Plasma 5.8 marks a major milestone in the project’s history & one that deserves a complete review.

Plus we discuss the continued Fedora 24 issues, another take on Kodi box privacy, our picks & much more!

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Plasma 5.8 Review

KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS Released, This Is What’s New

Plasma 5.8 LTS “marks the point where the developers and designers are happy to recommend Plasma for the widest possible audience be they enterprise or non-techy home users,” project lead Jonathan Riddell says.

Modifier-only shortcuts, a highly requested functionality for the Plasma desktop, has been added. This allows you to launch an application by pressing a Meta key. The inclusion of Wayland to the Plasma desktop has facilitated the addition of this feature which has also been backported the X11.

Another notable feature is the support for right-to-left scripts like Urdu, Hebrew, etc. The widget explorer, window switcher, activity manager can be seen on the right side of the screen for such languages.

Wayland debuted on Plasma with 5.4 release. Since then, it has been continuously improved for stability and features. In the Plasma 5.8 LTS, a lot of work has been done on Wayland which now supports the GTK+ toolkit. The support for multitouch gestures and touchscreen devices has been enhanced, although, no default gestures are actually present as of now. The X11 and Wayland-based applications can now have a shared clipboard.

Review Notes
  • Now if you don’t recall KDE Neon is not a distro per sey, rather it’s a great way to play with KDE. Basically you get the Ubuntu base and the KDE Plasma Desktop and that’s it! Everything NOT KDE related is maintained by Canonical/Ubuntu. KDE Neon only cares about KDE’s stack.

  • They provide downloads to make initial setup easier for users. You could just do minimal install of Ubuntu and then install Neon PPA to essentially get the same thing.

  • They did however fix the wifi bug that some users experienced with Kubuntu so neon WILL fix other things if they need to but basically they “just care about KDE”

  • If you need more infomation go back and take a look at LAS409 where Chris and I deep dive into what exactly is Neon

  • The project leaders have said “If your last dalliance with a KDE desktop was somewhere south of now it may be time to ‘re+assess’, the team say. “Plasma is simple by default, powerful when needed.“ Well as it turns out my last experience with KDE was somewhere south of now so it’s high time we take a looksee.

  • Neon makes sure that KDE’s entire stack is compatible with Ubuntu including updates. Every new release of KDE’s stack will be managed in Neon so if someone wants Ubuntu + KDE then Neon will always be up to date where as Kubuntu has the whole 6 months hold back still.

  • 5.7 to 5.8 is mostly a polish release but a few things stand out for improvements

  • 5.8 offers a very cohesive design, their tag line is “everything is designed to match the KDE experience, from startup to shutdown.” The breeze theme makes sure that everything looks amazing

  • Right off the bat the fact that it’s an 18 month support cycle has me hooked.

  • The nice thing I noticed about Plasma does colour scheme independent of theme. As such you can have any theme with any color scheme. As of the most recent versions of plasma this includes the colours in Icon’s of the default icon theme.

  • I’ve always said there are a few things that make or break a distro for me. Firefox, Thunderbird, Telegram a terminal application and the ability to launch applications with the super key. Up until now we’ve had to rely on the super+space to launch an application. I was pleased to learn that launching Telegram is now as simple as superkey and typing it. Additionally unlike Ubuntu 16.04 with Unity I can launch Telegram immediately after installing it. I don’t need to reboot.

  • Their package manager formally Moo On but now branded as Discover is a great package manager. Muon or Discover is an advanced program with a graphical program that as it’s name obviously implies will allow you to install and remove software. Additionally It will automatically notify you for updates (in the lower right hand corner), but you can use it at anytime to install new package

  • Michael Tunnel our producer who uses this distro as his daily driver and has been invaluable to my review is pretty excited about something that seems like it’s just a minor improvement. The virtual desktop switcher applet now has an option to show only the current screen in multi+screen setups. This seemingly small improvement is great for him because it makes it easier to create the GNOME workflow in Plasma”

  • Last thing to note is the improved global shortcuts. Global shortcuts configuration has been simplified and global shortcuts can now be configured to jump to specific tasks within an application via jump list functionality.


