. The newest models of Pangolin are available and shipping today; customers have a choice between a six-core Ryzen 5 5500U and an eight-core Ryzen 7 5700U processor.

Pangolin was already the first System76 laptop model to offer AMD Ryzen processors, with last-generation Ryzen 4500U and 4700U models announced last December . This year's model bumps up both the processor generation and asking price significantly—last year's Ryzen 4500U Pangolin started at $850, offering 8GiB of RAM and a 240GiB SSD in the entry-level trim. The new 5500U-powered Pangolin runs $1,200 for the same specs.

AMD Ryzen + Linux for the win

The increase in price likely reflects additional public awareness of mobile Ryzen's outstanding Linux kernel support as well as its significant raw performance advantage over most competing Intel CPUs. Although we didn't get the chance to test System76's Ryzen 7 4700U, Acer's 4700U-powered Swift 3—which isn't even designed as an OEM Linux laptop—remains one of our all-time favorite systems for dedicated Linux users.

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    Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS, EndeavourOS 2021.02.03 and Solus 4.2 out now / GamingOnLinux · Friday, 5 February, 2021 - 11:40 · 1 minute

Multiple Linux distributions all had a brand new release in the space of week with Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS, EndeavourOS 2021.02.03 and Solus 4.2 all out now for downloads and upgrades.

For Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS , this is the latest point release which gives a refresh for new downloads bundling all the updates since the initial release, and additionally bumps up a bunch of package versions for everyone. It brings in a brand new HWE stack (Hardware Enablement) that will bump the Linux Kernel from 5.4 to 5.8 and newer Mesa 20.2.6 graphics drivers, so that means better support for newer hardware. All users should get the HWE updates by default now too .


All the Ubuntu flavours that come with different desktop environments also saw updated releases including Kubuntu 20.04.2 LTS, Ubuntu Budgie 20.04.2 LTS, Ubuntu MATE 20.04.2 LTS, Lubuntu 20.04.2 LTS, Ubuntu Kylin 20.04.2 LTS, Ubuntu Studio 20.04.2 LTS, and Xubuntu 20.04.2 LTS.

Download Ubuntu here and see the release announcement here .

When it comes to my own personal current choice with EndeavourOS 2021.02.03 , it's a bit different. EndeavourOS is just Arch Linux which updates as much as you want it to, with a nice installer and a few custom bits so it's always up to date. However, their installation media was from September 2020 so it was seriously out of date so this is a huge upgrade for anyone downloading first time.


The main updates for this will be:

  • Linux Kernel 5.10.11.arch1-1
  • Mesa 20.3.4-1
  • Nvidia 460.39-2
  • Firefox 85.0-1
  • Calamares 3.2.34-10
  • Live environment and offline install updated to Xfce 4.16

Release notes for EndeavorOS here and download here .

Lastly, Solus 4.2 is also out now bringing with it the usual assortment of updates to various desktop environments, software updates and support for newer hardware. It's now shipping with Linux Kernel 5.10.12 and the Mesa 20.3.3 graphics drivers. Some multimedia updates included too like GStreamer 1.18 and Pulseaudio 14.1.

Solus is also interesting as they also have their own custom desktop environment with Budgie, with Solus 4.2 now shipping with the latest Budgie 10.5.2 which has numerous enhancements like a new desktop icons implementation, a rewritten system tray implementation, a redesigned sound applet and more.


Solus is also now shipping with the latest GNOME 3.38.3, MATE 1.24, Plasma Desktop 5.20.5, KDE Frameworks 5.78, KDE Applications 20.12.1 and QT 5.15.2.

You can download Solus 4.2 here and see the release notes here .

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    Ubuntu getting a new installer, desktop lead to leave Canonical / GamingOnLinux · Wednesday, 3 February, 2021 - 12:50 · 1 minute

Two big bits of news from Canonical and Ubuntu to cover today and both about the future of the Linux distribution.

