The weekend has given Linux users two big new releases to contemplate!
Those who like new cuts of the kernel have version 5.2 to consider. Linus Torvalds signed it off on Monday, Australian time.
The biggest feature in 5.2 is probably support for Intel’s forthcoming Comet Lake architecture, which will power the tenth generation of its Core desktop and mobile CPUs due. The new silicon is due to ship late in 2019 and appear in products early the next year. Linux 5.2 also includes many tweaks that improve its performance on laptops.
The kernel also now supports a handful of extra ARM-powered single-board computers.
The other big new release is Debian 10 “Buster”, which officially debuted on Sunday 7 July, Australian time. But this cut of Debian had actually already been available since 25 June as part of the new version of Raspbian OS, the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s preferred OS for its single board computers.
The Foundation described Buster as offering “no huge differences” compared to its predecessor. “In a sad reflection of the way the world is nowadays, most of the differences are security changes designed to make Buster harder to hack,” wrote Simon Long, a senior principal software engineer at the Pi Foundation.
Debian’s developers are a bit more optimistic, pointing to the use of version 4.19 of the Linux kernel, the choice of Gnome Desktop 3.30 (which brings with it many other upgrades), the availability of Python3 to take into account Python2’s planned 2020 end of life, the presence of OpenJDK 11.0, Bash 5.0 and many other upgrades.
The new cut of Debian is also billed as working out of the box with the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). As explained in the release announcement, “This means users should no longer need to disable Secure Boot support in the firmware configuration.” Which will make life easier for many-an-administrator!