Runs Linux

Hurricane Matthew is being tracked WITH LINUX

Desktop App Pick


PDFtk Server is our command-line tool for working with PDFs. It is commonly used for client-side scripting or server-side processing of PDFs.
It is also used by OEMs and ISVs to give their products the ability to manipulate PDFs. A commercial license is required to distribute PDFtk with your commercial product.

pdftk contract.pdf cat 1-9 output firstnine.pdf
pdftk firstnine.pdf lastpage.pdf output signedcontract.pdf


Paperwork by twostairs

Paperwork – OpenSource note-taking & archiving alternative to Evernote, Microsoft OneNote & Google Keep

— NEWS —

X crash during Fedora update when system has hybrid graphics and systemd-udev is in update

Here’s the short version: especially if your system has hybrid graphics (that is, it has an Intel video adapter and also an AMD or NVIDIA one, and it’s supposed to switch to the most appropriate one for what you’re currently doing — NVIDIA calls this ‘Optimus’), DON’T UPDATE YOUR SYSTEM BY RUNNING DNF FROM THE DESKTOP. (Also if you have multiple graphics adapters that aren’t strictly ‘hybrid graphics’; the bug affects any case with multiple graphics adapters).

elementary blog — We’ve Joined the Snap Format TOB!

Yesterday, Jamie Bennett had the pleasure of announcing the members of the new Snap Format Technical Oversight Board. This board has been formed to guide the shaping of the Snap package format and ensure that it remains useful for everyone. We’re very excited to have Cody Garver sit on this board as a representative of elementary!

Canonical’s Sergio Schvezov announced recently the release and immediate availability of the Snapcraft 2.19 tool for creating Snap universal packages, in the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and Ubuntu 16.10 repos.

New features in Flatpak 0.6.12 include support for the “–device=kvm” option to be able to access /dev/kvm, support for the “–allow=multiarch” parameter to allow running 32-bit (i686) code in a 64-bit (x86_64) application, better error messages, robustness fixes for the build-commit-from command, and partial revert in application ID rules.

Pirate Kodi Add-Ons Gain Massive Popularity

Streaming piracy is on the rise with the popular media center Kodi at the center of attention. While Kodi itself is a neutral platform, millions of people use third-party add-ons to turn it into the ultimate pirate machine. In less than a year, the leading add-on repository has seen the number of unique users double, which may be just the beginning.

Torvalds Blows Stack Over Buggy New Kernel

“I’m really sorry I applied that last series from Andrew just before doing the 4.8 release, because they cause problems, and now it is in 4.8 (and that buggy crap is marked for stable too),” he wrote in a message to the Linux kernel mailing list. “In particular, I just got this — kernel BUG at ./include/linux/swap.h:276 — and the end result was a dead kernel.”

KDE Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary with the Release of KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS

KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS will be supported until the year 2018

and it shall receive no less than nine point releases. The first one, KDE Plasma 5.8.1, will come next week, on October 11, followed one week later by the second one, KDE Plasma 5.8.2. On November 1, KDE Plasma 5.8.3 will arrive with more improvements, and KDE Plasma 5.8.4 should see the light of day three weeks later, on November 22, 2016._


Product Engineer David Jordan shares what he’s working on in this behind the scenes video from the System76 office.

Audio Hardware: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface
Mail Bag

Name: Joe H

Subject: Exploring Linux

Message: Hi Noah and Chris I was wondering if at some point on the LAS or the LUP you could cover some more bare-bones-like distros. I am not sure about the right name for these type of distros. I don’t believe that I am looking to roll my own distro, that is if I truly understand what that would entail.

Name: Eric W

Subject: Wanting to Switch Video Production to Linux

Message:: Hello Chris and Noah!

I am a small time video editor and for years have been using the Adobe CC Suite for editing video and creating graphics etc. I know there are Linux alternatives for Adobe Premiere and Photoshop, but I don’t know of anything that is similar to After Effects and that is the one really important application I need. Any Advice on this would be much appreciated! Love the show and keep up the good work!

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