Firstly, the sad news to get it out of the way: the current desktop lead for Ubuntu, Martin Wimpress, will be leaving Canonical and moving over to . Wimpress wasn't in the role particularly long, taking over from when Will Cooke stepped down in October 2019. However, it's not all sad news. Wimpress will be continuing to lead Ubuntu MATE which is a passion project so you can expect that to continue as normal.

We wish Martin Wimpress all the best and continued success with life and Ubuntu MATE.

Additionally, in related news, it looks like Ubuntu is set to get a new installer. Announced in a post on the official Ubuntu Discourse forum, noting that the current installer dates way back to 2006 which is ancient when you consider how quickly all other parts of Ubuntu (and Linux as a whole) moves on and so it has become "cumbersome" to keep it going.

Interestingly, they're going with the new Flutter UI from Google, which Canonical worked with Google on to get early desktop Linux support hooked up that was announced back in July 2020 .

The original installer will remain (for now) and their plan is to have an initial version ready to test in the Ubuntu 21.10 release due out in October 2021. From there the hope is it becomes the default for the next big LTS (Long-term support) release of Ubuntu 22.04 due in April 2022.

20024094911612356591gol1.png Pictured - a prototype

See the full announcement here .

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    Ubuntu Core 20 adds secure boot with hardware-backed encryption / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 2 February, 2021 - 22:26

You might draw a fairly similar schematic diagram to give someone a simplified idea of how a traditional Linux distribution is put together—but it wouldn

Enlarge / You might draw a fairly similar schematic diagram to give someone a simplified idea of how a traditional Linux distribution is put together—but it wouldn't be as close to literal accuracy as this Ubuntu Core diagram is. (credit: Canonical )

Canonical released Ubuntu Core 20 today, which is now available for download. If you're already familiar with Ubuntu Core 20, the standout new feature is added device security with secure boot, full-disk encryption, and secure device recovery baked in. If you're not familiar with Ubuntu Core yet... read on!

The key difference between regular Ubuntu and Ubuntu Core is the underlying architecture of the system. Traditional Linux distributions rely mostly on traditional package systems— deb , in Ubuntu's case—while Ubuntu Core relies almost entirely on Canonical's relatively new snap package format.

Ubuntu Core also gets a full 10 years of support from Canonical, rather than the five years traditional Ubuntu LTS releases get. But it's a bit more difficult to get started with, since you need an Ubuntu SSO account to even log into a new Ubuntu Core installation in the first place.

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    Linux on the Apple M1 takes another step closer with Ubuntu working thanks to Corellium / GamingOnLinux · Wednesday, 20 January, 2021 - 19:54 · 1 minute

ARM virtualization company Corellium has managed to get Ubuntu Linux running on the next-generation Apple M1.

The news comes from Corellium CEO, Chris Wade, who mentioned on Twitter how "Linux is now completely usable on the Mac mini M1. Booting from USB a full Ubuntu desktop (rpi). Network works via a USB c dongle. Update includes support for USB, I2C, DART. We will push changes to our GitHub and a tutorial later today.".

Impressive speedy work, and a separate project to the recently revealed Asahi Linux which is also aiming to do the same thing. Two heads are better than one, as they say. The Corellium team mentioned on Twitter they full back the Asahi project too, so it's wonderful to see true cooperation.

Right now this effort doesn't appear to have full GPU acceleration so it's doing software rendering, making it less suitable for a daily driver but work is ongoing towards that. Eventually everything will be in place, and it's taking far less time than I personally expected to see it running on such brand new hardware from Apple.

Thing thing is, as we noted in our article about the Asahi project, even Linux creator Linus Torvalds previously said in 2020 "I'd absolutely love to have one, if it just ran Linux" when talking about the new Apple M1 laptops.

You can see the code from Corellium up on GitHub .

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    Grab an up to date MangoHud with NVML, GOverlay and vkBasalt on Ubuntu with a new PPA / GamingOnLinux · Monday, 14 December, 2020 - 10:10 · 1 minute

Canonical (Ubuntu and Ubuntu MATE) developer Martin Wimpress has announced a fresh PPA for Linux gamers.

For users on Ubuntu-based distributions, PPAs are often needed for you to get the latest and greatest software since if you're not using Snaps or Flatpaks (and sometimes they don't work due to the containers), a lot of software is stuck in place until a newer version of Ubuntu.

What's the fuss here then? Well, Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distribution users can now grab the excellent MangoHud gaming overlay, the vkBasalt Vulkan post processing layer and the GOverlay application for managing them both in a tidy UI all nicely up to date from this PPA . The build of MangoHud included also has NVML (NVIDIA Management Library) enabled, meaning out of the box it should allow showing GPU metrics from NVIDIA GPUs.

17305274331607940346gol1.png Pictured - Black Ice with MangoHud and some of the newer options you can try.

This was all enabled thanks to Debian Linux maintainer Stephan Lachnit , who has been sorting out the packages for Debian itself (which Ubuntu is based upon) and offered some tips to Wimpress on the packaging. Wimpress mentioned that the PPA will be kept up to date too.

Nice to see grabbing some really useful open source software made even easier for Ubuntu fans.

Find the PPA here .

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    OpenZFS 2.0 release unifies Linux, BSD and adds tons of new features / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 1 December, 2020 - 21:57 · 1 minute

A stylized illustration of tiny computer components.

Enlarge / OpenZFS 2.0.0 brings a ton of new features and performance improvements to both Linux and BSD platforms. (credit: Aurich Lawson)

This Monday, ZFS on Linux lead developer Brian Behlendorf published the OpenZFS 2.0.0 release to Github. Along with quite a lot of new features, the announcement brings an end to the former distinction between "ZFS on Linux" and ZFS elsewhere (for example, on FreeBSD). This move has been a long time coming—the FreeBSD community laid out their side of the roadmap two years ago—but this is the release that makes it official.


The new OpenZFS 2.0.0 release is already available on FreeBSD, where it can be installed from ports (overriding the base system ZFS) on FreeBSD 12 systems, and will be the base FreeBSD version in the upcoming FreeBSD 13. On Linux, the situation is a bit more uncertain and depends largely on the Linux distro in play.

Users of Linux distributions which use DKMS-built OpenZFS kernel modules will tend to get the new release rather quickly. Users of the better-supported but slower-moving Ubuntu probably won't see OpenZFS 2.0.0 until Ubuntu 21.10, nearly a year from now. For Ubuntu users who are willing to live on the edge, the popular but third-party and individually-maintained jonathonf PPA might make it available considerably sooner.

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    Ubuntu Groovy Gorilla adds Raspberry Pi as a “first class citizen” / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 27 October, 2020 - 17:56 · 1 minute

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Enlarge / This Groovy Gorilla doesn't just have a Raspberry Pi 4 on his mind, he's got a Raspberry Pi 4 as his mind. (credit: Canonical / Raspberry Pi / Ars Technica)

Last week, Canonical released the latest intermediate version of Ubuntu, 20.10 "Groovy Gorilla"—which, for the first time, adds first-class platform support for the Raspberry Pi 4.

Groovy Gorilla itself is a pretty typical interim release, offering an updated GNOME version (3.38) with lots of bugfixes and small feature additions, such as drag-and-drop organization of folders and shortcuts in the Applications grid. Support has also been added for Windows Active Directory in the Ubiquity OS installer itself.

Canonical embraces the Pi

While it's been possible for some time to install Ubuntu on Raspberry Pi hardware, up until now that's been strictly a community effort. The Pi itself ships with Raspberry Pi OS , a Debian-based distribution whose origins began with the Pi community, but which has since been officially adopted and supported by the Raspberry Pi Foundation itself. And while Canonical added the Pi as a supported platform in 20.04 Focal Fossa earlier this year, that support was only for the Ubuntu Server distribution—not Desktop.

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